The ‘End of the World’ In Belize Is Actually A Marathon In Placencia

by Carolee Chanona

The apocalyptic craze that placed Earth’s final day on December 21, 2012 (the date given as the end of the Great Cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar) took the world by storm. With a rich Maya culture, Belize became a magnet for these doomsday-curious visitors with relevant activities to take advantage of the curious audience. The 1st End of the World Marathon was later established in 2012 to cover the 26 miles of beachside terrain along the Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize. 

The 2021 End of the World Marathon in Belize. All images via Bill Taylor

And while the world goes on post-doomsday prophecy, race organizers kept the name “End of the World Marathon” in honor of celebrated philosopher Aldous Huxley who described Belize as “an end of the earth” in 1934. Today, the End of the World Marathon has become one of the country’s major running events that bring together the community, businesses, and visitors from all corners of the world to Belize! 

The Marathon Route

A scenic drive down the Hummingbird into the fully paved 27-mile road off the Southern Highway lands you on the Placencia Peninsula; the laid-back coastal destination hosts diverse dining options, accommodations, and quick access to inland and offshore adventures. Registered runners are recommended to arrive the day before for packet pick-up and dinner before the 5:30 am race start time. If registered for a full 26.2-mile marathon, the starting point begins at the football field near the tip of the peninsula and courses through Placencia, Seine Bight, and Maya Beach before looping back a few miles south of Riversdale. The 13.1-mile half marathon starts at the full marathon’s turnaround, with the Caribbean Sea being a constant glimpse for both races before finishing in Placencia Village.

end of the world marathon map

At $100 USD or less, your registration fee includes your race entry, commemorative t-shirt, completion medal, race-day servicing, plus a chance of sponsored prizes in addition to the top finishers in gender categories and varying age classes. Over 20 water station locations are nestled throughout the racecourse thanks to local businesses who creatively compete for bragging rights – equally serving as refreshing motivation for runners.

End of the world marathon placencia belize 2021 by Bill Taylor service crew

Supporting businesses and sponsors take a fun spin on servicing runners. Image via Bill Taylor, 2021

NAIA Resort takes home bragging rights once again as Best Water Station; 2019 featured workout enthusiasts from the ’80s, while 2018 featured a zombified crew (thriller flash dance included).

Though registration closes around mid-October of each year, last-minute runners may be accounted for.  All proceeds of registration are funneled into secondary education scholarships for children of the local communities. 

end of world marathon water station game of thrones belize

Runners 13 years or over may register for the half marathon, while runners 18 years or older may register for the full marathon at

Header image via Bill Taylor, 2021.

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