Hundreds of visitors from all over the world will be congregating on the sunny shores of the Placencia Peninsula this December to cheer on runners of the sixth annual End of the World Marathon.
The marathon has its origins in 2012 when the world was gripped by the idea that the ancient Maya calendar had predicted the end of the world on December 21, 2012. In defiance of this rather gloomy prediction, the people of the Placencia Peninsula decided to hold a marathon. Drawing in hundreds of cheering spectators, it was transformed into an annual event.
Although the predicted end of the world didn’t come to pass in 2012, the organizers kept the name partially because author Aldous Huxley (of “Brave New World” fame) wrote about Belize in 1934, saying, “If the world has any ends, Belize would certainly be one of them.”
The full marathon departs from Placencia Village at the southern end of the peninsula at 5:30 a.m. and continues up to the northern tip of the Placencia before looping back for a dash to the finish line in Placencia Village. Some runners only do a half marathon by joining the race when it gets to the northern end of the peninsula.
Registration for runners wishing to participate in this year’s full or half End of the World Marathon ended on October 15, 2018, so it’s too late to sign up as a participant. But there will be plenty of space along the route for thousands of spectators to cheer on the runners. A big party will be held later that evening to celebrate all of the participants. All proceeds from the End of the World marathon go towards providing scholarships for disadvantaged youth from the Placencia Peninsula area.
Now that it’s so easy to get to Belize, it’s likely that this year’s marathon will have more participants than ever before. All major airlines in the United States, Canada, and Mexico now fly non-stop to Belize from more than a dozen cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, Toronto, and Mexico City.
Interested in cheering on the runners yourself? One of the best places to stay is the fabulous Laru Beya Beach Resort located right on the marathon’s route. And after the race is over, you can explore other nearby attractions like scuba diving and snorkeling on the reef, nature hikes on the mainland, and some of the finest fishing in the world.