Our founder Nancy Hobbs recently caught up with Spaniard Apolo Esperanza who founded Wildmarathon Series, an international trail running circuit with events in Nepal, Mexico, Morocco, Finland and Tanzania. Esperanza is a geographer with a masters in environmental and territory management, specialized in sports geo-tourism. He lectures and writes articles on various media related to sports and adventure. Esperanza organizes the Wildmarathon Series to share his love of sport and the outdoors with like-minded trail runners from around the world.
In addition to being an adventurer, Apolo Esperanza is an author having written, “La Vuelta al Mundo en 5 Retos,” describing how he mastered a variety of events in different disciplines in 5 continents; including the cross of Gibraltar swimming, Lapland border to border skiing, a mountain bike crossing of Tibet and parachuting in New Zealand. Another of his published books is, “8 Habilidades para afrontar 8 Maratones” where he honed eight skills to face eight marathons, running in a environments including arctic, desert, jungle, savannah and including his victory in the Macchu Pichu Marathon, and third place in the Polar Arctic Marathon. It is a book in the self-help genre offering inspiration, leadership, and motivation, with a goal to help people in their professional and personal lives.
After his worldwide experience as a runner, cyclist, and swimmer, he decided to give back to the sport and started organizing events. “I know what people want and need and the events I organize in the Wildmarathon Series concentrates all my passion and experience in sport and adventures.”
[Nancy Hobbs] Why did you start the Wildmarathon Series?
[Apolo Esperanza] I have the contacts, the experience and the passion about trail running so I felt that I was obliged to do something with this combined knowledge. Wildmarathon blends sport, tourism and experience in some of the most varied and amazing scenarios of the world like the desert, the jungle, the savannah, the Himayalas and the Arctic and I wanted to offer people this experience
[Hobbs] Can you share some details about the series?
[Esperanza] Wildmarathon is an international trail running circuit in very open format (10k, half marathon and marathon). It combines the race with touristic activities such as trekking in Yeti Marathon Nepal, diving in Maya Marathon Mexico, Camel trip in Dune Marathon Morocco, Boreal sighting in Arctic Marathon Finland and Safari in Kilimasai Marathon Tanzania.
We are not massive events and with the new scenario, every race has a COVID-19 protocol, the groups are small and moving always together and the transfers, accommodations, all meals and services are included in the registration. The circuit has its own ranking apart from each race. To score for the seasonal ranking, participants must only race 2 of the 5 events with their best results. Also, we offer a special trophy (All Terrail Runner) for those who finish the 5 races, no matter the years that the runner spent on it.
[Hobbs] What you hope to achieve through the events?
[Esperanza] Sport in general and running in particular gave me values and skills that I would like to share with people all over the world. I would like to share respect for the environment and emphasize the third world needs of development. We are going to obtain some of the best moments in our lives in these locations so we have to give something in return and help them to get a better life. The pillars of Wildmarathon are: Run, Explore, Contribute as you can see in the logo. We give a small part of the registration fee to help initiatives like hospital building, schools or contribute to environmental local projects in each of the 5 venues.
[Hobbs] Where can trail runners get more information about your events and when do they take place?
[Esperanza] We have a ton of helpful information on our website about the events as well as the local projects we contribute to in the host communities. Our upcoming event dates with distances and profile information are:
- October 9, 2021 – Yeti marathon Nepal. 10k, half marathon and marathon. Terrain: dirt in the Annapurnas of Himalayas mountain range. Positive elevation: +390m, Negative: – 2800m (marathon), Positive elevation: +290m, Negative: – 1500m (half marathon), 65% dirt , 35% single track. Parallel activities: 5 days trekking in the Annapurna region and yoga sessions.
- December 5, 2021 – Maya Marathon Mexico: 10k, half marathon and marathon. Terrain: asphalt and beach of Cozumel island, Mexico. Positive elevation + 25m negative -25m. Parallel activities: Coral Diving, snorkel and trips to Maya’s archeologist sites.
- February 20, 2022 – Dune Marathon Morocco: 10k, half marathon and marathon. Terrain: sand in the desert of Merzouga, Morocco. Positive elevation: +125m, negative elevation: -125. Parallel activities: Camel trip and haimas luxury night.
April 3, 2022 – Arctic Marathon Finland.10k, half marathon and marathon. Terrain: snow and ice of Lapland. Positive elevation: + 120m, negative elevation: -120m. Parallel activities: Boreal sight and sleds pulled by Huskies.
July 31, 2022 – Kilimasai Marathon Tanzania: 10k, half marathon and marathon. Terrain: dirt in the savannah of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Positive elevation +1850m, negative elevation 1850m (marathon). Positive elevation +850m, negative elevation 850m (half marathon) 80% single track. Parallel activities: 2 days of safari.