This race was an 8 out of 10 on the exotic scale. I flew 14 hours to the second-largest city in South America, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and raced with around 20,000 people on Sunday. All in the spirit of raising money for the GBS/CIDP Foundation and the great work they do. Which reminds me — if you haven’t donated, I’d love you to join the wonderful people who have.
That was a fun race! A festive atmosphere, plenty of sponsor booths, lots of families, and almost everyone wearing matching UNICEF t-shirts. All along the course there were cheering crowds, who were probably two or three deep along the railings over the last quarter mile. The course itself was flat and wound through parklands on closed roads and past the Antonio Vespucio Liberti stadium, home of C.A. River Plate, the famous Buenos Aires soccer team.
The warmup beforehand was an experience. Perhaps 5,000 people joined in a choreographed aerobic stretching session with (I presume) a local fitness personality. He was accompanied by loud American rap and dance music, and a costumed hippopotamus. Following that, everyone shuffled into the start chute and lined up over a quarter mile waiting for the start. Fifteen minutes later, we were underway.
The 10k race itself felt like a half marathon. I was glad it was over. The humidity of roughly 80% and the temperature in the 80s was tough on a Californian who’d just arrived. I ran a relatively slow time, but that wasn’t really the point — it was an amazing experience.
This week, I’m thinking I’ll keep it simple, and run a race I’ve watched for the past three years. My daughters and wife will probably run it too. It’s a one mile time trial that raises funds for a Zimbabwean orphanage, and it takes place at an elementary school in Los Altos, CA. Looking forward to it!