Brothers Hector Zúñiga and Nesmer Moreno of Garza advertise the Garza Race on March 2 while waiting for the Ostional Run to start.
A 12 kilometer running race from Ostional to Santa Marta and back, sponsored by the Evangelist Church, included 22 competitors from surrounding coastal communities last Saturday February 16th.
Robbie Vickers, 37, won the regular men’s division and Carlo Luis Baltodano, 48, won the Master’s division.
The event included a 5 K race which was won by 19 year old Eliecer Zúñiga and Gredy Bran, 30, came in second.
This event was just the second competitive run offered by the Ostional community. Race organizer and church member Rony Zúñiga said the church badly needs a new roof and sound system so they decided to hold the run as a fundraiser. “We need to have a good space,” Zuniga said as he pointed out the rust and holes in the sheet metal church roof.
Brothers Hector Zúñiga and Nesmer Moreno from Playa Garza participated enthusiastically in their new hobby. According to Moreno, since they were kids they ran for exercise and fun but started running competitive races about a year ago. He said they each have completed over 15 races in the past year all over the country.
“We like to take advantage of the close races, and support the local communities, “Zúñiga said. “There aren’t a lot of competitions for running in this area. It is always for surfing. We think it is good for the rural communities and people to participate in running. It is good exercise and motivates you to be healthy.”
Moreno agreed with his brother. “We’re Catholics but we help this church out to support the community and because we like to run,” he said. Brothers Moreno and Zúñiga said they are helping organize the Playa Garza 5 K and 10 K runs planned for Saturday March 2nd during the Garza Fiestas.
Vickers, an Irishman living in Pelada the past three years, brought his whole family, including adult relatives and young kids who had just gotten off the airplane from New York to join in the race. “ I often do races around here and run with Nesmer and Hector a lot,” Vickers said. “It’s fun and healthy and good for the community,” he said.