I've been consistently running for the past 12 years, but didn't take part in any races until I moved to the island in 2006. It has been a really important part of my life, it helps keep me healthy both mentally and physically, and it's something which I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do. One of the best things I love about living in Puerto Rico is the weather, which permits runners to train throughout the year. Since San Blas takes place in Coamo, heat and humidity are of utmost concern. Needless to say, staying hydrated is extremely important. According to my running buddy, there weren't enough water stations scattered along the course. I did run with a fuel belt. Luckily, I was also warned in advance that were wouldn't be any mile markers or pacers, so I brought my Garmin watch with me.
Simply said, the San Blas Marathon is not well-organized. Those of you who are interested in registering for it, I urge you to do so in advance. I sent the registration form by regular mail back in December, and I did not get any confirmation. You are not given your BIB number and race packet until the day of the event. Some of the runners who registered on the same day were not able to get their chips. Others finished without being given a medal, as they apparently ran out. Something which I would also strongly suggest is to get to Coamo early, before
Upon arrival, San Blas will feel much like a street party, where you'll encounter many more drunken people than runners. The mood is extremely festive. It has become an annual tradition for many families who live in the area, and even from other parts of the island, to cheer and support those of us who run. They'll be barbecuing and having a beer, or two, while at it. We were transported to the starting line by school buses. The driver was honking his horn during the entire 10 minute ride, while the spectators waved and shouted at us. San Blas is undoubtedly a race like no other. Sadly, the day ended on a tragic note. Shortly after we left, a shooting occurred during the closing ceremony of the half marathon.