Sunday, March 28, 2010

La Carrera de Miguel

This morning I woke up earlier than normal and got ready for the 10k in Palermo, La Carrera de Miguel. I ate some cereal, stretched out, and then headed in with the other runners to the park. The forecast had called for rain but I was happy to find that it was a warm sunny day without a cloud in the sky. I've been really lucky in that every race I've run in has had excellent weather.

The race has been put on in Bariloche and Buenos Aires for the last five years in memory of Miguel Sanchez, an Argentine runner who disappeared and was murdered under the last military dictatorship. So it's not much of a surprise that there's a political undertone to this race. Yet I still wasn't expecting the band of protesters by the starting line. They weren't doing anything bad, but had signs and were singing songs with their drums. I was kind of put off to it, thinking that they were using his death as an excuse to complain about the current government.

In any case, it wasn't really about the race. I picked up my free shirt, dropped off my valuables, and got ready for the race towards the front of the line. Slowly the lane packed in and the clock ticked down to zero. The route took us to parts of the city I hadn't seen yet. We started north going past the horse track and up to the Palermo Golf Club. Here in this area of the city I found more parks and ponds that I had never even seen before. The skyline of Belgrano was visible, and it seemed like a really laid back part of the city.

There was only one water station for this race at the half way mark. This was a free race put on by the city, but it's still a lack of judgment. Even if it's a free race there has to be some water available or people are going to pass out. We double around and began the second part of the race heading back to the starting line. By this point I was getting into a stride and my pace increased. My legs were a little bit tired but my lungs felt fine. Training had paid of after all.

This race lacked cheering crowds but even by the finish line people waited around anxiously. I ran hard the last kilometer or two and finally came in at a smooth 46 minutes and 22 seconds. It's the best time I've had in a race yet and blows away the 1 hour time from the Nike 10k in October. Though to be fair, I hadn't run for two months before that race.

Here another bad call occurred by the event staff. As you passed the finish line you could grab a bottle of water or Gatorade, but once you walked past a certain point you couldn't go back. I only had one bottle of Gatorade while some people had three. I quickly downed the entire thing and wanted another, but was denied anything else. Long tables were filled with hundreds of bottles but the staff refused to give the other runners nor I anything to drink.

Keep in mind we just ran a race. I think it would only be decent to give us a bottle of water so we don't pass out, but apparently they were sticklers for the rules that don't really exist. I stood around for a while hoping they would finally feel bad and just throw a bottle over, but they never did. I grabbed my things and headed home, picking up a victory beer along the way. It's more fun to run with some friends, but I had to make due here. There are more races coming up next month. Maybe I'll look into them.

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