Runners in the Centro compete in the 2018 Mérida Marathon. Photo: Ayuntamiento

Mérida, Yucatán — Over 3,500 runners wound their way through the Centro in this morning’s Marathon Mérida.

Four separate competitions started in the 6 o’clock hour: A full 42-k (26-mile) marathon, a half marathon, as well as a 10-k and a 3-k race.

Runners began at the Monumento a la Patría, warming up together before sunrise to the blaring sound of electronic music.

For the full marathon, runners from Kenya finished first. All the winners and statistics are online here.

This year’s theme was Mérida’s history and architecture. So the route was designed to send the runners, who come from all around the world, past the city’s iconic churches, parks and monuments.

Last year’s theme was “Fiesta Meridana” with allusions to symbols like the jarana.

The marathon and half-marathon are certified by the International Association of Marathons and Distance Races. Marathon Mérida is qualifying event for the Boston Marathon and other international contests in 100 countries and territories.

At the finish line, organizers supplied a massage area, special pools and ice-filled tubs for the runners’ exclusive use. Bands and music groups performed at several places along the route.

The city allowed a budget of 5 million pesos to host the event.