Mérida hosted its official marathon Sunday as part of celebrations to commemorate the 480th anniversary of the city’s foundation.
The Monumento a la Patria on Paseo de Montejo served as both the start and endpoint for the race which started on time at 5 a.m.
The event kicked off with fireworks and saw competitors run throughout the city, including several Centro neighborhoods.
Up until the moment the starting gun went off, many athletes had expressed concern regarding whether or not the event would actually take place — given the recent dramatic rise in COVID-19 infections.
Most participants wore face masks when huddled together in anticipation for the start, but then removed them as the footrace began.
The winner of the marathon was Erick Monyenye, a Kenyan national who completed the 42.2-kilometer circuit in two hours, 32 minutes, and one second.
The event was without controversy, as it was officially announced less than one month beforehand.
“Less than a month is nowhere near enough to prepare, even if you train year-round. Anything less than three is downright dangerous and disrespectful to the athletes,” said a local runner, Lupita Alfaro.
Also causing murmurs among the runners were complaints about insufficient hydration and poor signage — which apparently caused a Kenyan athlete to veer off course and cost her a likely win.