Fresh fruit creates 'virtuous circle' at Santiago Marathon

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Fresh fruit creates 'virtuous circle' at Santiago Marathon

Chile's capital city transformed into a runner's paradise on Sunday, bringing together over 25,000 participants to compete in the Santiago Marathon.  At the finish line, athletes were greeted with 22,000 kilos of apples, grapes and bananas, in part of a marathoncampaign to complement and encourage healthy living.

Now in its fourth year, the complementary fresh fruit has become a staple for runners arriving at the 10, 21 and 42-kilometer marks.  The donation comes courtesy of Chilean exporters from Dole, David del Curto and Subsole, packaging company Envases Impresos Roble Alto, and coordinated by Chilean Country Council of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA).

To view runners participating in the promotion, visit our photo gallery.

"For the PMA and the export businesses, it was really important and valuable for us to participate in this marathon, which is one of the largest sporting events," said Miguel Allamand, president of Subsole.

He said runners had come to expect fruit at the finish line. At last year's marathon, tables nearly ran short of fruit, IMG_4044encouraging organizers to increase volume by an additional 2,000 kilos.

"The first year the fruit was a bit of a surprise for runners, but now they count on it. The fruit – which represents healthy nutrition – has incorporated itself into the event," he told

Marathon runner Joaquin Jorquera of Antofagasta said he associated the post-race snack with the overall reward for work well done.

"It was a beautiful race and here at the finish line, you expect them to pamper you with the medal, the fruit and a massage," he said at the 42-kilometer marker.

As a dedicated runner, Jorquera said fruits play an important role in maintaining a balanced life.joaquin

"For nutrition, particularly for fruit, I eat bananas and raisins for their nutrional benefits. It's about balance on all levels – sleeping and eating, including fruits," the runner said.

"It's a lifestyle. It’s a virtuous cycle. It improves your mood, you sleep well, you work with energy. So we invite anyone who is hesitating to give it a try and start little by little. They are going to see how exciting it is after you compete in this so-called vice."

Competing in the 10k category, Marcela Ruiz of Talca said her family has made exercise and healthy eating a part of their lifestyle.

"There are the things that should be consumed constantly – fruits, vegetables, water instead of soda," she said.

"I eat bananas to prevent muscle cramps and I feel more satisfied."

At the 21k marker, Eleomar Silva of Brasilia, Brazil, said a fruit-rich diet helped him and his running partner, Cerineuma Silva, improve as athletes.

IMG_4019"We eat fruit with nutritional supplements as well. We take minerals and vitamins for good results," he said.

Post-race donations

Fruits remaining after the race were donated to Chile's Fundación Villa de Ancianos and to fire victims through the Lutheran Church.

Left-over pallets and cardboard were sent for recycling, to reduce waste and encourage environmental sustainability, explained Gustavo Yentzen, PMA representative in Chile and Peru.

"We are very happy, not just that fruit arrived to runners, but also that we were able to recycle all of the cardboard used, thanks to support from the business Sorepa," Yentzen said.

Photo: Produce Marketing Association


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