It is not very often that you get the opportunity to run up an active volcano and when you do, I can confirm, it is truly EPIC……….here are my Top 4 Reason Why:
Impact Marathon Series organise events that create positive change for communities around the world, as well as designing courses in the most epic of locations, this time Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala.
It is pretty rare experience to realise the power of the earth on which we live, and our own vulnerability as an individual, and as a species. It is in this moment of vulnerability that we also feel an immense sense of responsibility to protect this earth - and to feel that in the middle of a running race is an even more rare expereince The route is incredible, as a runner it is challenging, stimulating and completely different to running anywhere else on the planet. All of your senses are on edge as your body is aware that you are running in the shadow of a volcano.
It is the perfect place to let your imagination go wild as you run up and down the side of the volcano and through the lava fields. As an avid Lord of the Rings fan I could picture Samwise and Frodo conquering Mount Doom and overcoming the most difficult of challenges. I was transported away from the mundane, from pounding pavements, from office politics, from my own personal challenges, into a wonderfully unique world where I could be anything and achieve anything. The vast landscape and daunting climb are the perfect settings to put your mind in to a new gear and set about completing your quest, whatever that word means to you right now.
As mentioned, Pacaya is currently active, very active, and it was breath-taking, as we hit the high point of our course, to watch a small amount of lava stream down from the crater above, to feel the rumbling of the ground and this the bright red glow added to the sense of adventure and other worldliness (don’t worry the Impact team works hand in hand with the parks to monitor the volcano for any major eruptions). The real fun begins as you make your way down the side of the volcano, a chance to relive your days as a youngster, running with no worries down a winding path. As you let go and fly down the twists and turns of the descent, each step on the black rock causing dust to fly up in your wake.
4. One Small Step for the Impact Runner
Mesmerised by the active crater
Running through the lava fields is probably as close as you can come to running on the moon, the black charcoal rock jagged on either side creating a strange sense of unfamiliarity yet a desire to go on and explore. All around you, as far as you can see, the moonscape stretches out and beckons you forward - deeper into the unknown, the barren, the heat. This heat and sense of danger are soon forgotten once you are saluted by local villagers going about their daily tasks, their smiles and greetings of ‘hola’ help you settle in to your stride and remember what Impact Marathon Series is all about, creating a positive change through the power of running.
Guatemala Impact takes place in March and we still have a very small amount of spots left in our Athletes’ Village.
Testing out our new Salomon kit
See you on the lava fields…