Here you will find all the important practical information about the race, such as rules and regulations, training, timing, race day support, clothing, weather and more. If you don’t find the answer you’re seeking, feel free to contact us with your question.
Topics are arranged in alphabetical order.
It is recommended that participants run in light-weight, light-coloured clothing.
To prevent heatstroke, consider ways to keep direct sun off your skin - in that sense, a T-shirt offers better protection than a sleeveless shirt, but it is of course an personal choice. In all cases, we strongly recommend the use of sunscreen with high protection and a cap. One might also consider a buff or a bandana to keep sun off the back of your neck (plus, you can get it wet at the water stations to get a cooling effect).
There are no clothing restrictions, so women and men alike can run in shorts, tights, tank tops etc. As Petra is largely tourist destination, locals in the area are more used to seeing shorts than locals in some other parts of the country.
All runners have 7 hours from start time to complete their race, regardless of distance. Runners still on the route after the time limit will be picked up by a race official or medical car and driven back to the finish area.
Five hours after the start, however, the marathon route closes at the 31km mark (10km mark for the half marathon) meaning that runners who haven’t passed this point at 11:30 will not be permitted to finish the race.
The Petra Desert Marathon features two distances:
Full marathon - 42.195km/26.2mi
Half marathon - 21.1km/13.1mi
It is possible to change the distance you want to run up to 10 days before the race starts. All you need to do is contact us with your request.
If you want to change your distance while on tour, contact a race official before or after the race briefing. You must bring your original race number!
Change of distance is NOT PERMITTED on Race Day.
Full marathon runners must be at least 18 years old on race day.
Half marathon runners must be at least 16 years old.
In 2020, Petra Desert Marathon will take place on 5 September.
In 2021, the race will take place on 4 September.
At the race briefing the night before the race, runners will receive their goodie bags. Inside this bag you'll find your start number, race t-shirt, information on the route, and your timing chip/velcro strap.
A team of specialised doctors from Denmark and paramedics from Jordan will supervise the marathon and assist in case of injury or exhaustion. The medical team has undisputed authority to exclude runners who, according to the doctors’ judgment, should not continue running if there is a serious health risk to the runner. The medical team will be patrolling the route and be situated in the finish area and on strategic points of the route.
Runners who wish to drop out of the marathon should go to the nearest drink station and wait for a medic or race official car. If it is not practical to go to a drink station, simply wait at the side of the road. We encourage all participants to look out for each other and report to the officials or medical team if you see an injured runner on the route.
All decisions made by the medical team are final and not up for discussion.
During the race briefing and race day, a variety of exclusive Petra Desert Marathon merchandise can be purchased.
Personal belongings can be dropped off at the Visitor's Centre and will be brought to the finish area. Any personal belongings that you want available at the finish area should be packed in a bag or backpack and clearly marked with your name and start number. The bag must be handed over to the race officials at the Petra Visitor's Centre before 5:30 on race day morning.
The walk from the Visitors Centre to the start line can be chilly and a light jacket or sweater is recommended for the walk. This jacket or sweater can be dropped at the start line and will be brought to the finish area. Again, we ask you to clearly mark all your belongings with name and start number.
The Petra Desert Marathon organisers cannot be held responsible for any lost or damaged items or valuables.
It is possible to have personal supplies delivered to selected drinks stations (please see the route map for specifics). Marathon runners can get personal supplies at four stations and half-marathon runners at one station.
The personal supplies can be food, drinks, sunscreen, or other personal necessities.
Personal supplies must be handed over to the race officials at the race briefing the day before the race - remember to clearly mark your supplies with your start number and the number of the drink station you want it deposited at.
Personal supplies deposited at the drink stations will not be returned.
Finisher photos and other race images can be purchased after the race from www.marathon-photos.com.
All finishers receive a medal. A small, symbolic prize is given to the winners of both distances for men and women. Please note that there is no prize money.
Race officials will provide all participants with a race briefing on the evening of 4 September, which will cover everything from a preliminary weather forecast to a brief presentation of the important route notes. Participants will also collect their goodie bags at the briefing.
Race officials and medical staff will be present to answer any questions you may have. Official Petra Desert Marathon merchandise will also be available for purchase.
Please note, this is the last opportunity to change distances.
English-speaking race officials are in charge of setting up the route as well as controlling the logistics on race day. They will be patrolling the route and guiding on the most crucial places on the course. Assisting guides will also be placed on the route to show directions.
The race officials reserve the right to change the course and other aspects of the race without advance notice. Please note that all decisions made by the race officials and/or medical team are final.
For international participants, race entry is only possible in conjunction with a multi-day tour package. The packages include all the ingredients for a fantastic getaway: accommodation, social events, sightseeing, and select meals and transportation per the itinerary. Packages also generally include ample amounts of free time, during which you can choose to join organized excursions or explore the region at your own pace.
Discover the ethereal landscape of the Jordanian desert while appreciating the rich history of the ancient city of Petra. Indulge in delicious Jordanian cuisine, take a dip in the dead sea, and challenge yourself to conquer the heat in the Petra Desert Marathon.
Participants who reside in one of the following countries, and thus meet the necessary residency requirements, are eligible for a special 1-night/2-day entry package.
For the Petra Desert Marathon, qualifying countries include:
• Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel & The Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen.
Please note: Even if you meet these residency requirements, if you are looking to enjoy an extended holiday in Jordan, it is possible to join the standard international 5-day package.
As proof of eligbility, residents and citizens of the above-mentioned countries must present a current, valid residency permit or passport. Upon receiving your entry, we will contact you to request copies of your official, government-issued documentation.
If you are a resident or citizen of Jordan, you are eligible for local entry, which includes only the race.
As proof of eligbility, residents and citizens of Jordan must present a current, valid residency permit and/or passport. Upon receiving your entry, we will contact you to request copies of your official, government-issued documentation.
Registration closes on 3 August 2020 for the 2020 Petra Desert Marathon. After this date, no new entries will be accepted.
For information on the marathon and half-marathon routes, start and finish line, drink stations and other course-related information, see Route & Elevation.
Change of Distance: If you decide to change distance during the race, the race result will read FNT (finished no time). All runners who change distances before race day will be registered accordingly and receive an official time.
Top Finishers: The top three male and female finishers of all distances are the first three to physically cross the finish line regardless of their net time.
Gear: Nordic walking and trekking poles are not allowed.
You will receive your start/bib number in the race goodie bag.
All runners will receive one bib number that must be worn during the race. It must be attached to the front of your body and readable - both for safety and for photography purposes! The bib numbers are color-coded according to the distance you are running:
- Full marathon bibs - black
- Half-marathon - red
Timing is done with an AMB Chip. The chip will be in the goodie bag that runners receive. The chip must be attached around the ankle with a velcro strap (also provided in the goodie bag) or in the shoe lace. The chip must be handed back to the staff at the finish line.
Live results will be available from the Results page.
The roads are not closed for traffic. Although traffic is not heavy in the area, please be aware whenever running on asphalt roads. We advise you to run on the left side of the road, so you can see any vehicles coming towards you.
With temperatures as high as 35°C / 95°F and a hilly, desert route offering very little shade, the Petra Desert Marathon is an arduous race. Participants should be ready to deal with heat and remember - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! See more on our Climate & Weather page.
Please note that the marathon route has an out-and-back stretch totalling 18km. At the turn-around point of this stretch (9km out) marathon runners will receive a wristband to prove that they went all the way out. The wristband must be worn for the remainder of the race to the finish line. No wristband = disqualification.
The wristband applies to marathon runners only.