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59 Runners Take on Ambitious D.C.-to-Mexico City Weekend

Two days, two Rock 'n' Roll races, two capitals in two countries.

Running a half marathon? Piece of cake.

Running a half marathon on back-to-backs days? Now you’re talking about stepping outside your comfort zone.

Running a half marathon on back-to-back days, in different countries, the cities 1,883 miles apart? That falls under Bucket List items, a physical, logistical and Am-I-Sane? challenge.

Last weekend, 59 runners took part in the Capital City Challenge, starting in Washington, D.C., Saturday at the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC 1/2 Marathon. They then hopped aboard a direct flight Saturday night or early Sunday morning to run the second leg, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Mexico City 1/2 Marathon.

RELATED: Photos: Rock ‘n’ Roll DC

The Capital City Challenge theme: 2 Countries, 2 Days, 1 “Loco” Adventure.

Making the double a bit more manageable, the Mexico City 13.1-miler was at night. But a lot of factors worked against the ambitious runners. For one, the weather was soggy at both stops. Secondly, fatigued runners reaching Mexico’s capital had another challenge—altitude. Mexico City sits 7,382 feet above sea level.

Marina Noli of San Diego, one of the 59, took a red-eye flight to Washington D.C. on Friday morning, landing about 24 hours before the first race. So began the wild weekend.

To Noli, running is a metaphor for life.

“I see the half marathon, any race, like life,” she says. “Just keep moving forward. There’s going to be obstacles. Things not planned are going to happen along the way. Just as long as you keep moving at a steady pace.

“The strength that it takes running is what it takes in life to succeed.”

The adventurous 59 taking part in the Capital City Challenge received nice perks: social get-togethers in both cities, special bibs, commemorative medals, glow sticks and Lucha Libre wrestling masks.

They were also treated to something they’re sure to desire: free massages.

RELATED: Photos: Rock ‘n’ Roll Mexico City