Enter a Runner’s World in Spanish: Must-Run Marathons in Latin America
In the era of social distancing, running marathons remains one of the few pastimes that is still feasible in spite of the lockdown. Of course, large group races are unlikely to happen right now.
Latin America hosts a number of marathons each year. In Guatemala, for example, it’s common for local communities to pitch in and organize annual town-wide marathons. People of all ages and ability levels participate. Sometimes, even children and the elderly take a 5k stroll alongside 10-21k runners.
Taking on the challenge of running marathons is no small feat. It requires months of training to prepare your body to run such a long distance. Running a marathon abroad will add some adrenaline and adventure to your trip. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous marathons in Latin America to keep track of when planning your next trip!
21k Guate is the biggest marathon in Guatemala. This race is the ultimate goal for many local runners who want to prove themselves without having to go abroad. It happens in September. An expo prior to the race features stalls to register and discount shops from the race sponsors. This race offers discounted hotel rates for foreign runners.
It’s a great opportunity to run around the city and get to know popular places such as Paseo de la Sexta, a famous pedestrian street, and Zona 4, also known as the art district of Guatemala City. Once the run is over, you can visit Antigua Guatemala, a beautiful colonial town. It serves as a traveler’s hub to see all of the natural wonders this country has to offer!
Maratón de Santiago
Hosted in the capital city of Chile, La Maratón de Santiago gives you the choice of running 10k, 21k, or 42k. This is the biggest sports event in Chile. The related Maratón Social initiative promotes progressive ideas such as zero-waste lifestyle and senior citizen care.
While visiting Chile, you can take a wine tour and hike through the Andes, one of the biggest mountain ranges on the planet! Chile has many different biomes to visit, such as the salt flats of Uyuni, the Tatío geysers, and Valley of the Moon, offering stunning views for nature lovers and adventurers.
While we’re talking about races in Chile, the Rapa-Nui Easter Island race is one of the most unique marathons ever! A race for true nature lovers, you’ll get to tour the beautiful sights of Easter Island while racing your heart out. There are also mountain biking and triathlon options. This famous tropical paradise offers activities such as snorkeling, diving, and sightseeing. The island can host only 180 guests running at a time! This is the kind of race you have to book in advance if you want to have this unique eco-tourism experience.
Maratón de la Ciudad de México
This might be the biggest marathon in Latin America! La Maratón de la Ciudad de México is a full 42k race. Their website offers free training sessions and videos to prepare runners everywhere. This race features over 30,000 runners from around 60 different countries. With the number of people that attend this event, it’s postponement or cancellation would be no surprise because of the pandemic; but it seems the Mexican government is holding out on the verdict in hopes of still holding the event in August.
If you’re ever in México, you’ll find that there are so many awesome places to visit that a couple of weeks won’t be enough to see it all! You can go to the mesmerizing town of Xochimilco, visit the sunken cathedral and amazing museums of México D.F., and take a stroll through the beautiful beaches of Yucatán.
Maratón de San José
One of Costa Rica’s most important races, Maratón de San José is a great option for families since it offers options from 5k all the way up to 42k. Featuring over 4,000 runners each year, this is one of the biggest sporting events in the country. It’s usually in November, which means there’s still a chance the race will take place this year—so you’ll want to keep an eye out for this one! This marathon offers not only special hotel prices for athletes but also discounted airfare to boot. This marathon shows why Costa Rica has one of the strongest tourist initiatives in Central America.
Speaking of which, this country is full of natural wonders such as beaches, rainforests, and volcanos that feature flora and fauna that’s exclusive to the microclimates present in this lush country. Plus, Costa Ricans are super friendly, so you’ll have a great time visiting this beautiful place.
This marathon in Brazil offers the widest range of options for runners yet, including a kids marathon! Happening in October of 2020, Maratona do Rio organizers promise to move registration to 2021 if the pandemic prevents participants from running this year, so buying your ticket involves less risk than in other races. Running along the beautiful Brazilian coastline is something you won’t want to miss!
Rio de Janeiro is a famous tourist destination, featuring the renowned statue of Cristo Redentor, as well as famous beaches, perfect for sun-loving couples and athletes who wish to experience a different side of sports such as soccer and capoeira, a dancing style of martial arts with a unique musical twist.
Maratón de Buenos Aires
La Maratón de Buenos Aires first took place in 1903! This Argentinian race features a competitive scene and options for 10k, 21k, and 42k. The record for the shortest time in this race was broken both in 2018 and 2019, which shows how dedicated the runners in this race are! Are you up to the challenge to take this race and break the record in September 2020? Only time will tell.
While you’re there, Argentina is a fabulous place to explore. Its inhabitants are proud of their country and will let you know of all the great sites to visit. It’s a hospitable place that celebrates itself with fervor, evidenced by their great affinity for soccer and sports in general.
Bogota Half Marathon
Last but not least, we have La Media Maratón de Bogotá (mmB) in Colombia. This race offers two options: 10k and 21k. It was postponed to June 2021, so you have plenty of time to train for the only Latin American marathon with a platinum label by World Athletics! This year, they are holding a virtual 10k marathon, much like the virtual Boston Marathon. They also offer cardio and training sessions online to prepare for the event.
If you find the event compelling, you’ll probably want to visit Colombia next year to win that medal! The mmB website has a list of the top 10 places to jog in Bogotá, so you can have the full jogging experience when you visit! It also features amazing places such as the Salt Cathedral, The Lost City, and the Valley of Cocora.
Run to Your Heart’s Content
There are over 5,000 marathon races worldwide every year, enough to keep you training for a lifetime! We’re experiencing a new kind of race with virtual marathons this year, an experience you won’t want to miss. Are you up to the challenge?
Some people choose to travel around the world for a while to compete in multiple races on a single trip. I can only aspire to be that amazing, but I’m sure you can do it! So while I’m panting on my treadmill hoping to one day run a 5k, I encourage you to keep training, not only to keep your strength but also to stay healthy.
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