First Jungle Marathon in Amazon Rainforest

During one week, life was a jungle for competitors who braved the Amazon rainforest in a gruelling ultra-marathon won by Brazilian runner Marcelo Sinoca.

 

The 245-kilometre Jungle Marathon challenge from Prainha to Santarem in the northern state of Para started with a river crossing, with swimmers having to drag their survival kits through the water.

As the obstacles mounted, not all the competitors were able to cope with the tricky terrain with only 32 of the 65 starters managin to complete the race as some dropped out or downgraded to one of the shorter distances.

Participants face deep river crossings filled with caiman and piranha and many swamps where they faced deep mud.

The humidity in this environment can reach 100 percent with nights spent sleeping in hammocks to the sound of monkeys, jaguars and a carpet of tarantulas, scorpion and bullet ants.

Medical support and water were provided at checkpoints. Runners were self sufficient and carried all their food and kit for the entire race but some suffered heavily from blisters and stomach bugs.

For the first time in nine years of the race, the winner was a Brazilian with Marcelo Sinoca triumphing ahead of compatriot Rodrigo Sousa, with Basti Haag from Germany claiming third place.

Brazilian Gustavo Rodrigues kept up with the pace to finish fourth with Dutchman Jean-Paul van der Bas fifth. Mario Angelo Oyola of Argentina, one of the 19 nations represented in the event, took an emotional sixth place.

Another Brazilian, Jacqueline Terto, won the women’s race with France’s Marie Ann Dannet finishing second.

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Peter Cossai
Kap ta' TVM Sport. Isegwi l-Isport lokali u internazzjonali. Isegwi u jirraporta l-football lokali u internazzjonali. Jippreżenta l-programm 90 Minuta.