Sacatepequez , Guatemala

Guatemala Impact Marathon 2025

Sculpt the young leaders of a nation and run our most iconic course

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Overview

The 2025 Edition will be our 7th race and our return to Guatemala. Our iconic race route on Pacaya Volcano will be the climax of a truly powerful and remarkable week.

Highlights

01 The Athletes' Village

02 Serious Impact

03 Race the Live Volcano!

04 Incredible Guatemala

01 The Athletes' Village

Our Athletes' Village is nestled in the heart of Antigua Guatemala, a stunning colonial city recognised worldwide and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inspired by Guatemalan art, the village features traditional styling and offers exceptional views of the volcanoes which can be seen from our gardens. This picturesque setting will be your home for the week.

02 Serious Impact

At the heart of the Impact experience is our charity partner, SERES, whose efforts are dedicated to empowering Guatemalan youth. Learn how they equip young people with the essential knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and support necessary to thrive as adults, enjoy good health, succeed economically, and contribute meaningfully to their communities.

03 Race the Live Volcano!

Take on the epic 2000m climb up to the crater of an active volcano (alt 2400m). Run over lava fields and feel the rumble of the earth beneath your feet! There's nothing like this race route. Simply nothing! From the challenging Finca Section that winds its way through the small farms that call the volcano home; to the craters of Pacaya Volcano bubbling and growling away as you climb to the summit; through to the utterly outstanding lava field section that is the closest you can ever feel to running on the moon whilst here on earth.

04 Incredible Guatemala

Prepare to be captivated by the unique charm of Guatemala, a country that consistently astonishes and delights our Impact Runners. This race isn't just about the challenge; it's about the deep connection and lasting impression that Guatemala leaves on everyone who visits. From its stunning landscapes to its vibrant culture, Guatemala is a nation that will have you wondering why you didn't visit sooner.

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Race Routes

10km  - I 'Finca' That's Enough

10km - I 'Finca' That's Enough

A truly spectacular route that offers a little bit of everything. Starting inside Finca El Amate, you'll cross the lava fields, run through the beautiful pineapple fields, and enter the Los Pocitos community. Here, you'll experience a bit of road running as you make your way down to the vast lava field that covers the southern side of Pacaya Volcano. Since it's an out-and-back route, make sure to high-five and share a sweaty hug with those you pass along the way.

21km - I 'Lava' This Race

21km - I 'Lava' This Race

An iconic race route that takes in the entire southern lava field—it's like running on the moon! You'll have a fast first few kilometers as you head down through the Los Pocitos community towards the lava field. You'll follow the trail right across the hardened lava and up 'The Wall'. This long hill winds upward on black sand through fincas, communities, and forest trails. Each time you look up, you'll see gases emitting, and you might even hear the rumble of the crater that sits above your head. This route is tough, but with our generous cut-offs, it's entirely achievable.

42km - The Beast of Pacaya

42km - The Beast of Pacaya

Beast by name and nature, the full marathon distance is truly a spectacular and challenging route. You will dig deep within yourself to reach the finish line, but the rewards are even more profound. With our generous cut-offs, the route may be tough, but it is possible to pace yourself well to the finish line. The highlight, after a long climb, is the ridgeline around an ancient crater near the summit of Pacaya Volcano. Just above your head is the active McKinney crater—you'll hear the rumbles, maybe see some lava rocks tumbling out, and before you know it, you're heading down back towards the finish line. This route is to be treasured and will be the highlight of your running life, a race unlike any other found across the globe.

Schedule

Day 1 - 24th February

¡Bienvenidos!

Welcome to Guatemala Impact Marathon!

After your flight arrives in Guatemala City, you’ll be whisked to our Athletes' Village, a short drive from the UNESCO World Heritage town of Antigua. Here you’ll get to know your fellow travellers while enjoying an evening of amazing Guatemalan food, and you'll begin to learn more about what you'll be experiencing this week. We like to keep much of the week’s activities a surprise, so we’ll be revealing lots more over a glass of beer this evening.

To Ulew we go...

We are heading off early in the morning to Ulew Fuego, the land owned by SERES, which is open for community leaders, youth, and professionals to learn and teach sustainable techniques to others. This initiative helps generate jobs and income for the surrounding communities. You’ll spend the core of the day understanding and working with SERES on this land, so you can experience firsthand where your fundraising efforts are going.

Hola Artistas de el Astillero

We will be visiting a tiny community outside of the amazing and tourist Antigua Guatemala - Artistas del Astillero - an organisation that provides art lessons and hands on experiences for children in the community. You'll have the opportunity to learn more about the challenges the community faces and how Aura, the founder, is tackling education, health, finance with children from 4 - 12 years old. 

Coffee, Culture, & Context

Now, our final story is one that perhaps Guatemala is most famous for: COFFEE! We will be visiting a plantation, learning about the process of growing, harvesting, and roasting the beans as well as the socio-economic and environmental challenges faced by growers. This day brings together trade, coffee, and history, weaving them into the narrative we’ve been building over the past few days. Through this experience, we will gain a deeper appreciation for the intricate balance between tradition and innovation, and the way these play out when faced with the headwinds of geopolitics, and climate change.It’s a fitting conclusion to our Impact Week, encapsulating the essence of Guatemala's rich cultural heritage and its ongoing journey towards sustainable development.

Camping under the stars

Today is our rest day so, after a gentle morning, we will be heading across the country to the start line of our race route! We'll arrive to Finca El Amate through the afternoon. You'll have time to walk the lava fields, get a feel of what is it like to run on them. You'll have time to explore, take photos that aren't you being a sweaty mess. You'll have time to do some yoga under the shadow of a volcano that is actively pumping gas and lava above your heads... and then we get to camp! There's nothing like opening that tent on race day morning, seeing the volcano ahead of you and knowing that in a very rare moment, that you are literally 50 meters from the start line and you can get the time to get ready. This is a majestic climax to the week a treat and we know you are going to love it! 

Run the live volcano

The moment has come. Start line, time to run together, as a community in one of the world’s most outstanding locations. The magic of race day: Get ready for a remarkable finish line moment as you take the final steps of the hardest race of your life. And at that finish line, we’ll have a huge welcome home for you. Party into the night, you deserve it...

Homecoming

The race is over and you’ll have the usual aches and pains to remind you. To take your mind off it we have organised some incredible experiences that show you the very best that Guatemala has to offer.

Alternatively, and reluctantly, we will let you return home! We will be hosting an afterparty for all the team, volunteers, Guatemalteco runners and, of course, you are most welcome up to Earthlodge to join us as a beautiful finale to an amazing week.

What's Included

Accommodation
Transport during Impact Week (excluding airport transfer)
Race entry
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Iconic Handmade Medal
Impact Stash
Entry to National Park
Entry to Finca El Amate
Sunset Yoga
Impact Itinerary
Project Visits
24/7 Team Impact Support
Race Training Plan
Welcome Beers & Guatemala Gin
Outrageous Race Photos
Lifelong friends & memories for a lifetime!
Flights
Alcohol, snacks, refreshments
Visa
Airport transfers
Travel insurance
Mobile data
Souvenirs
Tips
Bespoke Race Coaching

Blog

Take a look

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Tue 20 Feb 2024 · Liza Kershaw

2025 Guatemala Impact Marathon: A Thoughtful Stride into the Future

With our most popular local race returning in 2025, here's a look into what we are doing to make it the most powerful event yet...

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Fri 16 Feb 2024 · Liza Kershaw

impact stories: how to be powerful

season 3 | episode 1

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Mon 26 Feb 2024 · Liza Kershaw

impact stories: the power of unity

2 races | 2 weeks | 2 very different finish lines

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Mon 18 Mar 2024 · Nick Kershaw

impact stories: guatemala beyond the headlines

When they go low - we go high. After receiving some online abuse aimed at our Guatemalan team members, we wrote and recorded this.

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Fri 23 Jun 2023 · Nick Kershaw

Exploring the Enchanting History of Antigua: Our Home for the 7th Guatemala Impact Marathon

We have moved our Athletes' Village right into the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage town of Antigua - here's why!

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Tue 29 Aug 2023 · Nick Kershaw

A Beginner's Guide to International Marathons: Why Start with Guatemala

Considering your first international marathon? How about broadening your horizons to a race that offers more than just miles and medals? Welcome to Guatemala, a destination that will redefine your running experience in the most fulfilling way.

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Thu 20 Feb 2020

Guatemala Impact Marathon: From dream to reality

Orginally, we were looking at The Global Goals and pinpointing place the right communities to tell specific stories that we wanted to tell. That just shows how naive we were back then - and it was in the planning of our Guatemala race that we realised that the Impact platform only becomes powerful when communities tell their story, not the other way round.

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Mon 8 Jun 2020

What's in a medal? The story behind an Impact medal

When we started out, we knew that in order to mark the completion of what is likely to be one of the hardest race of each runner’s life, we would need something pretty special. A momento to be treasured, displayed with pride, and that innately tells the story of the community.

Team

3 Nations united to change Guatemala

The team in Guatemala has evolved to be powerful unit brought together by shared values, committed friendships, and an authentic vision for hosting this event. 


Impact Week Lead - Dave Melody.

Race Day Lead - Alma Quilo.

Commercial Lead - Pablo Jelkmann.

Nutrition & Culture - Adriana Jump.

 

We cannot wait to host you in this extraordinary country, and weave together an experience you simply could not have any other way.

Team

The Impact

The Impact

We support those crazy enough to think they can change their communities. We have two projects we passionately believe have the power to change lives. At Impact HQ, we believe in blending the long-term systemic change, with powerful short-term impact. You'll learn more about our two partner organisation as you begin your fundraising and, of course, throughout the Impact Week itself.

SERES

Our long-time partners, SERES have been with us since the first time we visited the country. A female-led group of remarkable humans. They are dedicated to the patient, sometimes challenging goal of changing the future of a nation, one community at a time. Indeed, one leader at a time. They support youth to find their voice, find their audience, and instigate sustainable change. The centrepiece of their work is Ulew Fuego, a biodiverse piece of land on the slopes of the volcano where a leadership training centre has now been built. This year, we are launching Ulew Sports to harness the power of trail running in the leadership training process - yes, trail running is going to change even more lives, and your support makes that happen!

Artistas de El Astillero

This was a new partner, brought to us by Pablo for the 2023 race. After two short meetings with the leader Aura, we were blown away. Passion, convicition, and determination pour forth in every single word, and every single action. Artistas de El Astillero Cultural project focuses on children, youth and adults, from a community with limited resources. This is a community that lies just above Antigua, yet wasn't even on Google Maps prior to 2023. We will be walking to the project and spending time supporting the power of art in the lives of this amazing group of children. If ever you want to see the impact of every single $, this is it.

FAQs

An Impact Marathon is not just a race. It is a life-changing experience. For one week, you will be taken into the Impact Family, meet people from all over the world united in a movement to change the world for the better, through the power of running.

There are two options for accommodation: 

Summit Camp - This will be our standard package going forward in Guatemala. You'll get a beautiful twin/double room right in the heart of Antigua. If you've signed up with a friend, or partner, you'll be sharing here. If you've signed up solo, then you'll be sharing with another Impact Runner - lifelong friends will be made! When we head to the night of camping, you'll be sharing a two-man tent. 


Quetzal Camp - This is our single supplement option. You'll have the same room as Summit Camp, but all to yourself. When we head to the night of camping, you'll also have your own tent ahead of race day.

We have a race goal that all Impact Runners work towards! This is not an arbitrary number, it is created in partnership with the charities we support in order to achieve a specific goal. This normally averages just over £1000 per Impact Runner, however you can select a target that challenges, excites, and motivates you. We do not set a minimum individual target.

International flights, airport transfers, travel insurance, rest day lunch, visa and alcohol/snacks. 

If you are a citizen or resident in Guatemala, we open up race only registrations in July/August for this. We have grown to be the 2nd largest trail race in the nation, and we are incredibly proud to be the only international trail organisation in the nation.

It's tough.

Make no mistake about it. In every metric, our full marathon is one of the hardest races in the world. But that only tells half the story. We are incredibly proud of the inclusive energy generated at every Impact Marathon. Come as you are. 


If this is your first race, or you are joining your partner on this crazy adventure - then you can pick the 10km or 21km and run as much as you can. We welcome those who need to walk a bit (literally everyone on this route, at some point). And we create generous cut-offs that not only keep you safe, but allow you the chance to complete the most challenge race of your life. 


As a team, we look to get you to that finish, not pull you off the course. For that reason, and with our experience knowing every single element of the route, you are guaranteed the most memorable race of your life - no matter how experienced a trail runner you are.

Yes and yes. 

There are water stations every 3-6km across the entire route. We have experiences medics around the route, lots of food, and even women's sanitary products at every station (Check out our SheRaces policy!)


The course is marked throughout, and we will give you all a GPX to add to your watch. For the main, there is one trail that you follow, and can't go wrong.

Guatemala Impact Marathon 2025

Guatemala February 24 - March 2 2025 6 nights

From $1,871.67/pp

Book Now