Half Marathon San Blas History  



The Delta Phi Delta Fraternity was founded as an institution in Coamo, Puerto Rico, on August 7th, 1957. In an ordinary meeting in the month of December, 1962, its members approved the celebration of the 3 mile race with Puerto Rican athletes as a contribution to sports, and to the Patron Saint Celebration of Coamo, to be held on February, 1963. By 1966, the distance to run was 21.0975 Km, with the participation of the first foreigner, the Colombian runner, Álvaro Mejía. With lots of sacrifice, and the efforts of our volunteers and our citizens, we could invite international athletes such as Edward Winrow, Andrew Boychuck, Víctor Moral and Lour Castagnola, who visited the Island respectively on the years 1967 and 1968.


The first European athlete to participate in the San Blas Marathon was Gastón Roelants, an extraordinary runner from Belgium. More than 50 countries have been represented in the years when we hold the San Blas Half Marathon. The San Blas Half Marathon, coming every year from Coamo City, Puerto Rico, is considered one of the most important sports events in the world. The race started in the year 1963 as a vanguard event, but it is not until the 1970s when the United States and the rest of the world join in their interest for long-distance running competitions. Since it involves a distance between the longest track and field races (10,000 meters) and the classic marathon (42.195 kms), the best competitors from the world can compete in both categories.


From its beginnings, it has attracted a many athletes from distant countries such as Australia, Ethiopia, Japan, the Soviet Union, Nationalist China, etc. And from other parts of the world, there are competitors even from the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Kenya, Belgium, Venezuela, Canada, among others. The participation of the Finnish Lasse Viren and the Ethiopian Mirutz Yifter, two time recipients of gold medals in the Olympic Games, offered this event a competitive quality among the World Disciplines.


The quality of athletes with world records in global sports disciplines participating in the Half Marathon includes such previous winners as Dereck Clayton, Henry Rono, Gastón Roelants, etc. In 1999, Kenian athlete Philip Tarus achieved a new world record with 1:02:10 hours. In the national category the record is held by Héctor "Papo" Díaz with 1:04:42.


The female Ethiopian athlete Elfenesh Alemu established a 1:12:27 hour record in the year 2005 and Beverly Ramos, in the National Female category, improved her record time with 1:16:09 in 2008.


Interesting also is mobilizing thousands of people, who spend the night camping there; this audience to the race creates a perfect environment for publicity, marketing and the offering of products and services. For their competitive quality and their worldly recognition, the producers of the TV show “Elite Racing” chose the San Blas Half Marathon as part of the show “Road Race of the Month” through ESPN. This program has an audience in the United States, Puerto Rico, and other countries in around tens of millions of homes all around the world.