Hello, on November 30th 2014, you’ll be organizing the Amazon Race Forest. Can you tell us where it is located?
Amazon Race Forest (ARF) is located in a small town named San Roque de Cumbaza, in the district of San Martin in Peru. Peru is a country known for it’s big mountains, the Andes, but more than 60% of its territory is in the Amazon jungle. The race takes place in the mountainside of the Amazon rainforest.
How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?
This is the fourth year of ARF. It was created in partnership with the regional Government to develop new activities that will promote tourism in the region and in the entire country.
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The race is run on two main types of terrain. Inside the forest runners follow single tracks that can have a lot of leaves and wood sticks that has been accumulating for many many years. Sometimes they won’t even touch the ground but run on a 50 to 80 cm high natural cushion! They will cross a lot of small streams and it can be muddy near the water. There are a lot of small up hills and down hills as well.
Out of the forest, they will run on trails used by coffee farmers which are a little bigger than single tracks but are pretty tough though, because of the passing of horses and mules that leaves a lot of holes and there’s also a lot of mud! There may not be a big up or down hill, but there are a lot of little ones.
How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
We would like to see 300 to 400 runners. We should attract trail runners as well as runners with less experience on trails. For those, the 10K race has a quite friendly route. For the 42K run, we expect tough runners.
Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?
There will be three running distances: 10k, 21k and 42k, taking place on Sunday. On Saturday there will be a mountain bike race. Participants can combine riding the MTB race on Saturday with running the 21K trail on Sunday to take part in our duathlon. In the future, we would like to have a whole adventure and sports festival during the weekend, where the main event will be the ARF.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
In the jungle there is always rain; but at the time of the race we’re not in a rainy season. The previous years we’ve been blessed with sunny days for the race but we just can’t be sure! Also, the sun can be very hot, near 36° – 38° Celsius.
Have you planned festivities around the event?
Peru is also known for its food, so there will be a food festival around the event. We also look forward to offering some outdoors games and activities like slackline, canopy walking, hiking and biking.
The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to the San Martín region before? Any fancy sightseeing?
They should be prepared for the jungle. The weather is hot and humid with rain, mud, insects, and so on. People in San Martin are very friendly and it is a very safe city, so you can relax, have a wonderful race, eat great local food and go and see some beautiful wonder of nature: rivers, waterfalls, rain forest… really awesome views!
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Amazon Race Forest?
Come and feel the amazon jungle deep in your soul!!!
IInterview with Carlos Maillard Reyes