If you like nature and you like running, then the North Face Adventure Marathon is an event too good to be missed. It takes place in Pance, southern Cali on August 30th, 2015. Cali is the sports capital of Colombia and there are a ton of different races here, but nothing like this one. It going to be tough. There will be no little skinny African finishing the race here in 2 hours. People on the 42 km. distance are required to bring headlamp and survival blankets in case they don’t make it to the finish line before night time arrives. The race starts at 7:00am and it gets dark at 6:00pm here. That gives you 11 hours of daylight. Last weekend I did a 21 km. run with a group of friends, who are very capable runners, in the same area. It took us 5 hours. At some point the inclination was 60 percent or more. That equates to taking ten steps forward with six of them being straight up. Like climbing a latter. Then try doubling up the distance, add in the fatigue plus the tropical climate with 32°C (90°F) temperatures and up 90% humidity, and you’ll quickly realize how hard this terrain is.
The scenery is amazing though. Pance is a nature lovers paradise with tropical jungle nestled in between rivers and the Andes Mountains. It is an altitude race and it will be very challenging for people who are not acclimated. Because Cali is already located at 1.000 meters (3.280 ft.) above sea level and the race takes place in the mountains, the trails could easily take you as high as 3.000 meters (9.842 ft.). I’ve climbed a peak in Pance (Pico Pance) measuring an impressive 4.200 meters (13.779 ft.) right next to these trails. We went up and down the same day, and for the last few hours of the ascend the altitude affected me a lot.
Three distances are available for the race. 16, 21 and 42 km. and there is a limited amount of open spots for each distance. The longest distance allow only 200 racers, probably because many of the trails are very narrow and it would create bottlenecks with too many people. For me, it’s the ultimate in trail running and I have already starting my training.
Check out their website linked above for more details and inscriptions. Hope to see you in the trails!