Maraton de La Paz
28 May, 2015 | Valeria Wilde
PHOTO: VALERIA WILDE
Christian Conitzer is a scientist, a cyclist and a dreamer who never lost sight of his goal: keeping the Marathon of La Paz alive. In 2012 and 2013, the first and second marathons of La Paz were organised by a cement manufacturer, Soboce, bringing together around 2000 runners each year. Running at 3600 meters above sea level on La Paz’s varied terrain, was a true privilege to those who were lucky enough to take part of the first two races. In 2014, the Marathon of La Paz was cancelled, mainly due to two reasons; Soboce was sold to Peruvian businessmen, who decided not to endorse the event; and local authorities did not grant permission for the most important race of the country to take place.
Faced with this situation, Conitzer was courageous enough to organise the marathon himself. He gained the support of several sponsors and advertised via Facebook and other means. In contrast to previous years, where the number of runners was in the thousands, in 2014, 157 people signed up and only 72 actually participated. Conitzer ended paying for the unused t-shirts and medals out if his own pocket.
With the help of some friends, Conitzer managed to mark every kilometre of the route, ensure that participants were kept hydrated, and even offer prizes to those finishing first.
The runners that took part in this third edition of the La Paz Marathon gave testament to the fact that it was an unforgettable experience and were very grateful to the organiser who, in spite of all the obstacles, accepted the challenge and gave rise to a true family of marathon-runners.