So… I run a race yesterday…!! It was pretty osom too.
The San Silvestre 8K is a race that happens in many cities all over the world, on the last day of the year. Seems like a really cool tradition and the best way to end the year and set yourself up of the end of year festivities!
The Course, or where you get to see Buenos Aires!
It’s SUPER scenic! I am not sure many races can match how scenic and touristy this course is. You get to run by so many cool interest points in just a short race… It’s pretty cool that they get to stop all downtown for this.
We start and finish in the Obelisco, which is like pretty much like the Washington Monument!
The Obelisco is located in Avenida 9 de Julio (9th of July Avenue, that is the date of our Independence), which is said to be the widest avenue in the world. You need to wait for three different set of traffic lights to cross it…
Then we turn into Avenida de Mayo, and we head towards el Congreso, which is just like the US Capitol building.
A few more steps there, we come back to 9 de Julio and we head to the Plaza de Mayo, (May Square), a focal point of political life in Argentina, as this was the scene of the May 25 1810 revolution. Also, as the President governs across the street, the square is still the busiest spot for demonstrators…
The Casa Rosada (Pink House) is the official seat for the President of Argentina and the seat of the executive branches of government. The president doesn’t reside there though. And it’s REALLY PINK.
Across the street from the Casa Rosada and the Plaza de Mayo is El Cabildo, where Independence was declared and signed. It’s now a museum.
We turn on the main Cathedral…
back to the other side of Avenida de Mayo (my favorite stretch) and go by el Cafe Tortoni. This place has been a paradigm of Buenos Aires culture for over 150 years. In the early 1900 you would find there every famous writer, poet, journalist you could think of. Borges used to go there. Even Albert Einstein was there. It now also holds the National Tango Academy as well.
Then we come back to Avenida 9 de Julio, for an out and back, and go by the Teatro Colon, our Opera House.
Then just back to the Obelisco for the WIN!!! Or just some finish water! (please?!)
Fun, right? Now,
Well, they’ve been doing the race for three years. I did it on their first try, on 2010, and it was amazing. It had been my first race ever in my home country, so this one was my second. It’s really nicely organized, sign up was super smooth, all green lights!
It costs $120 pesos, which is roughly $24 dollars, it’s chip-timed, you get a short sleeve dry-fit, a medal, and lots of food and drinkies at the finish.
We got there… and it was HOT. It was really hot in the morning, then it poured, by 3 pm it got overcast and cold. Perfect. Then, 10 minutes before the race it got hot and sunny again. It was 86 degrees. JUST like last time. It was gonna hurt a bit. Again. On the other hand, it’s freaking flat as hell.
At the start people line up in not-very strict corrals and they sung the national anthem and we were all covered by a HUGE argentinian flag. HUGE. I’ve run over 90 races and I never get to hear MY anthem at a start: I had a moment.
People “warm up” at these races. I swear. It’s ridiculous and funny and I don’t get it, it’s super hot and everyone is jumping around to Psy like crazy. Argentinians… 😉 Gotta love it.
Soon enough, we get going, on time luckily, and it was crowded for a few blocks. But all the streets in this course are super wide so we were fine after less than a quarter mile.
First mile, my sis, and my dad and my mom cheering, as is their annual duty!
Juan and I had started together, though I had said 7:20s and he had said 6:50, all in kilometers which is REALLY confusing, something like 4:40s. Yes, I am THAT fast in Argentina. It’s kind of wild to line up in the 4:30 to 5:00 corral. Hilarious. We stuck together for a few miles, he would read the mins per kilometers: 4:05, well, that sounds fast; Motoactv would whisper 7:03s in my ear… I am going too freaking fast!
It is really hard for me to slow down in the heat, and mile 2 was 7:04, so right there I told him to go, cause he looked like he was walking… and I was dying. I got really hot soon. I wouldn’t stop to drink water, but I did grab one at mile 3 and threw in my head, bra and back. Delicious. Yum.
The course is really nice though and keeps you entertained, and I found myself pacing with people. It was ALL MEN around. Really. I am not sure where all the women were… Mile 3 was 7:17 and even though I was suffering, I was still under pace.
Soon enough, I get back on the 9 de Julio, and see the family!
By then, I was falling apart! Mile 4 was rough but I had a few guys pick me up and run with me to cheer me on, it was super cool. Mile 4 wasn’t so bad though, 7:11, all under 7:20 for an average of 7:13! Check out my cadence though, out of control, right?
I crossed the finish line and I needed a few seconds. I wasn’t feeling so good… I got really hot and I needed water desperately. I saw my family there by the side and got to chill a bit before I emptied a few bottles.
We hung out at the finish for a bit, as they were going to raffle a car… and because it was fun too! My half-race pacer Juan, below, who’s doing like 50 ironman a day and almost-ready to qualify for Kona.
OMG, there’s a POOL!! WITH ICE ON IT!!! AND NO ONE ON IT!??!?!?
We stayed a bit for the awards ceremony (and car raffle of course!) and it was weird to not know everyone (though Juan did!), it was pretty cool (not in the cold-cool-sense).
I think this is a wonderful tradition, no matter how bloody hot it gets in December here. I really like this race, the course, the fun, the organization and how chill it all is. Did I say wonderful?
Happy New Year Friends!!!!!! I am ready for my 2012 recap now (had to use up to the last minute!). 2013: BRING IT!