The Riviera Maya Medio Maraton (or Riviera Maya Half Marathon) is now an annual event in Playa Del Carmen. This event takes place in October of each year and features three distances to run, 5k, 10k, and 21k. The race always starts from the Palacio Municipal on 20th Avenue and 8th Street in the center of Playa Del Carmen. It goes north to Grand Coral development and into the golf course there and then back down famous 5th Avenue to the Palacio Municipal again. It is a fast course and almost entirely flat. We sent out our staff to participate in this run to bring you this story and tips for running it.
The half marathon is a great event to have in Playa Del Carmen because the emphasis is on fitness and enjoying the outside. All ages and fitness levels are able to participate. Since this event takes place in October it is perfect training for the other races in the Yucatan Peninsula like the Cancun Marathon in December and Cozumel’s Ironman in late Novermber. Running events in the past few years have multiplied in quantity in and around Playa Del Carmen. Now we have many events that usually take place in the cooler months from October-April. Such races as the color race( with power paint), neon race, zombie race and the more serious half marathon are now just some of the running events that are in Playa Del Carmen.
October is usually a perfect time to run in Playa Del Carmen. The average temperature in October is between 25-31 Celsius or 77-87 Fahrenheit. Of course the race starts so early that is always a nice fresh start.Why not plan coming next year to participate? For more information on running in Playa Del Carmen, either living here or as a tourist, check out our article here.
Tips for running the half marathon in Playa Del Carmen
-Race packages are usually picked up the day before the race. If you are coming from out of town make sure you can be there or have someone pick up your shirt, number and electric timer band.
-Think ahead about parking. Much of the nearby area of the Palacio Municipal will be closed off. Many people park in Walmart or Aki grocery store parking lots. These can get full so make sure you allow enough time to arrive and park.
-Don’t wear anything new that you are not used to wearing. If you are running the 21k then a new pair of shoes or shorts might start to bother you and take away from the enjoyment of the race.
-Make sure you wear sunglasses. Even though the race starts at 6:00am the sun will rise fast and parts of the race you will be running into the sun.
-Start slower than you want to. This might see odd when doing a race but it really works. If you are running the 21k then you have a lot of time to move forward. Pacing yourself is key and saving energy for the second half is key.
-Know the course before hand. When you know where you are going it makes it easier to pace yourself and you can mentally go through the course in your head beforehand.
-You have about an hour or two of running time and you can get board. Entertain yourself by looking forward. Select a runer in front of you and see if you can pass them. Then select another person and keep trying to move ahead to challenge yourself.
-There are water stations throughout the course. Usually the first one is the most crowded and everyone tries to get water. Know your body and be able to skip a water station to save time if it is busy.
-Make sure you go to the bathroom before the race. (There are not a lot of places to go during the event) If you normally go to the bathroom in the morning you might want to alter your eating the day before so you can go early before the race. Usually a little coffee helps you go. It is normal to feel a little excited before a race. Once you start running the sensation of having to pee goes away and your body focuses on the running.
-Always have a purpose for running. It may be to prove to yourself that you can do it, or for your best time, or to start a new fitness level in life. Remember your reason while running to motivate you.
-There are not too many people along the course to cheer you on like other races. It will not be until you get to the center of Playa and run down 5th Avenue when you get the cheering section. Let this energize you and finish strong.
-Have a reward waiting for you at the end. There will be snacks of fruit and drinks but maybe you will want to go out for brunch on 5th Avenue with friends afterward.
Have a great race everyone!