This week we are so happy to Stephanie from Destination 26.2 blog for us! An amazing athlete, Stephanie will be recapping all the amazing athletic events she takes part in!
A Little Bit About Stephanie
Stephanie is founder of Destination 26.2 and an endurance runner. She is a yoga teacher specializing in Yoga for Athletes, and currently teaches Hatha & Vinaysa classes in Playa del Carmen. She has a background in Rural Community Development and has lived and worked in West Africa, Sri Lanka, Canada and Mexico.
Swish Running: Riviera Maya Race Recap
Greetings from Playa del Carmen! Each fall runners from around the Riviera Maya (and of course the world!) are busy preparing for a number of races including the Xel Ha Triathlon (Nov 17-18) , Puerto Aventuras 5 and 10km (Dec 2) and of course December’s annual Cancun International Marathon (Dec 9). This year, we were all looking forward to an extra event, the first ever Riviera Maya Marathon , which took place on October 28, 2012 here in Playa.
This race included a fun run 3km, a 10km, half marathon 21km and the full 42 km marathon. My running goals over this season have been to run the Cancun half in December, which will kick start my Boston 2013 training, so I opted to run the 21km to check out my time and get a sense of where I’m at for this distance.
To date, this has probably been one of the best publicized events of its sort in the area and there was a combined 1500 runners among all the races (The Cancun Marathon organizers this year have also done a fantastic job and the 2012 versions is also sure to be bigger and better than ever before!) Things kicked off with the race expo on Saturday where my friend Lori, of Sweetfire Photography (www.sweetfirephotography.com), and I were multi-tasking with work on a video project as well as picking up some race packages.
All the runners were at the start at Centro Maya before sunrise and there was, as always, a great sense of excitement, fueled by nerves, caffeine and adrenaline (I’m speaking for myself here!). Things always calm down for me once we get running and this race was no exception.
I've written about my own race over at my blog www.playarunners.com/blog, but will share here that this was actually my fastest 21km ever by 3 minutes, probably due to cooler weather, running with a pack of runners at my pace for most of the race and knowing each twist and turn after running here in Playa for almost 5 years. I came second among the female 21 km runners, which was kind of exciting. The top 5 runners of the 42km were all pretty spectacular athletes, and on a team from Kenya!
The 21 and 42 km route were more or less the same, with full marathon runners doubling back to run it twice. There was more than a bit of confusion among the 10km runners due to lack of course marking at that distance and most ran somewhere between 14-21km. As these things go, of course many were tired and upset, but in general just hoping that next year this will be a lesson learned. Both the 21 and 42 km routes were great, and quite diverse, with us running along 5th and 10th, into more residential areas, through the golf course surrounding my lush green and with some glimpses here and there of the sea.
As I mentioned, Lori and are busy at work creating some video projects and she was kind enough to put together some clips of the race morning that demonstrate the atmosphere of camaraderie and competition. I’m in the hot pink shorts!
I’m so happy to be able to share a recap of this event with you. I’m always running around the area and you can find more information about upcoming events at both my blog and my website www.destination262.com. We offer running tours of Playa as well! When I’m not running, I’m often teaching yoga (or maybe napping on the beach). I am always excited to connect with other swish-minded folks so please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.