Imagine preparing to run a marathon of 26.2 miles. Now, imagine adding more than 5,000 stone steps to an already hilly course. Those are the challenges more than 2,500 participants, including more than 20 Abbott employees, faced on May 16, as they took on the Great Wall Marathon in Tianjin Province, China. As an official sponsor of the 2015 race, Abbott was there to cheer them along.

Because of the unique challenges along the race course, the Great Wall Marathon has been billed as one of the toughest running events in the world. It was also named to the Forbes Magazine list of "Top 10 Marathons Worth Travelling For" due to the breath-taking scenery along the route. Abbott's sponsorship underlines its commitment to helping people achieve their personal best and live not just longer, but better.

Here are just a few scenes from this unique adventure race, including Abbott's Jason Shen's first place finish:


More than 2,500 participants gathered at the Great Wall Marathon starting line.

Runners wave to the crowd along the course.

Billed as one of the toughest running events in the world, the Great Wall Marathon offered participants breath-taking views as they climbed more than 5,000 steps.

Great Wall Marathon participants traveled from more than 50 countries to experience the unique course. The challenges and spectators inspired camaraderie among the runners.

Jason Shen, an Abbott employee from China, finishes first at the 2015 Great Wall Marathon with a time of 3 hours and 41 minutes.

The 2015 Great Wall Marathon is just one way Abbott is encouraging marathon participants to achieve their goals. If you'd like to learn more about Abbott's sponsorship of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, click here.

Want to learn more about the Great Wall Marathon course? Click here.