Crunch! Crunch! Inhale. Crunch! Crunch! Exhale. That’s the sound of this year’s Carrera de Todos Santos, the 5K Palapa Society benefit walk/run through the streets of this magical town scheduled for Saturday, December 30th.
The roots for this year’s Carrera de Todos Santos were planted in 2009, when a group of Todos Santos’ locals wanted to stage a 5K run to promote fitness while creating a fun event for the community. A course was selected using the streets of the pueblo and businesses got involved to provide vital sponsorship resources. A race for younger children was also staged as part of the event. The initial race was such a success that it became an annual community event. Each year, racers came from throughout Baja, the mainland, and as far away as the US and Canada to run in the event.
A past runner, Lisa Welsch had this to say. “The Palapa Society’s Todos Santos 5K was fun. The course was challenging with some hills. Running through our beautiful pueblo and seeing the well-wishers along the way made my run so special. With some dirt roads and some paved, it wasn’t hard on the knees. It was well managed with water stations and guides along the way. I’ll do it again. It’s a wonderful cause.”
The race took a break after Hurricane Odile and the major street improvement project in the historical centro. With the community recovered and streets improved, the event was enlarged to include a 10K along with the 5K last year. Once again, local businesses provided much of the financial resources needed to stage a quality event. With their help, an investment was made in sophisticated “chip” timing equipment allowing the Palapa Society to provide accurate timing for each runner. “This is how the major running events do it,” commented Dennis Naigle, chair of the race and Palapa board member.
This year’s race returns to its traditional schedule of December 30th. “December weather in Todos Santos is usually perfect and with the crowds of visitors who flock to the pueblo magico for the holidays, as well as motivated locals, we anticipate a large turnout,” adds Naigle.
The focus this year will be on only a 5K race, using a popular course last run in 2013. The chip timing will be used again to track the runners and have multiple racer categories with trophies and medals for runners of all ages and experience levels.
Staging the Carrera de Todos Santos is truly a community event and couldn’t take place without the support of the Delegado, police force, local business community, a lot of volunteers, and the people of Todos Santos.
Celia Devault, a frequent runner in the 60-something category, crossed the finish line first in her category last year. “This 5k is a great community event that gets people out on the street to walk or run and have some fun. I am looking forward to it again this year.”
All proceeds go to the Palapa Society of Todos Santos whose mission is to provide educational opportunities in the Todos Santos greater area. The recent opening of the new Palapa Learning Center includes the new Palapa School, offering a SEP-certified curriculum to middle students, the bilingual community library recently named Biblioteca Elena Poniatowska, and the Bridge to English program providing English to over 200 students ages five to adult.
Early signup takes place Thursday, December 28, at the La Esquina Farmer’s Market, 9 am – 3 pm and on Friday, December 29, from 10 am to 2 pm in front of Cafélix. Or, entrants can register for the race in the Plaza from 7 – 8:30 am. on Saturday, December 30 to receive a race bib and timing chip. Entry fee is 200 pesos for adults and 150 pesos for students. Race time begins promptly at 9 am.
To register online, or for more information on the Carrera and the Palapa Society, visit: www.palapasociety.org