The cry of Spartan Race resounds in the Magical Town of Zacatlán
Published by Ana Jennifer de la Fuente on June 19, 2023
Zacatlán‘s picturesque Valle de las Piedras Encimadas provided the breathtaking backdrop for an exhilarating event on Saturday, June 17, as over 4,500 participants gathered to compete in the renowned Spartan Race.
The day commenced with an awe-inspiring ancestral ceremony, seeking permission from the sun, wind, and even Tezcatlipoca, before each category prepared themselves under the starting arch. As they received instructions, mimicking the Mexican Army sergeant Bravo, the competitors unleashed a resounding Spartan battle cry, signaling the start of their extraordinary journey.
Men and women of all ages embarked on either a 5 or 10-kilometer run, with or without obstacles. The event also catered to kids, first-time runners, and senior citizens, who garnered applause from the enthusiastic spectators.
In addition to enduring the challenging cross-country course under an unusually scorching sun, reaching temperatures of up to 28 degrees Celsius, the Spartans faced a series of demanding tasks. They navigated a small river, carried buckets of stones, engaged in shield exercises, crawled across a bridge, scaled triangular walls, lifted weights, hung from rings and chains, conquered the final wall, and triumphantly leaped over a blazing bonfire to complete the circuit.
If any obstacle proved insurmountable on the first attempt, the runners risked tumbling into a pool, emerging to perform push-ups as punishment.
Amidst the sweat-soaked efforts and splashes, the majority of competitors crossed the finish line drenched but determined. The resounding applause and encouraging cheers buoyed those who doubted their ability to complete the race in its final moments.
The sporting extravaganza officially commenced at 8 a.m. with the honoring of the Flag. State authorities, distinguished guests, and Zacatlán’s municipal president, José Luis (Pepé) Márquez Martínez, warmly welcomed the athletes and their companions.
Yadira Lira, the state secretary for sport, emphasized the significance of promoting physical activity not only for its health benefits but also for fostering family integration and social cohesion.
Marta Ornelas Guerrero, head of tourism in Puebla, highlighted the breathtaking beauty of the region, boasting over 400 hectares of wooded landscapes, which contribute to the region’s thriving ecotourism.
The presidium also included Beatriz Sánchez Márquez, president of the Zacatlán SMDIF; Ruth Zarate, local deputy; and Lorenzo Rivera, municipal president of Chignahuapan.
Looking ahead, Zacatlán will once again host an exciting sports tourism event in October. José Luis (Pepé) Márquez Martínez announced that national and international cyclists will convene in the Magical Town for the Ruta México date.
Sandra Escamilla, the municipal sports director, revealed that the cycling route will traverse various communities and auxiliary boards within the mountainous municipality. The anticipated event on October 29, 2023, will be marked by the distinctive cold weather and fog that the area is renowned for, attracting athletes from far and wide.
Just hours before Father’s Day celebrations, a heartwarming scene unfolded at the finish line. A Spartan participant, carrying her baby in her arms, carefully lowered her child a meter before crossing. However, the little girl hesitated to take the final step. Overwhelmed with support from the crowd, her father swiftly picked her up again, eliciting thunderous applause.
There were also participants who jubilantly completed the race alongside their four-legged companions, predominantly dogs who patiently awaited their caregivers’ triumphant arrival alongside their families.
Impressively, around twenty members of the Mexican Army participated in the race, emerging victorious in their respective categories.
As night fell, the center of Zacatlán became the hub for the grand award ceremony. The uniformed soldiers gathered with their fellow competitors for a memorable group photo, capturing the spirit of camaraderie and triumph.
With the resounding notes of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” accompanying a dazzling fireworks display, the exhilarating Spartan Race in Zacatlán reached its conclusion, leaving participants eagerly anticipating the next event at the Military College in Mexico City.
To assist competitors who sustained injuries during the race or those who found themselves depleted of energy, a dedicated tent provided a team of physiotherapists, paramedics, and trainers to offer wound care, bandaging, and massage therapy for the injured.
Outside the sports arena, ambulances were on standby to handle any emergencies, fortunately remaining unutilized throughout the event.
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