Focus on a race Interview

9 questions to discover a marathon : Maya Marathon

12 Apr 2009 22:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux

Francisco Piedrasanta, the organizer of the Maya Marathon, with the help of his good friend Gunter Pilz will this week present us rare race. Francisco, known as ‘Panchito’ amongst all the runners in Guatemala is a lifelong sports-enthusiast and has been promoting races for many years.

Hello, on October 4th 2009, you’ll be organizing the Maya Marathon . Can you tell us where it is located?

The Maya Marathon will be run in the little village of Amatitlan, about 30 km (20 miles) southwest of Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, Central America. Amatitlan is a little village on the shore on the lake bearing the same name.

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How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

This year we will organize the 15th edition of the race. We created it because we thought that Guatemala should have its own marathon.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The route is a rather flat course with a couple of smaller climbs around the Amatitlan lake. It is a beautiful setting between little forests and the lake. You are in the middle of nature breathing fresh air.

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How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

The race is focused on people who train between 60 to 90 km a week. All kind of athletes are welcome, also blind and disabled sportsmen and women. We expect to be able to welcome more than 1.000 runners this year.

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

On the same day, in the same place and at the same time we organize the full marathon of 42.195 km as well as a half-marathon of 21 km.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

In October the weather in Guatemala is really nice, calm, no rain, no cold, some sun and a little heat by the end of the race. It is like springtime.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

No, but we work closely together with the mayor of the village.

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The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Amatitlan before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

There a many food stalls around the lake and next to the finish area, there are also a few restaurants. You may have a boat trip on the lake, you can walk in a big park (if you still feel like walking after 42 kms) and there is also a little cablecar that brings you to the top of a nearby mountain.

If you want to do real sightseeing or if you are into fine dining, you would have to go to Guatemala City or Antigua Guatemala (which is a UNESCO world heritage site).

Antigua_10_10_08 Creative Commons License photo credit: Eric Menjívar

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Maya Marathon?

Since it is one of only two marathons organized in Central America (the other one is in Panama) it is a must for every serious runner in Central America to participate.

Thank you Panchito.