Hiking in the tropics
There is a big difference between hiking competitions and running competitions. With running it goes on time, best time. With Hiking is about getting to the finish before a set time, normally. But not at the KLM marathon walking & Hiking 5k.
The KLM Marathon is an event organized each year on Curaçao. You can participate in five distances, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, Trail and 5K. It started as a running event, but this year you could also hike the 10K and the 5K. So, when my aunt asked if I wanted to participate, I said yes. Knowing the Dutch combination run/Hike Dam to Dam I thought the KLM marathon would be the same, an event in an event. But no, it wasn’t. Runners and hikers start at the same time, at the same starting point and same parcour. So, it was a nice chaos at the start with runners and hikers all mixed.
For me this was a totally new experience. I was hiking the 5K, because of a mixed up instead of the 10K. So at 7:30 AM I set of to hike with the others. Even the hikers were hiking fast to get a better time than others. The hike was a competition against time!
7:30 AM is early, but the marathon runners were even earlier 3:30 AM. Yes, in the tropics you must start early if you want to survive the sun. The first part of the parcour is climbing a hill, then you go downhill and at the end of the road you turn to nice walking area called Corridor (Runner). Here you walk back along the sea to the hotel were the finish is.
It was pretty straight forward the parcour and not difficult. The only thing you are battling is the sun, which is getting higher and higher at that time. If possible I walked in the shades, because it was hot, but doable. I loved the experience. It was my first competition walked on Curacao. It was well organized and not too crowded. I hope for Curacao that KLM keeps on organizing this event in the future.
Ps: If you want to know I hiked the 5 km in 00:52:18 about 5,7k/h. This is way faster than when I hike trails. And I got a nice medal.
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