I’m a first time runner can I still finish?
Absolutely. This is a community race, you are running with others, for others. If you need to walk then walk, take in the sites enjoy the atmosphere, this is about the power of running not the power of a fast time. There are easier courses but if you take on the challenge forget about your miles splits and soak in that finishing line feeling you’ll have the experience of a lifetime
Colombia, Santa Marta is super hot and hilly - what is the course like.
There’s no doubt this will be a new running challenge, the race starts high up in the hills and it will get progressively hotter up to c 35 Celsius. It will be a big factor but we’ve not gone extreme here with our course. The profile of the run is between 1200m at the start all the way down to a sea level finish. Overall, on the marathon, you will have climbed around 1500m but it is still a net down hill race. Since you will be arriving on the Monday, you will have a full 5 days to acclimatise to the heat. We have a number of running and medical experts on hand to talk you through preparation. Prepare well and you’ll have nothing to fear.
What if I’m unable to finish the race?
We will give each marathon runner 8 hours to complete the course. This equates to running at 18 minute per mile. At this time we will collect any runners who are still out on the course and bring them back to HQ with plenty of water and hugs. If at any point you wish to stop, just make it to the next aid station to inform one of our marshals or, if you want to stop right there, let a fellow runner know to inform a marshal. There will be marathon staff roving the course to ensure everyone’s well being.
Will there be medical support?
We have partnered with the heroes at Exile Medics to ensure your safety. We aren’t exaggerating here - these guys are fully qualified doctors working in the UK, they use their own holiday time and pay their way to be involved in the experience. Not only will they be there for you on race day but throughout your time on campsite. They’ll also be using their skills to benefit the local community. See.. Heroes!
In the worst cases, we have both ground and air support to get you to the nearest appropriate medical facility.
Are there water stations along the way?
Water stations will be roughly every 5 kms. They will be stocked with water and bananas. If you have particular energy bars and drinks that you love then bring them along with you. Needless to say, the shops of Santa Marta are not stocked up on those tasty Rhubarb & Custard Torq energy gels! We advise runners to carry water and nutrition with them in a Camelbak or similar set-up - it’s a tough course after all.
What will the weather be like during the race week?
It is summer every day in Santa Marta. It is rare to find a day less than 30 Celcius - and even rarer to find a day with rain. But it does happen so be ready with a waterproof. You’ll not need extra clothing though, it’s super hot!
What is the risk of trouble in Colombia?
We are an Impact Marathon and this means we are in places that need our support. We take the security of our runners insanely seriously, it’s what enables us to operate in such amazing locations. From a secure camp to all the project visits subjected to a risk assessment, if we feel a need to bump up security we will. However, we have been blown away by the enthusiasm and support from the entire community. You will find that the reality of a war everyday is no longer something that troubles Colombia. This is not an episode of Narcos, this is not what you have read in books - this is a peaceful beautiful nation full of pride and love. You’ll going to love it here!
The mission of the Colombia Marathon is to empower the runners to connect understand and feel the value of their contribution.
We’ve teamed up with United Nations to select 3 Global Goals that are prevalent in Colombia so all you need to do is:
Choose the Goal - that you are most passionate about and within that we have partnered with a number of charities working on the front line
Choose your target - the power is in your hands, how much do you want to raise...once you see the power of your efforts we know you’ll raise even more once you return home.
Visit, Learn, Engage: During your experience you will visit and meet with these guys.
So there’s no minimum fundraising target?
In line with empowering the runners, after you have selected the cause you select your target. What are you passionate about? What do you want to raise?
If you don’t know how much is realistic then start with £1000. You will hit this and far more! We’ll teach you how to exceed this target, your connection directly to the results and the ridiculous nature of the challenge will ensure you are blown away by the support from your community back home!
What else is there to do in Colombia?
That’s a big question; it is truly the most remarkable country and no amount of time is enough to see everything on offer. So, we’re taking the hard work out of this for you.
After race day we will have 6 add-on packages for you to choose from to make your trip to Colombia even more exceptional. From trekking to the Lost City, to exploring the stunning cobbled streets of Cartagena or the endlessly fascinating graffiti of Bogota - we have you covered.
When should I book my flights then?
https://www.studentuniverse.co.uk/travel-services/impactmarathon These are our main guys! They have all the flights at the best prices and will ensure your trip to and from Colombia is taken care of. If you arrive on Monday 13th February, the only thing you should worry about is how big a hug you are going to give…we’ll be there to pick you up.
If you choose a different day we will ensure a taxi is at the airport, however please be aware this will be an additional cost for you at around $30
Where are we staying?
You’ll be staying in a beautiful spot not too far from Santa Marta. With a mixture of Hammocks, Dormitories with bunk beds, Swimming Pools and amazing jungle setting you’ll be super happy and comfortable here.
What's on the menu?
There will be a mix of both local cooking as well as some of your old Western favourites.
More to follow closer to the time
Don’t worry, let us know and we will sort it.
Is there electricity?
The campsite will be fully provided with electricity for all your charging needs. However, please ensure you bring a head torch with you.
In addition there is a media room where you can charge your laptops and tablets. Please be aware that there may be times where this is not possible. So don’t forget to have a beer and enjoy the view instead.
General Colombia & Travel Info - How do I sort out my Visa?
All foreign nationals require a visa to enter Colombia. Getting a visa at the airport is pretty painless but do check your own national entry requirements before travel.
The following fees in US dollars cash:
Multi-Entry Visa: $80
Do I need travel insurance?
YES! Do not even think about stepping on that plane without it. We’ve made this nice and easy though as we have teamed up with Sports Cover Direct so that you are fully covered for Colombia Marathon (The package is specifically designed for your activities with us...It’s rare to find standard travel insurance cover you for a full marathon). We’ll let you know when this is available as they are designing it just for you!
All our packages are covered and regulated by ‘ABTOT’ through our partner Inspire Ventures Limited. However, as stated above, it is obligatory for you to arrange your own personal travel insurance.
We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation.
What is not included in that amazingly low price of yours?
Flights to & from Santa Marta
Personal travel insurance
Personal spending money & tips
Alcohol and Incidentals
Do I need lots of jabs?
Alas, we are no medics so please consult your travel nurse and or your GP for relevant vaccination.