Organized Panama Running

By Karyn Saunders:

As I round the last corner Nina, my four-legged running friend, is now lagging behind in the Panama heat. She quickly catches up when she realizes that our house is just ahead in our training run and, as always, she beats me to the door.

I started running in Toronto nine years ago. I quickly got the running bug and completed my first marathon in 2007. It was one of the most amazing days of my life and I knew that wherever I ended up in the world I would continue to run.

We moved to Panama in December 2008 and I completed the Panama half-marathon in August of 2009. I was the only runner I knew in our then small Coronado community.  Nina was my only running buddy back then and is still my #1 today.

panama usa europe real estate running
panama usa europe real estate running

In August of 2009 there were maybe 200 people at the starting line.  Now, four years later, races are selling out and we know find ourselves standing amongst 1,000 other athletes at the starting lines in Panama.

Asics Panama has been instrumental in growing the Panama Running community to where it is today.  There are quite a few  running associations that host the various races across the country, the majority being in Panama City and the surrounding areas.  The running groups in the city are very strong and offer a pace for everyone.

In December of 2010, after six months of training in the tropical humidity, I completed the International Panama Marathon with two other running amigas.  It was bar-none the hottest day of my life, but also an accomplishment I will never forget.  The race was extremely well organized, with water and Gatorade stations every 2km and soaking stations along the way.  The race took us throughout the city and bordered the Pacific Ocean for the majority of the race.  I didn’t set any records but I did lose a few pounds of water that morning.  It was truly an epic day.

There is now a small group of runners in the Coronado area that meet on designated mornings to run, chat, and sometimes stop for coffee and french toast before running home to start our days.  We are currently looking to run the Asics Trail Race on March 17th in Panama Pacifico, which will start at the former Howard Airforce Base in Veracruz.

Nina and I hope to run in the “Run with Dogs” race this month.   She is just as competitive as I am, so if it is up to her I know we will be the first ones to the finish line….

For a list of running events and information please feel free to contact me at

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