The women’s marathon provided an exciting start to athletics at the Pan American Games when Citlali Cristian of Mexico shattered the previous Pan American Games record. Cristian ran a time of 2:27:12, which bettered the previous record by almost three minutes.
Glady Tejeda of Peru held the previous marathon record, which she set at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima with a time of 2:30:55.
Cristian is likely to represent Mexico at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. She ran under the Olympic Marathon Qualifying Standard (2:26:50) earlier this year when she placed 4th after running 2:24:53 at the Zurich Marathon de Sevilla in Spain.
Throughout most of the race, it did not seem as though Cristian would take home gold.
Florencia Borelli of Argentina ran an aggressive race, breaking away early from the group. She spent most of the race in the lead by herself but was unable to hold her aggressive pace and was brought back by Cristian.
Borelli fought until the end and ran a strong race, which would see her take home silver in 2:27:29.
Previous record holder Tejeda would complete the podium after clocking a time of 2:30:39.
Cristhian Pacheco of Peru defended his Pan American Games title from the previous year as he was the first to complete the course in 2:11:14. The 30-year-old Peruvian finished solo, ahead of his competition by almost one minute.
Pacheco also holds the Pan American Games record for the fastest marathon, which he set in Lima in 2019 when he ran 2:09:31.
Pacheco is expected to run the marathon at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Similar to Cristian, he ran under the Olympic Qualifying Standard (2:08:10) in Seville, Spain, earlier this year.
Pacheco placed 11th in a competitive field at the Seville Marathon and ran a time of 2:07:38.
Hugo Catrileo of Chilie made local fans proud as he came away with the silver medal. He completed the race in 2:12:07.
Peru would take a 1-3 on the podium as Citali Cristian took bronze with a time of 2:12:34.
The next event on the athletics program at the Pan American Games is the men’s and women’s 20k race walks on October 29, 2023. Following that are six action-packed days of track racing from October 30 to November 4, 2023.