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An excellent way to explore and enjoy Rio de Janeiro on foot is by taking part in the Rio de Janeiro Marathon – although most people prefer to enjoy this event as a spectator!
Like most other marathons held all over the world, this race features cheering crowds lining the streets offering support and encouragement.
Considered to be one of the world’s most picturesque races, crowds in excess of 100,000 turn out to watch and support the runners. Open to professional athletes, amateurs, and racers with disabilities, the Rio de Janeiro Marathon now offers one of the world’s largest cash prizes for a marathon.
The 26 mile/42 km race starts early in Recreio dos Bandeirantes, one of Rio’s last beaches before the mountains, and follows the infamous coastal route under the shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain, through the neighbourhoods of Praia da Reserva, Leblon, Ipanema, Copacobana and Botofogo before the finish line finally comes into sight in Flamengo.
There is also a half marathon and a six km family run to support or participate in if the full marathon does not appeal.
The marathon is held annually at the start of Brazil’s winter in July, which is a popular time for many to visit the destination as the humidity is low but temperatures are still comfortably warm.
When the weather is good it is an especially great day, with a great atmosphere both during and after the race. Food and drink stalls can be found in abundance to keep the many spectators fuelled.