Peru has a rich history of running that dates back to the Inca time, when the legendary Chasquis, agile highly trained messengers would cover hundreds of miles a day as part of a complex relay network to deliver messages and gifts throughout the Inca empire.
This running pedigree continues to this day, with a few Peruvian athletes beginning to enter the world stage of athletics, athletes such as Ines Melchor and Raul Pacheco, both who competed in the London 2012 Olympics and Rio 2016. However to get a real taste of the depth and talent of Peruvian athletics you just need to visit a local running track in Cusco, Arequipa or Puno, where you will see many athletes young and old training. Many of them have the natural talent and with the correct training and support could have/have had very successful running careers.
The Andes pass straight through Peru, meaning their highlands are all at significant altitude. Furthermore, Peruvians from the highlands tend to be lean, fairly small and light, making it a perfect breeding ground for runners. However, those that live in the highlands, tend to be from poor farming communities and with a lack of resources and opportunity running is never considered.
For those lucky enough to travel to a city like Cusco, Arequipa or Puno and discover their natural ability or if their abilities are spotted and they enter one of the training programs offered by the ministry of sport there becomes a chance to forge a career as an athlete. Unfortunately an overall lack of support means that many times these runners never get to continue in the program due to committments of work and study or injury.
In many cases, injury can put an end to a prospering career early on. This is the same in Europe and the US but in Peru, with a lacking public health system, if you do not have the money to pay for treatment, scans or tests then you are likely to not be treated. For example, an MRI scan costs over 800 soles and the minimum wage is 800 soles per month. Meaning that a non-grave running injury can put a stop to a running career in its tracks as the athlete may not be able to get even the correct diagnosis of their injury.
Peru Fitness Holidays has recognised that though the government is beginning to support athletes and is making the correct steps there is still a huge hole for potential support. This is where Peru Fitness Holidays come in, with our fund, we look to provide the support that they are missing from other sources.
How we help?
10% of all profit from the Peru Fitness holidays is put into a fund. In addition, other local businesses have pledged to contribute to this fund. Cusco Therapeutic Massage, has pledged 10% of all its profits to the fund and we hope more businesses in the future will also contribute and support these runners.
This fund is available to any runner on a national program who requires assistance to further their running career, we cover things such as:
- Medical bills
- Transportation to compete
- Any additional request
All requests are considered by both a member of Peru Fitness Holiday, with guidance from one of the coaches of the training program.
We vow to be honest and fair in the support that we give.