Get in Shape Sundays - Mexico City

I woke up early on Sunday AM so I could get a run in before the family got up and about.  First stop was the concierge lounge to grab a few bananas.  When I looked out the window I saw a very long and large pack of runners.  It was obviously a race and I was curious what it was.

When I returned to the room I googled it.  It was the Mexico City Adidas 21K (aka Half Marathon) and it was a pretty big race.  

 Photo Credit -  Getty Images LATAM 

Photo Credit - Getty Images LATAM 

While googling I found a local running group was meeting up just a few blocks away in 30 minutes so I decided to join them.  It was AWESOME!  Only 5 of us showed up (most of the others were running the race).  I was the only American but was quickly welcomed into the group.  We ran for about 45 minutes and they showed me all around the immediate city during that time.

While the mileage and pace of the run was low and slow the altitude really caught me by surprise.  Mexico City sits at 7,382 feet (2,250 meters) above sea level.  I could really feel it in the lungs.

The coolest thing I learned during the run was that every Sunday AM, some of the biggest streets in the car-filled metropolis of Mexico City are handed over to bicyclists, runners, rollerbladers, etc. who hit the road by the thousands. 

 Sunday Fitness in Mexico City

The government launched the program in 2007, barring cars, trucks and buses from these streets and once a month, the route is expanded to form a 20-mile engine-free circuit called the Cicloton.

Why can't every major city invest in something like this?  It promotes health and decreases fossil fuels.  Great ideas and great city for a run!