Marathon of the Pacific

DSC_8101©During the thirteen years we have lived full-time in Mazatlán, El Gran Maratón del Pacífico has been an annual touchstone. We love the sound of cheering outside, for hours on end, by the crowd encouraging the runners. Some people run effortlessly, some look like they’re about to die; some wear the race shirts, some dress in costume; some run alone, others in groups with family and friends. Click any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.

We love joining them. I’ve run the 5k with my girlfriends several times, and Greg has run both the 10k and the half-marathon several times each. This is a family affair, a race with runners from all over Mexico and from throughout the world, as it is internationally ranked.

I love watching the emotion of the runners crossing the finish line. Many people of course smile from ear to ear, and raise their arms in a champion pose. I am amazed, as well, how many make the sign of the cross, look to heaven to thank God or their departed loved ones, and how many kneel down to say a quick prayer after crossing the meta.

My favorite series of photos this morning was of a young mother. She had just completed the half marathon in a time she should be very proud of. She had evidently grabbed her young son from amongst the spectators, and ran the last bit to the finish line with him—a common practice. She was obviously needing to stretch a bit and catch her breath. She and her son high-fived. “Mommy, I’m hot,” he then whines. And what does marathon Mommy do? She crosses the finish line of her half marathon and removes the child’s jacket. You can be a champion, but first you are a Mom!

This year it looked to me like a Mexican man won the half. At least on Insurgentes heading back down to the stadium, a national was in the lead ahead of the Kenyan runner. Official results will tell. I did get a pic of the three female winners of the half.

It is always so encouraging to see runners in wheelchairs (wheelers?), on crutches, and blind runners in the race. Looking at the number of “Praise Gods!” at the finish line, I become so curious about what personal challenge the runners are overcoming, or who they are running for.

This year as you can see the runners departed from in front of the new baseball stadium and finished inside it. It was pretty cool and different, although much more difficult for families to get reunited.

I know many of you love my fireworks photos. It has been such a busy couple of months, with loads of travel and commitments, that I couldn’t bring myself to go downtown last night. So, I’ll leave you with a few pics taken from our deck. Thank you, Mazatlán and Maratón coordinators and sponsors! It was a TERRIFIC weekend, as usual!