The Marathon of the City of Rio de Janeiro, affectionately called the Rio Marathon, takes place annually since 1979, except for the years 2001 and 2002. Held in partnership with the City Hall and the State Government of Rio de Janeiro, the Marathon is present in the calendar, bringing together …
The Marathon of the City of Rio de Janeiro, affectionately called the Rio Marathon, takes place annually since 1979, except for the years 2001 and 2002. Held in partnership with the City Hall and the State Government of Rio de Janeiro, the Marathon is present in the calendar, bringing together thousands of people every year, among professional marathon runners, amateur runners and spectators. The event brings together about 30 thousand runners in three categories: Marathon – 42 km, Half Marathon – 21 km and Family Run – 6 km & 10 km. There is also the public that is present, reaching more than 50 thousand people.
The test takes place in the middle of the year, usually in June or July, so that the heat is no longer an obstacle for marathoners. The main Marathon has its start in Recreio dos Bandeirantes and arrives in the Aterro do Flamengo and is favored by the absence of significant differences. At the same time, the Half Marathon starts at Pepê Beach, in Barra da Tijuca, and arrives at Aterro do Flamengo, and the Family Run is held entirely at Flamengo Aterro.
This run is scenic. You start south of Rio and run along the picturesque ocean. At miles 18 (Ipanema Beach area) to the finishline there is great crowd support. I … MORE
This run is scenic. You start south of Rio and run along the picturesque ocean. At miles 18 (Ipanema Beach area) to the finishline there is great crowd support. I will say the day we ran was “warm.” I was sweating at .5 miles and the heat does take a toll.
Rio is a great place to visit. The people are really friendly. Yes, there is incredible poverty, but you are not submerged in it, unless you wish to tour one of the favalas (slums). To me, you won’t find another race with the scenery of Rio. Enjoy!
Gorgeous scenery & a rave halfway along!
First off, I (unexpectedly) fell in love with Rio right away so that certainly colours my perspective on the race. It was hard to leave when the time came. The … MORE
First off, I (unexpectedly) fell in love with Rio right away so that certainly colours my perspective on the race. It was hard to leave when the time came.
The race expo was big, fun and easy to find. They had a section just for international runners where everyone spoke English (you don’t find that many English speakers in Brazil). I actually really liked the race swag and have worn the shirt a few times, although the race bib was printed cheaply and the shirt I wore on race day got ruined from the ink rubbing off.
We were staying near where everyone stays by Copacabana beach, and took a taxi to where the buses would be going to the start. It was a cab ride neither of us will ever forget. The guy ran all five of the red lights we hit. Every single one. And had a near accident at a pretty high speed with a van, though we all emerged unscathed. A cab ride to get your adrenaline pumping for sure.
Since the race was a point to point ending in the city, it was quite the drive. They had tons of buses and were well organized, except that the driver didn’t know where to go because of all the construction so we kept driving in circles until a local on the bus went up to act as navigator, from which point we got right on our way. Since we had to be there so early to get a bus, we still had plenty of time before the start. The atmosphere on the bus was electric and everyone was getting pretty excited and taking selfies.
While on the bus, since we left at 5:30am, we got to see Rio’s wilder side with late night partiers and ladies of the evening. It was fascinating and a side of the city we would never have otherwise seen. We considered it like a tour of the city…
The start ha lots of porta potties, some reserved only for women. They were in a terrible state inside but we got our business done and got out of there.
I enjoyed the start, the energy and the enthusiasm. We went around for a little bit and then ended up running next to the beach, which we’d be doing for a long, long, long time. I liked it because I got to see another side of Rio,with the early morning exercisers, and yet more partiers who were still going strong at 8am. Crowd support was, as I expected, nonexistant until we got into the heart of the city. There were absolutely no facilities available for our use from the start of the race until the halfway point, the start for the half marathoners. Fortunately there were plenty of bushes nearby.
The other runners more than made up for the lack of crowd support. I really felt the vibe and the energy throughout the race. By the time we hit the tunnel I was very relieved and excited for the change of scenery, so much so that I got a crazy burst of energy and felt like I was flying, after the beautiful, but monotonous, stretch by the beach.
It felts like there was a water stop every time I opened my eyes. I was really impressed by that, and by the baggies you could just tear open with your teeth and suck down the fluid so you didn’t have to worry about spillage. Also, the sports drink was Gatorade, so it worked well for me. I have never, ever drank as much during a race as I did there. Though it was hot, I never felt dehydrated.
I’d heard about the laser show but was unprepared for how hard hitting it would be.The music, the lights, it was incredible and a really great idea. Gives you a lot of pep halfway through the race!
Right after the tunnel we came across a bay that, for me, was the most scenic spot of the entire course. I felt like we were flying over it and that was my absolute favourite moment of, not only the entire race, but the entire trip.
I’d heard the entire race was flat. That’s not true. It’s mostly flat, until you come to the one long hill (reminiscent of Cape Town). I wisely decided to walk the uphill, but I still lost my legs on it and ran using mostly arm strength for the next 15-16 kilometres. Still, we got to go through a favela at the top of the hill and I really enjoyed that, seeing the people and interacting with them.
The downhill was very welcome, though my leg muscles were really throbbing at this point so the pounding was quite painful. At one point I saw a runner off to the side, obviously in exruciating pain, with two of his fellow runners tending to him. I thought of him often for the next several kilometres and how I was so fortunate not to be in pain like that.
From about the 32 to 40k mark we were back running along the water but in the area I was more familiar with. Here there was lots of support, but with the state my legs were in I was down to a run walk. Still going though. I somehow made it to the Windsor Atlantic, the 40k mark, and turned inland for the final stretch.
I do believe the course was long, by a significant margin. Nonetheless, I struggled but I made it to the finish line and got my fastest time since January 2009 by a margin of more than 10 minutes.
All the hard work paid off, I made it to the finish line and felt wonderful about it.
After the finish there was a really long single file corral to go through. The thing is I just needed to get off my legs but I had to wait in a long slow line behind other runners getting food and water. My stomach couldn’t take anything but I still couldn’t get past them so that was frustrating. Also, to get your bags from bag check you had to walk literally almost another kilometre. I was in so much pain that I felt that was unnecessarily cruel, especially because there was so much room closer to the start where they could have stopped anywhere.
Fortunately we were able to snag a cab back to the hotel, despite the massive throng of marathoners who went across the street from the finish to one particular pub. We weren’t sure why but they all seemed to be having a blast.
We waited for weeks after the race for an email about where we could see our race pictures, there’d been photographers all along, and when we never received anything I contacted the race organizers. They wrote me back explaining that you had to go to the Facebook page of one of their sponsors to get the pictures. I don’t understand why wouldn’t have been advised of that. On the plus side, they gave us all the photos for free and there were lots of them!
Overall, a great experience, though the organization isn’t yet quite to the standards of the world’s big marathons. Still, there are some points on which they really do shine and I’m confident they have the potential to make this a world class event.
Lets do the time warp
Going to break this review down into two parts - The city of Rio and the race... Part 1 - the city of Rio Spent 4 days in the city … MORE
Going to break this review down into two parts – The city of Rio and the race…
Part 1 – the city of Rio
Spent 4 days in the city – sightseeing and running the race. Stayed right on Copacabana beach. The city itself is like a resort city with hidden secrets. The people were great but the infrastructure and city are like the US stuck in the 1980’s. Internet works some of the time, buildings are in dire need of upgrades – well taken care of but as I said – stuck in the 80’s. The people on the beach seemed always ready to party and have a good time but in a Don Johnson sort of way. Half expected to see the cast of Miami Vice pull up in there turquoise shirts and white leisure suits and break into a version of ‘Lets do the Time Warp’ from Rocky Horror Picture Show. The beaches are great if you don’t mind the fact that you can only use about one tenth of them. The water around the rest are to polluted for use. They are working on it fixing it but in a very slow and South American way (slow but steady – not for the type ‘a’ personalities)
Part 2 – The race
Expo and packet pick up – boring but effective. Nothing bad or good to report
The race start – PLEASE FIX. No corrals and 6,000 people lined up to start. Just a ready set go and everybody off and walking / running. Slow people in front, fast people in back. What a mess
The course – I guess I am becoming jaded but thought the course was very boring and average. A mix of beaches and inter parts of Rio. Advertised as flat but nasty little 3 miles of hills from about miles 14 – 17. Run well but please add a water stop somewhere between miles 18 and 24 when people need it most
Final thoughts – Okay city and marathon – do it once and call it a day.
If you want to do a water front marathon that crushes this save your time and money and do Big Sur.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
First of all, you are in Rio de Janeiro. Second of all, the marathon takes you along some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Forget that it is … MORE
First of all, you are in Rio de Janeiro. Second of all, the marathon takes you along some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Forget that it is run in the southern hemispheres winter months. This ensures cooler temps. The race itself was well organized. Plenty of water and electrolyte stops. Not a large contingent of spectators, but enough to motivate one to continue running. The first 8 miles is run on cobblestone which was difficult, but once you survive that, the rest is run on paved roads. Big enough of a race to always have another runner close by, but small enough that you have plenty of room to move about. The expo was scary. Too many vendors packed into a very small area. Seemed confusing and I grabbed my race packet and bolted as did many people in our group.
Fun in the sun in Rio!
If you're looking for a South American marathon to run, give Rio a try... the course is very scenic and Rio is a great place to relax after it's over. … MORE
If you’re looking for a South American marathon to run, give Rio a try… the course is very scenic and Rio is a great place to relax after it’s over. You’ll be bussed out to the starting line in a beachside community that’s a little west of Rio… then you’ll run along the coastline the entire way back to Rio… with great views of the ocean, waves, and surfers almost the entire way. There’s one decent sized hill around Mile 17 that can catch you off guard, since most of the course is flat… but otherwise, it’s a good opportunity to turn out a pretty quick time. Even though the race takes place during the winter in Brazil, it can still end up being warm and humid on race, so be sure to take plenty of liquids along the way.