26.2-mile Inca Trail Marathon launching in 2012

The Inca Trail Marathon 26.2 Mile Race debuts on July 5, 2012 in Peru. At 13,800 feet, it's taking running travel to a whole new level. Photo: Pedro Szekely

NEW YORK, August 22, 2011—Traveling to run a marathon is a long-held tradition. Runners routinely cross the country and the globe for races. For those who really want to travel and run, the Inca Trail Marathon 26.2 Mile Race takes running travel to a whole new level—literally. Debuting in July 2012, the marathon is the first 26.2-mile race along the Inca Trail.

Traversing the footpath the ancient Incas used to commute between Cusco, Peru and the world famous citadel of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail Marathon travels a measured 26.2-mile course that reaches an elevation of 13,800 feet and usually takes the typical hiker three days to complete. Runners will have just 11 hours. But the payoff is worth it: a photo finish in front of Machu Picchu. 

The race will begin at 6:00 a.m. on July 5, and the course will remain open for 11 hours. There will be four aid stations with purified water, sports drinks and energy foods, along with first aid, English and Spanish speaking staff, and radio communication for emergencies. Runners’ times will be recorded as they check into each station and at the finish. Photos will also be taken along the course and at the finish. For runners who won’t be able to finish in time, there will be a cutoff point with a staffed campground. Those runners can continue to Machu Picchu the next morning.

The Inca Trail Marathon 26.2 Mile Race is capped at 200 runners (permits are required to hike or run the Inca Trail, and only 500 are allowed per day), and Erik’s Adventures, the race’s organizer, expects it to sell out well in advance as the first 26.2-mile race along the Inca Trail. Previous iterations put on by other organizers—like Andes Adventures‘ Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Marathon—have run 27.5 miles.

The Inca Trail Marathon 26.2 Mile Race travels the footpath across the Andes Mountains once used by the ancient Incas to reach Machu Picchu. Top: Machu Picchu.

Runners can register just for the race or a fully guided Erik’s Adventures Peru trip from June 29 to July 8 that includes visits to Cusco, Machu Picchu, several other locations in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and of course, the Inca Trail Marathon itself. The folks at Erik’s Adventures are avid marathoners, professional adventure travel guides and personal friends of mine.

The cost of the entire trip is $1,984. The cost of just the race is yet to be determined. For more information visit incatrailmarathon.net or e-mail myra@eriksadventures.com or erik@eriksadventures.com.

Karla Bruning is an award-winning journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Karla Bruning

Karla Bruning is the host of On The Run, a TV and web show from New York Road Runners. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, American Athlete Magazine, RunnersWorld.com, Active.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, and two dozen other outlets including ESPN2, Universal Sports and ABC in New York. She and her work have also received mentions from The New York Times, Runner's World, Fox Sports, Canadian Running, The Baltimore Sun, and PBS among others. She also covered the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for The Washington Times.


A former Newsweek reporter, Karla has won a Fulbright scholarship for American journalists and reporting grants from the Scripps Howard, Carnegie and Knight Foundations. Karla holds degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


When not pounding the pavement as a reporter, Karla is pounding the pavement as a runner. She has completed seven marathons, four triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. She is a writer, editor, and on-camera reporter dedicated to covering the sport of running from a runner’s perspective. Find Karla on RunKarlaRun.com, Twitter@KBruning, Facebook and Google+.

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