Overall Rating
Overall Rating (7 Reviews)
4.6
(7 Ratings)(7 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.9
SCENERY
4.7
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.3
Run back in time, and challenge yourself to a desert run in historic settings! Starting in the ancient city of Petra, the Petra Desert Marathon leads runners past the incredible tombs, mountainside carvings and caves before venturing into the arid, lunar-like landscapes of the Jordanian desert. Choose the marathon, half … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Ali Levering
    AAHLEE FIRST-TIMER '19

    Race was very difficult with mountain like hills throughout the race and what felt like 75% trail (rock, rumble, sand). Some steep downhills with trail terrain. This year we lucked … MORE

    Race was very difficult with mountain like hills throughout the race and what felt like 75% trail (rock, rumble, sand). Some steep downhills with trail terrain. This year we lucked out with the weather mid to high 76F and low humidity. There is some shade in the first several miles that I did not expect…..very welcome. Saw some ruins of Petra the city but missed most of it due to having to watch the ground due to the terrain. Figured this out the next day when we went on the tour of Petra. Be sure to do the tour of Petra the day after the race, not before. Not many folks on the course for cheering but a few. Water stops were plenty for me and always had water and fluids and medical items. Camels and goats are common on the course. I did not need gaiters on my shoes. The sun was not as brutal as it could have been. I live in the SE USA so I am use to the sun. Used 30SPF and it worked great with one application for the 3 hours I was out there. Post race food was okay. They had water and coke. Shirt for the race was bright and fit well. I am @5’2″ and @125 and I got the medium shirt. I like them a lil loose not tight. Fit me as I like. Medals were GREAT! I think better than the ones I have seen from the past. I recommend this race for the whole package…….I liked the course even though challenging (Views for miles), the medal and the shirt.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Fitbrit FIRST-TIMER '17

    We’ll be prepared for a journey of a lifetime. You will arise early and be escorted into the Petra world heritage site by foot. Take a headlamp as it is … MORE

    We’ll be prepared for a journey of a lifetime. You will arise early and be escorted into the Petra world heritage site by foot.
    Take a headlamp as it is still dark.
    The walk is at least a mile or more to the incredible Siq. The narrow gateway of sand stone leading you through a twisted trail to the Treasury.
    By the time you reach there there will be some light.
    Get your camera ready but you will be ushered very quickly to the start.
    Bedouin and camels await your arrival.
    There were limited toilets and they want tips but I didn’t bring money.
    Your actual time running through the famous park is brief perhaps less than a mile.
    Expect this race to be practically full sun and extreme heat. I think our race was in the 90’s for the most part.
    There is a good incline for about 2 miles on the road before you get onto white sand and rock trail.
    Bedouin are on their camels and donkeys watching you.
    I passed many goats and as you might expect it smells pretty bad for several miles/ km through the caves and village of these Nomadic people.
    After about the 10km mark there was a water stop at the bottom of a very long steep mountain in front of you.
    You will begin a long incline of about 5 miles on open hot road.
    You will need to carry your own water and sunblock is a must.
    This part was hard and very hot.
    I trudged my way up and tried to run when I could.
    There is a water stop near the top.
    Then you turn right onto a very rugged rocky trail.
    A lot of people struggled with this part but I mostly run trail racing at home , therefore I ran the remaining miles.
    The last 2-3 miles are downhill and the last mile is a steep road.
    You end the race outside the park literally outside the hotel.
    I went with Marathon Tours but the organization was Albatross Travel who run this event.
    I loved the uniqueness of the race location, scenery and tough course
    There is a strict cut off time for the full marathon therefore I changed my distance the day before to the half.
    We were told 93 degrees was cooler than usual. The year before was over 110 degrees so beware of that.
    Make sure you do some heat training before you go.
    My favorite race by far!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    susank FIRST-TIMER '17

    Agreeing with the other reviewers, this was definitely one of the most challenging races I’ve ever experienced. I also am not a great marathoner, so my struggles to finish were … MORE

    Agreeing with the other reviewers, this was definitely one of the most challenging races I’ve ever experienced. I also am not a great marathoner, so my struggles to finish were the result of age, inexperience, and ability. Although I did miss the seven hour cut-off time, I was able to finish at 7:45 and still medal, thanks to some encouraging words from fellow late finisher, Steve Hill from England, who pep-talked me through the final two miles in afternoon, hot, 108 degree Jordanian heat!
    Walking through the siq, a very famous “Indiana Jones” pathway past the famous Petra Treasury, was how our early morning began. Group photos and final instructions took us to a starting point towards the “back” of Petra. Right away the terrain was sandy, rocky at times, and hilly as we left the park and entered its surrounding desert. Our first half was run on a mixture of sandy trails and paved roadways, definitely warm but a beautiful beginning!
    I was glad I had worn my water belt and ball cap when it got brutally hot as the morning wore on. Remember, this is a desert run, combined with steep hills and dry heat, with NO shade ever. At each stop I drank delicious coca-cola and also refilled my personal bottles. I was able to make the halfway check mark where you received an official “I’ve made it” bracelet before turning around and backtracking a few miles in the course. I did manage to clear the 30k mark under required five hours (with seven minutes to spare) and was allowed to continue-so exciting! BUT, it wasn’t long till I realized the last eight miles involved walking up a mountain for half of this distance, because it was too difficult and hot to run this section of the race. I found myself having to stop often just to rest, even sitting down once at a tented water stop and chugging coke, which I highly recommend!
    Once through the climbing portion I was briefly quizzed by a doctor before being allowed to begin the descent to the village. I felt like the care and concern for each runner was admirable, and really appreciated it. I also was offered several opportunities to quit by course officials driving by in jeeps, so I never felt alone. It took me quite a while to finish the last two miles due to the mid-afternoon sun, heat, sandy and rocky terrain, and maybe even a little delirium. But I did it!
    Although the officials had shut down the majority of the finish area after the seven hour cut-off time, my cheering friends (and another very nice doctor) helped me feel like a true winner! It was a great accomplishment for this not-so-great runner, and I still cherish the memory.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 27, 2018 at 8:07pm

    This... is... AWESOME, Susan! It's like the living, breathing manifestation of "Pain is temporary, pride is forever." What a terrific narrative of the day, you deserve a double high-five (and… MORE

    This... is... AWESOME, Susan! It's like the living, breathing manifestation of "Pain is temporary, pride is forever." What a terrific narrative of the day, you deserve a double high-five (and an ice-cold Coke!) for toughing it out and getting this done. I know how easy it is to get frustrated/exhausted and want to quit in the heat, especially when there's ZERO shade and no reprieve. That you kept going and earned that finisher's medal is testament to the fact that YES, you really are a great marathoner. Because I don't see a lot of speedy sub-3 types tackling Petra. :) Thanks for the amazing review! LESS

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    susank Mar 28, 2018 at 1:08am

    Thanks, Mike!

    Thanks, Mike!

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    Donnald69 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Put on by Albatross travel, and supported by Marathon Tours, you must go through a tour company to run Petra. Considering the location and the logistics to arrive and compete, … MORE

    Put on by Albatross travel, and supported by Marathon Tours, you must go through a tour company to run Petra. Considering the location and the logistics to arrive and compete, this is a good thing and Marathon Tours once again did a great job taking care of us. The cost of the trip was rather high, but then it covers hotels, most meals, transportation in country and some tours. The expo was pretty much non existent, although Albatross travel had a couple souvenirs for sale. Prior to the marathon you are given a lengthy talk about rules and regulations by Pers of Albatross travel, and how to treat this beautiful national park. The morning of the race, everyone walks together from the hotels through the “Siq” which takes you past the iconic “Treasury” of Petra. The early morning walk to the start was worth the trip itself. The race itself started off running outside of the main part of the park and after less than a mile you hit the first of several hills. This one was about a mile long, very steep at times, and turns out one of the easiest hills of the day. The course was beautiful, running through natural land, mostly desert for most of the way. You finish the first half of the marathon running down this VERY steep hill, such that slowing down to avoid hurting oneself was necessary. At the halfway point, at the bottom of the hill, you are handed a wrist band (proof you made it to this point), and then surprise of surprises, you get to turn around and run back up that same hill. The next 7 miles are simple rolling hills, quite beautiful, and if you weren’t already tired, it would be the perfect course. But then, at mile 20 you turn to climb the last of the hills. This hill makes me wish for the previous steep hills and i felt for the next mile and a half that i needed to support me knees just to walk up and not start rolling backward. And just when you feel that you have made it to the top, you turn and go further up, again and again. The final 2 or 3 miles are run down the hill, and once you find yourself in a village, you know that the end is very close. The course has a strict 7 hour cut off time, and they are extremely serious about the time. Although a few runners refused to quit and continued past the cut off time limit, by the time they reached the finished, the finish line was packed up, food and water trucked away, and the only sign of a finish line, was the runners who stayed around to cheer on the finishers. This is a race to run. Do not be afraid of the hills, the vast beauty of this country is well worthy of the of the pain!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 05, 2018 at 8:11pm

    Hills hills hills... congrats, Donn! What a run, and what a great description of the course – anyone considering Petra should read this first (and check out pictures of the… MORE

    Hills hills hills... congrats, Donn! What a run, and what a great description of the course – anyone considering Petra should read this first (and check out pictures of the Treasury). Sounds like Haiti was a valuable primer for the challenges that awaited in Petra. Thanks for another awesome review, and look forward to following your continued adventures in 2018... hope we have the chance to run together again soon! LESS

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    LHausner FIRST-TIMER '17

    I was unable to make the 31km cut off by 5 hrs so I & the others running near me were pulled from the course. The directions for the trail … MORE

    I was unable to make the 31km cut off by 5 hrs so I & the others running near me were pulled from the course. The directions for the trail section were good. I was with a pack at the back and there was always police, either on horseback or by car after the last runner. After being immediately transported to the finish line after the first cutoff, race officials were kind enough to give myself & those pulled from the marathon course a 1/2 marathon medal since we had cleared the 21km mark. Water stops were not as prevalent along the route as needed so I’d recommend wearing hydration. Cumulative elevation changes of 3800ft so practice strategies for steep, winding hills both up and down. Friends who finished after the 7hr finish cut-off were still given a medal, but were marked as DNF for the official results. We had to be adamant with the race officials to keep up the “finish” banner for our friends that finished at 7hr 45min because they had already started to tear down the finishing area despite our requests to keep up the finishing chute. They had a box lunch for all finishes and lots of coke and water after. They had nice cushions on the ground at the finish to relax, stretch and cheer for others finishing. The main hotel is less than 200 meters from the finish so very convenient. The start of the race is a 2km walk from hotel. Overall, spectacular race with the scenery and intimate feel with only 187 runners, but the most challenging course (hills, sand, rocky) and temps (no shade) make this an adventure. Excellent post race party the following evening!! Great food, entertainment and dancing! Locals were very friendly and always felt safe. Food at hotel was excellent and rated as best in the city.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Well organized in a unique location. I found it tougher then the Great Wall. Great finisher medal and post race party. If you make the first cut off you will … MORE

    Well organized in a unique location. I found it tougher then the Great Wall. Great finisher medal and post race party. If you make the first cut off you will make the 7 hour time limit. After making the first cut off there is a hill so long and steep that even the top finishers admitted they walked most of it. The finish area had outdoor air conditioners and draped with Jordanian rugs. Unique experiences were walking through Petra in the early morning with no other tourists and during the race you are taken to the second entrance/gate that is only used for the workers. Very safe to visit.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    TravelingRacer FIRST-TIMER '16

    This is the most challenging race course I have encountered. Yes, I have done the Great Wall and Antactica. I didn't race this race, but made the most of the … MORE

    This is the most challenging race course I have encountered. Yes, I have done the Great Wall and Antactica. I didn’t race this race, but made the most of the race experience and the scenery the course offered. This was a great trip and I felt very safe.
    I booked through #MarathonTours for the ease of dealing with a tour operator in my time zone and in my home currency 😉

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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