As I noted in this blog post about traveling in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, I recently ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Santiago Half Marathon. This event makes Chile the most recent destination conquered on my quest to run the world and country # 43 of #MoniqueRuns50!
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Santiago, the capital and largest city in Chile, is situated in a valley enclosed by the Chilean Coast Range and Andes Mountains. While the city has numerous historical and architectural landmarks, the event took place in a business park away from downtown and the more touristic areas, so was not one to do for its sightseeing potential.
6,000 people participated in the 2nd edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Santiago Half Marathon, which was originally scheduled for late 2019, however, due to the protests that had begun a few weeks before the event’s original date was postponed. The substituted date was mid-March 2020, a time when not just Chile, but the world was experiencing another upheaval – COVID-19. Because of the protests and the Coronavirus situation, I’d been keeping an eye on what was happening in Chile in the weeks and days leading up to RnR Santiago. Since Chile was categorized as low risk and there was nothing on the race website that suggested they were even considering canceling so in the end, I felt pretty confident about traveling to participate in the race.
The opening act of RnR Santiago was the two-day expo where participants picked up their race kits and also had the opportunity to visit a number of athletic vendors and just to get into the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon state of mind.
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On race day after a lively pre-race warm-up, participants gathered at the starting line for the 3K Fun Run, 5K Family Run, 10K and the main event, the half marathon. As is standard with Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon events, live bands – many dressed as, shall we say, NOT “live” bands – kept runners rocking along the course.
Pacers were on hand to help runners reach the finish line at their desired times, and hydration stands were situated approximately every 3-4 kilometers. I should also note that while there wasn’t a lot of hysteria regarding Coronavirus when I was in Santiago, the race organization did take some precautions, including volunteers stationed outside of the porta-potties were armed with hand wipes and all the volunteers at the hydration stops wore gloves and masks.
After crossing the finish line and being presented with our medals we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the greats of rock and pop and were then treated to a concert by God Save the Queen, a Queen tribute band from Argentina to which we were allotted two additional tickets to invite family or friends.
Though it’s a relatively new event RnR Santiago was well organized, and on brand with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series. The live bands and “celebrity” spectators made up for the slightly boring course around the business park, and the Coronavirus safety precautions taken by the organization were commendable.
I was pretty happy with the race swag bag, which included an official race t-shirt, the bag itself and the previously mentioned concert tickets, including two additional tickets for guests. The medal was cool, though I must admit I gave it a side-eye when I noticed that the date on the medal was that of the originally scheduled event.
In the end, I would recommend it. It’s a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series and the formula works. It was the 6th one I’ve done (Portugal and Nice Carnaval (both now defunct), Madrid, Mexico, Dublin) and with 25 races around the world – and growing – I’m sure I’ll do more.
How to Register
If you’re interested in participating in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Santiago Half Marathon or any of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon events, visit the website for dates and details.
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