Marathon to promote conservation of Chilean Patagonia
Hundreds of marathon runners are set to take part in a unique race through one of the world's most spectacular natural landscapes.
The athletes will be competing in a marathon through the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia in an effort to promote the preservation and conservation of the region, reports the Santiago Times.
Spanning the southern tips of both Chile and Argentina, Patagonia provides those on South America adventure tours with a memorable travel experience thanks to its incredible natural scenery.
Located within the region is Torres del Paine National Park, which comprises numerous deep lakes, sparkling glaciers and cascading waterfalls, all surrounded by towering mountain peaks.
The Patagonian International Marathon, organised by Nomadas International Group (NIGSA), will be held on September 23rd and already more than 250 runners have registered for the race.
Its launch follows the success of the Patagonian Expedition Race, an annual endurance adventure race that takes place in Chilean Patagonia and sees international teams of four athletes traverse the landscape in the disciplines of trekking, sea kayaking, orienteering, and mountain biking.
"With the Patagonian International Marathon we hope to continue the course already drawn by the Patagonian Expedition Race, that is, bringing attention to the beautiful landscape and biodiversity of Patagonia, its tourist attractions and in doing so support the sustainable development of this region," Ann Christine Meidinger, global marketing director of NIGSA, told the newspaper.
"But this time, we want to involve many more people."
The marathon will be promoted alongside the Reforestemos Patagonia initiative, a non-profit campaign that aims to promote eco-tourism in Patagonia and to replant trees following the forest fires that affected the area in January this year.
"Reforestemos Patagonia and the Patagonian International Marathon have a common vision, which is the interest in encouraging the protection of this important zone, severely affected by the forest fires of 2011 that consumed 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) of Torres del Paine National Park," said Javier Fuentes, executive director of Reforestemos Patagonia.