Running the Maraton RPP Scotiabank in Lima, Peru

Running the Marathon RPP Scotiabank in Lima, Peru

Maraton RPP Scotiabank start

Saludos de Lima! I’ve been in Peru for six days touring Machu Picchu, Cusco and now Lima. It’s been a magical tour of Inca ruins and Peruvian culture, and I have lots of posts to come. But the final leg of our Peruvian adventure awaits: Maraton RPP Scotiabank in Lima.

When my husband, Phil, and I planned our last-minute whirlwind trip through Peru and Panama, I started searching for races that might be happening while we were there.

Luckily, I found the Marathon RPP Scotiabank in Lima on Sunday, September 21, which bills itself as Peru’s biggest race with 20,000 runners. Interestingly enough, the winners of the race get all-expenses paid trips to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. Funnily, both Phil and I ran that Toronto marathon in 2013—Race Report: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Kismet? I think so.

Maraton RPP Scotiabank Lima Registration

Maraton RPP Scotiabank in Lima

So I turned to Google Translate to figure out the details on the Maraton RPP Scotiabank website. Contrary to the name, Peru’s “red tide” is not a marathon but a half-marathon with a 10K option as well. Perfecto! Both Phil and I are training for the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon in November and the race fit in well with our training plans.

I clicked “Inscripciones” only to discover that the registration process is anything but easy. Runners must first pay 50 Soles (about $17) in person to an escrow account at a Scotiabank. Then, 24 hours later, register online with their bank receipt. So I went into problem solving mode.

I called the sole Scotiabank in New York City, where we live, only to discover that it’s a brokerage only, not a bank branch. They couldn’t accept payment.

Phil, who is Canadian, called Scotiabank in Canada thinking perhaps someone among our friends and family up North could make the payment for us. No dice. One of the bank managers he talked to knew about the race, but told him that Scotiabank Canada couldn’t accept the payment. We had to pay Scotiabank Peru. Aiya.

Running the Maraton RPP Scotiabank in Lima, Peru

Signing the race wall at the expo (

Why not wait until we got to Peru to register? Registration closed on September 12 and we wouldn’t arrive until late on the 14th.

So I found a contact number for the race itself and dialed Peru long-distance. When a female voice greeted me with a friendly “Hola!” followed by a string of words in Spanish, I summoned: “Habla usted Ingles?”

“Ingles? No.” Oh boy. Here goes my non-existent Spanish, I thought.

“Soy inscripcion Maraton RPP.”


“Soy in Nuevo York. No Scotiabank in Nuevo York.”

“Ahhhhh, si,” she said, somehow understanding. “Tiene familia en Perú?”

“No, soy tourista,” I said.

Running the Maraton RPP Scotiabank in Lima, Peru

I love you, Peru! Except I spelled “Nuevo” wrong. (

“Ahhhhh, si.” Then she switched to English, which was, in fact, better than my Spanish. “You can pay Scotiabank website.”

“I can pay online?”

“Si.” Then she proceeded to give me the website of Scotiabank in Peru.

“Muchas gracias!” I said, eager to register.

But no such luck. I found the Scotiabank Peru website, but could find no way to register for the race.

So I found an e-mail address for the race, composed a message in English and Google Translate Spanish.

The same woman I spoke to on the phone, Daniela, replied. She said she’d figure something out after talking to her boss. I waited.

The next day, she e-mailed saying I could send money to her via Western Union. Then she’d go to Scotiabank in Lima and make the payment for me.

Running the Marathon RPP Scotiabank in Lima, Peru

Phil and me at the Maraton RPP Scotiabank Expo (

I had no choice but to trust her and vice versa. She gave me all of her ID and personal contact information. Then I logged onto Western Union’s website and sent 100 Soles to cover the race fees for Phil and me. All told, it was $40, including Western Union’s fee.

Again, I waited. The next day, I got a notice from Western Union saying the payment I’d sent was picked up. Then, the next day I heard from Daniela. She’d picked up the money, paid our race entry fees at Scotiabank and emailed the receipt to me. She said she’d register us online herself if I’d send along all the pertinent info she needed.

Again, I did, and again, I waited. About 24 hours later, Daniela sent along our registration confirmation, bib numbers, and info about the race expo where we’d pick up our bibs. I’d reached out to her on Monday and we were all set by Friday.

I thanked her profusely. She was so sympathetic and incredibly helpful. She could have just said, “Too bad.” She certainly didn’t have to entrust her personal info and make trips to Western Union and Scotiabank for two North Americans she’d never met. The race could have gone on just fine without us. But thanks to Daniela, Phil and I will toe the line in Lima at the Maraton RPP Scotiabank on Sunday morning!

Running Maraton RPP Scotiabank in Lima, Peru

Eying the course at the Expo (

Maraton RPP Scotiabank Expo & Course

We’re really excited about the race. Going into the Expo today, we knew almost nothing about it. We had managed to deduce from the course map that the race runs from Lima’s city center, out to the Pacific Ocean, and back.

But other than that, we knew nothing. Elevation? Water stations? Corrals? Nada.

The Expo answered some, but not all of our questions. There will be six aid stations along the course, and after walking around the city a bit, we think it will be flat. One thing is certain: it will be an adventure!

Wish us buena suerte! After hiking and touring at elevations between 8,000 to 12,000 feet the last few days, we’ll need it. Our legs, and especially our calves, are toast. But maybe our lungs reaped some high altitude benefits.

Here goes something…

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Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


09 2014

24 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    This is such a great story! Bless that Daniela
    Judith recently posted..Enough with this fucking demon doll!!!My Profile

  2. 3

    Great customer service, but I wish it hadn’t been so hard to sign up. I’m glad this worked out for you. I would have been super nervous.
    Elle recently posted..A Long 18-Mile RunMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I agree. My heart sank when I first read the registration procedure. I hope they make it easier in the future!

  3. 5

    What a fun location to have a race.
    Lesley recently posted..Random Sunday Musings 9/21My Profile

  4. 7

    How wonderful you found someone who was able to be so helpful. Fabulous.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted..September Training UpdateMy Profile

  5. 9

    Buena suerte! That is so amazing that you found Daniela! Sometimes someone going out of their way, going that extra mile (get it? see what I did there?) for you can just make you feel so good about people…and then because you live in NYC that’s almost immediately erased, but yay for Daniela!

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks! I think living in NYC has trained me to be persistent to the point of being pushy when I need to be! I wasn’t like that when I moved here, but 14 years later…sigh. Daniela really did go the extra mile (totally see what you did there :)

  6. 11

    Wow, that is quite an adventure just to register. Glad they had some great customer service to help y’all out! :0)

    • Karla Bruning

      Seriously! I hope they get an easier registration process in the future. It was a really fun event and I’m sure more international runners would love to do it. It was the perfect way to see Lima!

  7. 13

    What a great story!! On both sides – I’m pretty sure at some point I would have been discouraged but you stuck with it and to have Daniela on the other side willing to be so helpful just gives you a good feeling about people.
    Emily recently posted..The Great Forest Park Balloon RaceMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      It really does. Anytime I come across someone who is unhelpful, I’m going to remind myself of people like Daniela who are!

  8. 15

    You were far more persistent than I would have been. But what a great deal — $40 for two of you, including transaction fees? Hooray for Daniela indeed.
    Sadye recently posted..RetirementMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Right? Best deal ever. Yes, it took some effort, but the race was totally worth my (perhaps annoying) persistence. We had a great time!

  9. Pam #

    I have noticed that race fees are cheaper outside the US. Can’t wait to read your race recap. Your trip photos have been amazing!
    Pam recently posted..In the News (002)My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks, Pam! Now that I’m back it’s time to sort through all those photos and get some posts up. EVERYTHING in Peru was cheaper than the U.S. It was refreshing!

  10. 19

    I was invited to do a piece on the Lima event but couldn’t go :(

    Is it as humid as everybody warned me it was going to be?

    • Karla Bruning

      Yep! It was very humid. Nice temp–about 65 Fahrenheit, but 90% humidity. I thoroughly enjoyed the race, but was very glad it was a training run for me and not an all-out attempt!

  11. 21

    What a marathon effort just to register! Give yourselves a pat on the back for that one!
    Ewen recently posted..Cycling and the Sydney Harbour Bridge RunMy Profile

  12. 23

    I love that you guys find races while you’re vacationing, but what a heck of a registration process! I probably would have given up and just said “forget it!”
    Danielle recently posted..Weekly Training RecapMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      It was so worth it–a great way to get in a long run on vacation. Glad I persisted!