Four-time champion Fernando “Dory” Mejía González is set to defend his title in a field of 500 scrappy runners registered to tackle Ajijic’s grueling 13.8-kilometer Chupinaya mountain race on Sunday, July 14.
Widely recognized as a pioneer event in Mexico’s mountain racing circuit, and one of the most daunting contests of its type, the “For Savages Only” route begins at the village plaza, 10 a.m., leading competitors through town and on the rugged climb to the summit of the Cerro La Chupinaya 2,400 meters (7,875 feet) above sea level, then back again to the starting point.
Labeled the “Queen of the West” mountain run, La Chupinaya also encompasses the lower intensity 6.5-kilometer recreational course, kicking off at 10:15 a.m. as about 150 runners, joggers and hikers head for the hills to the turn-around point at El Pandito, about halfway up the long route.
Speed demons in the shorter leg are expected to cross the finish line around 30 minutes after the start. Mejía and other front runners in the main event will blow through about an hour later.
Spectators can cheer on the runners as they navigate the town’s cobblestone streets along Guadalaupe Victoria and Encarnación Rosas, the rocky pathway to the Tepalo waterfalls, or in the vicinity of the start-finish line on the north side of the plaza.