Running is a very common sport in Queretaro. I ran one race this past weekend in called Hercules that is surrounded by two large hills on each side. I say hills, but mountain might do justice also. The first mountain called the sanctuario, has a combination of cement stairs and plain, durt hill. You can ascend it as far as a shrine. The second mountain is bigger than the first, and is reached by a poorly paved, cobble road that zig zags up a mountain through a small town.
So, when I looked at the 13km course about 30mins before the race, it did not look too difficult. I have had problems keeping my pace in the races here in Mexico because it seems that many times there is always a shorter route, so on this race you can run the full 13km or 7km. So the 7km people (which was about 300 of the 350 people that were in the race) stopped after one hill. In other words, I was racing against people that were not even running the whole thing. It was kind of funny cause I was running in about 70th place, when we crossed the finish line the first time (this is the 7 km marker, and where almost everyone stopped), and then I was automatically bumped up to the top 20 people. Anyways, once we passed the 7km marker, it changed it to small race, and I had trouble seeing anyone ahead of me.
The second mountain was even harder than the first. It was almost straight up, about a 1000-1500 feet climb. We ran through the city, and everyone was out cheering either “animo” “si se puede” o “vamonos güerro” (GO!, yes you can, or lets go white man).