The race has a length of 42.195 kilometers (26.219 mi) and takes place on a Sunday during the month of December. It starts at 5AM, and runs from the intersection of PR-12 and PR-14 to Parque de Bombas. It is managed by Secretaría de Recreación y Deportes (Secretariat of Recreation and Sports) of the municipality of Ponce.
The 40th edition of the marathon in 2010 was attended by over 10,000 people. Some 150 athletes participate in the event each year. In 2010, the event received an award from the Federación de Atletismo de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Athletic Federation) as the best athletic running event in Puerto Rico; it had attained a perfect 100-point score in all evaluation areas.
In addition to being the only one of the international marathons run over the distance of 42.195 kilometers and the national marathon of Puerto Rico, the marathon is the qualifying race for the Central American and Caribbean Games.
In addition to medals, Marathon organizers award cash prizes to winners, in both men and women categories, exceeding USD$30K. First place winners receive a $2,000 cash prize. The next five follow-up winners receive $1,000, $500, $400, $200 and $80 respectively. The Marathon also awards prizes to winners, both men and women, in these nine age categories: 20–24, 25–29, 30–34, 35–39, 40–44, 45–49, 50–54, 55–59 and 60+. First, second and third place winners in each of these categories receive $80, $50 and $25 prizes, respectively. Unlike other marathons, registration for La Guadalupe is free; registration generally takes place the day before the event (Saturday) at Parque de Bombas. The $2,000 cash prize is the highest cash prize paid out for any running event in Puerto Rico.
The race starts at 5:00 am at PR-12 (Avenida Santiago de los Caballeros) at the intersection with PR-14 (Avenida Tito Castro/Avenida Betances) and heads south towards La Guancha. It makes 3 round trips on Avenida Santiago de los Caballeros and, on the fourth round, it then detours onto Avenida Las Americas (PR-163) heading west towards PR-123 (Avenida Hostos). At Avenida Hostos it turns right onto Calle Marina and heads north towards Plaza Las Delicias. The finish line will be at Calle Marina intersection with Calle Cristina, that is, right in front of Parque de Bombas in downtown Ponce. The race coincides with the Fiestas patronales de Ponce celebration.
Prior to this year the marathon was essentially a men's-only event. Women could run it but they were not awarded prizes. Starting with the 2007 marathon, women runners were officially registered as competing runners and awarded prizes the same as men.
The event, which ordinarily takes place on a Sunday, this year took place on a Saturday (12 December). The goal was to have it coincide with Las Mañanitas to maximize the attendance to the Marathon. This year there was also a change to the route of the event.
^Some historians, such as Carmelo Rosario Natal, state that official records mention this marathon at least as early as 1965. See Carmelo Rosario Natal, Ponce En Su Historia Moderna: 1945–2002, Published by Secretaría de Cultura y Turismo of the Government of the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce. (Ponce, Puerto Rico) 2003. p. 89.