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International Border 10K attracts hundreds of runners

A group of runners  wearing medals wave their hands in celebration after crossing the Paso del Norte international bridge following the Run International 10K race on Saturday March 2, 2024.
Angela Kocherga
A group of friends celebrate near the Paso del Norte international bridge after crossing the finish line on the bridge. They were among 2000 runners who participated in a cross border 10K.

El Paso and Ciudad Juarez hold the only cross border 10K race attracting hundreds of runners from both the United States and Mexico.

Two thousand runners participated in the largest cross border 10K this weekend. The binational race hosted by El Paso and Ciudad Juarez is unique with half the course on the U.S. side, the other half in Mexico.

“ This is a 10K that’s been on my bucket list for a long time,” said Nic Rachowicz, who traveled from St. Louis.

Runners included people from across Mexico and the United States.

“I think this was a great event that showed a lot of friendship that still exists between the two countries and between the residents here on both sides of the border,” Rachowicz said.

On this sunny Saturday the focus shifted from political rhetoric that portrays the border only as a place of chaos, conflict or crisis. Instead, the spotlight was on a binational community during the 6th annual 10K Run Internacional.

“It means the world to me because I live on both sides, Virna Rey, 51 of El Paso said.

“ It unites the community. A lot of people don’t understand our dynamic here. That we are all one.

For some El Pasoans, it was a chance to reconnect with the sister city they hadn’t visited in decades.

“It was nice. It was really different,” said Monica Antuna, “ I haven’t been to Juarez in over 20 years.”

The run, organized by The El Paso Community Foundation, drew people of all ages. Several parents ran with their children.

The finish line was in the middle of the Paso del Norte International Bridge. U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporarily closed one lane for the runners during the 90 minute 10K early Saturday morning.

“A lot of people see an international bridge as a piece of infrastructure. We see it as a connection point between families, businesses, people travelers and I think this race really memorializes that,U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Port Director Ray Provencio said. 

University of Texas at El Paso student Juan Olmos, an avid runner, was among the first to cross the finish line where he was handed a medal that included the U.S. and Mexican flags.

“It’s like an honor having this because of both countries, both cities, I have family on both sides. I’m very proud,” he said.

This video was a courtesy of the El Paso Community Foundation

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