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Half-Marathon should draw in thousands of runners
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20/03/2009

The trophy of the 3rd Iguassu Falls Half-Marathon scheduled for July 5 in Foz do Iguaçu will bear the name “Itaipu Binacional – 35 Years”, a tribute to the creation of the company that built and runs the world’s largest hydro power plant in terms of electricity generation. The organizers expect to beat the registration record this year, with at least one thousand runners from 50 countries in the race, against 750 from last year’s half marathon. 

 

 

The event was officially launched Thursday morning (19), at a breakfast offered to authorities and the press from Foz do Iguaçu and surrounding area at Restaurante Porto Canoas, located at the Iguaçu National Park.

 

The ceremony was attended by Felipe González, Foz do Iguaçu Tourism secretary, Jorge Pegoraro, Iguaçu National Park director, Gilmar Piolla, Itaipu Binacional Social Communications superintendent, Celso Florêncio, Cataratas do Iguaçu S/A company manager, and Tadeu Natálio, chairman of the Associação Pró-Correr (Pro-Running Association).

 

Two of the main attractions to reach the goal of drawing in a record number of runners are the half-marathon route crossing a dazzling scenery that is unique in the world, and the awards, which are now among the best offered by this type of race in Brazil. R$ 60,000 in prizes will be handed out to male and female athletes.

 

The first, second and third places among men and women will get, respectively, R$ 15,000, R$ 10,000 and R$ 5,000. Just to give an idea how far the event has come, last year the first three places in each class took home R$ 1,200, R$ 800 and R$ 500.

 

Besides the awards, the great advantage of the half-marathon is that it is the perfect combination of sports and nature. Of the 21,097 meters of the route, nine kilometers traverse the Waterfalls Highway (Rodovia das Cataratas) and 12 kilometers will be run inside the Iguaçu National Park. On the way, the athletes will be enjoying beautiful landscapes crowned by the exhilarating view of the Iguaçu Falls.

 

“With these two assets, the privileged route and significant awards, we are confident in the participation of athletes of national and international class. The coming of top runners should also help promote the attractions of Foz do Iguaçu in all Brazilian states and abroad”, highlighted Tadeu Natálio, chairman of Associação Pró-Correr.

 

Journalist Gilmar Piolla from Itaipu Binacional emphasized how important the event is in advertising the Iguaçu destination, besides placing Foz do Iguaçu and its Waterfalls in the national and even worldwide sports calendar. “Itaipu has taken part in the event since the first half-marathon and will also be supporting the next ones", he said. "The competition now stands on its own and is highly important to promote our destination. It has been a pleasant surprise to learn that the competition is considered by media outlets specialized in sports as one of the greenest and most charming marathons in the world ", added the journalist.

 

Jorge Pegoraro, Iguaçu National Park director, believes that, like in previous years, the competition will bring positive, spontaneous media for Foz do Iguaçu. “As they talk about the event we will be automatically showing our attractions and the entire sports-related infrastructure and organization we have to hold events of this kind”, he highlighted.

 

The event is held by Concessionária Cataratas do Iguaçu S/A and the Chico Mendes Biodiversity Conservation Institute. It is organized by Associação Pró-Correr de Incentivo ao Esporte (Pro-Running Sports Fostering Association), and sponsored by Itaipu Binacional, Nestlé, besides being supported by the Foz do Iguaçu city administration, Mabu Hotéis & Resorts, Vittalev, Kero Coco, Portal H2FOZ and Porto Canoas.