Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mexico - Part 2

Day 1. Sunday.

So humid I didn't realize it was raining until it was RAINING.

While mapping out runs from our Mexican house I noticed there was a track about a mile past the Malecon (the beautiful, Pacific Coast strollway through downtown Puerto Villarta). EVERY run I planned went down the Malecon. It is dotted with statues and sand sculptures and the amazing balancing rocks and people. All the people that are awake before seven (and there's a surprising amount).

So I was running down the Malecon, past the Malecon to the track. I stepped onto the track (I'm not a track guy) and there were lots of people running around the track. There seemed to be rules about what lanes you were allowed to be on depending on how muscular you were. I picked a middle lane and figured I could be nudged one way or the other if necessary.

I eventually started to wonder if this was something more than just a bunch of Sunday runners. I asked a friendly looking guy and he pointed me to another friendly looking guy who spoke better English, I assumed, and he told me they were about to run a 5k and 10k for the hospital.

I was about six miles in at that point and was only planning to run 10 that day, but when was the next time I was going to be in Mexico for a race? I decided to hangout in the pack and see what happened. I knew if I got toward the front I'd probably run too fast and hurt myself.

The gun went off and I clipped along trying to decide whether to run a 5k or 10k. I decided if I was in the top 10 for the 10k by the time the 5k finished I would keep on running. I was 12th at the turn. I ran anyway and finished 8th! Not too shabby for a renegade who had already run seven plus and wasn't racing. Every time I passed someone I said, "Don't worry. I'm not really running." I'm not sure if that translated.

The highlight was shaking Kosaror Cheru's hand. He finished in 31 minutes. (Did I mention it was POURING RAIN?) Pretty impressive. As he is Kenyan, I told him "Habari Yako" which put such a smile on his face, I knew we were about to become friends. He asked ME for a photo!

Turns out "Sammy" Cheru lives in Guadalajara where he trains full time. He's running his first marathon in a month. I'm sure he will do great. Look out for him in the future. The Kenyan Mexican is en fuego!

After we took the above picture, I tried to talk myself into a t-shirt from the race organizers. One person sent me to another person who sent me back to the first person - all for a white, see-through 50/50 t-shirt. I finally gave up, ran home and ate a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon and fresh fruit.

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