Mary and Me

Virgin Mary statue
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Every Sunday a few thousand Chileans and I pay our respect to the Virgin Mary. But we’re not in a Church. There’s actually thousands of cyclists, runners and walkers that go up Cerro San Cristóbal (cerro means hill in Spanish). Everyone starts at the Pedro de Valdivia Norte entrance to the hill and goes up the road. There’s hardly and cars, and most corners are divided to reduce collisions.

It’s really an impressive display of public sport and health. You certainly see lots of people on the bike paths in Toronto on a summer day, but it’s neat the way it’s been institutionalized here.

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Entrance to the park

The first time I ran this route on a Sunday I thought I was going to have to turn around because there was a race going on. Turns out this happens ever week.

view of the city

It can get a little smoggy, but it’s a good vantage point to see the city from.

shot of people walking up

It can get unreasonably steep at times, it’s certainly not an easy run, but I honestly think walking would be even worse.

mechanic station

About half-way up the hill there’s a mechanic with tools for anyone that might have an issue.

road division

The road is usually divided at corners to stop the cyclists that are descending much faster than the runners going up the hill.

aerobics area

They have a mass public aerobics class every Sunday. I got there just before they started.

spin class

This is where things start to get truly weird. There’s a spin class half way up the hill.I have no idea what they do with the bikes the rest of the week.

Lots of runners and cyclists

It’s pretty much this busy the whole way.

parking lot

The parking lot at the top of the hill.

Virgin Mary statue

At the top of the mountain is a Statue of the Virgin Mary. The run isn’t over until you’ve climbed the stairs all the way to the top.

 

prayer notes

There’s a spot by the statue to leave a prayer and a candle.

nice trees

I really look forward to my Sunday runs. It really feels like you’re outside the city.

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