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El Toro

El Toro @ Saint Silvester Race. You can see more runners at the related theme.

The Saint Silvester Marathon is the oldest and most prestigious street race in Brazil.

Regarded as the main international event in Latin American athletics, the marathon is held yearly in the city of São Paulo on December 31. This day is Saint Silvester's Day, as it is the day in which the Catholic saint, who was a Pope, died in the 4th century of the Christian Era.

Although it is named a marathon, the course is only 15 km (9.3 miles) long, less than half the length of a marathon. For this reason, the Organizing Committee has been referring to the event as "The Saint Silvester Race", thus avoiding the word "marathon". Tradition and force of habit still dictates the traditional name, and many people, as well as part of the media, continue to refer to it as the "Saint Silvester Marathon". No direct effort has been made to correct the nomenclature of the race.

The race is made more difficult by the intense heat of the Brazilian summer and the geographical obstacles that have to be surmounted by the athletes. Dehydration and heat stroke, among others, are not uncommon for both annon runners and international stars (albeit much more common amidst amateurs).

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