It's time to head down to South America for a running tour of Uruguay with our local guide, Edgar!
Tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with running?
My name is Edgar, I am originally from Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay but I now live in the capital, Montevideo.
I began my running life on the track, competing in 800m and 1500m events. As I grow older, I have become more interested in the endurance events and races of up to 10 km although I still stay mostly on the track. Currently, I would say that my speciality is 10 km, but I have aspirations to make the leap to longer distances soon.
Describe the running culture in Uruguay?
Running has grown a lot in recent years in Uruguay. Each city has several groups of runners. They come together to train and make trips to other cities to compete in popular races. There are many people practicing the sport in the country, mostly to stay in good health but also to participate in as many popular races as possible.
Where are the best places to run in Uruguay?
As I currently live in Montevideo, I'm going to choose two routes from there and one from my home city, Paso de los Toros.
Rambla de Montevideo
The first is the Rambla de Montevideo. With a completely flat route of more than 20 km (the longest continuous sidewalk in the world) and incredible views of the sea, it is undoubtedly the favourite route of local and foreign runners who visit us.
Cerro de Montevideo
Another interesting route is the Cerro de Montevideo, this is the place runners choose to experience some elevation, although the maximum is 250 metres of elevation, as Uruguay is characterised by being flat, this is an excellent place for a climb. The views from the top are unmissable. The third, in my home city, is the route that connects Paso de los Toros with Rincon del Bonete. It is a 13 kms undulating route which make it the preferred option for runners and cyclists in Paso de los Toros.
Are you a member of a running club in Uruguay?
Yes, I am part of the group of runners called Mauro Cardozo. The group was created in the memory and honour of a talented local runner who unfortunately no longer accompanies us physically, but remains present through this group.
We are all over Uruguay. Although we are not a big club, all our members are passionate to run for the yellow shirt, bull logo, and in the name of this great athlete and better person.
Where is the best place to buy running gear in Uruguay?
There are no stores that specialise in running. Some general sport shops include running items, these are MVD Sport and Macri Sport Life in Montevideo.
Tell us about the best local races in Uruguay?
Corrida Internacional de San Fernando
One of the best races for me is the popular race of Corrida Internacional de San Fernando. It has 5km and 10km options and is a race that attracts international participants. I had the opportunity to run in the 2020 edition along with almost 4000 runners.
It's a magnificent tour of the Rambla de Punta del Este, the main seaside resort on the Uruguayan east coast. The event takes place on the first days of January so it's an ideal opportunity to spend a few days at the beach and participate in the race.
Doble San Antonio
Another interesting race is the Doble San Antonio. It is a popular race with a distance of 8km, also in one of the main Uruguayan coastal resorts, in this case, the city of Piriápolis. The interesting thing about this race is that it takes place on a steep hill which makes it very hard for runners, but like the previous one, it is ideal for a few days relaxing on the beach and doing some pleasant running.
Maratón de Montevideo
One of the most important races in Uruguay is the Montevideo Marathon. This is another race that is international in it's nature and provides a wonderful tour of the legendary Rambla de Montevideo, ending in the centre of the city.
So far I have only been a spectator at this event, but I hope to participate soon!
Can you recommend a local dish/venue to eat after a long run or race in Uruguay?
After a demanding race, it's impossible to refuse a barbecue with roast beef and a cold beer. Almost certainly there will be several options of this type near the race . If you prefer, you can go for empanadas that will have a variety of fillings: meat, chicken , cheese, bacon, and others. In case you want something smaller, but just as traditional, you will not miss the stalls selling the popular Uruguayan tortas fritas (fried cakes), a delight that goes well with everything: coffee, tea, and of course with the popular Uruguayan mate!
Thanks to Edgar for sharing the running culture in Uruguay with us!
One last thing...
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