A smoggy, congested high-altitude city of over 50 million people might seem like a strange marathon venue choice. But plenty of runners rave about the Mexico City International Marathon, which will take place on September 2.
“The simple idea that you are running over an ancient Aztec city, covered by colonial buildings, is awesome,” said a participant of last year’s race to MarathonGuide.
Another marathon veteran remarked that the race’s dawn fireworks start was one of the most memorable in a 156 marathon career.
Just accept that the environment makes the going tough. The pollution, muggy heat and altitude can add up to 10 minutes to a runner’s overall time. Logging a personal best apparently borders on the impossible.
Still, on their way to the finish, runners get a stunning tour of Mexico City. Landmarks such as the Angel of Independence make the marathon one for a scrapbook or pinboard-style social website. Not to mention other runners dressed up as cows, trees and skulls or just carrying flags emblazoned with pro-peace messages.
Last year, underlining his country’s depth of marathon talent, Kenya’s Issack Kaimaiyo won the Mexico City Marathon in 2:14:22. In the women’s class, Kaimaiyo’s compatriot Rose Jebet won with a time of 2:39:07. Some 22,000 athletes competed.
This year the race will celebrate its 30th birthday.
Cover Photo Credit: pbump – flickr.com