Sunday, 14 July 2013

30km Buenos Aires Sur (road race)

I'm back in Buenos Aires - as of Saturday evening - and already missing Bariloche, my new friends there and the hostel! In mid-May or so I had a look online to see whether - by any chance - there were any events on. I found this race - 30km Buenos Aires Sur - a 30km road run. I ran it this morning.

Not the most interesting route as the course is flatter than a pancake. I'd be hard pressed to say whether there was more than two-metres of elevation difference between the highest and lowest points on the course and we didn't run through scenic neighbourhoods. We started off on the local motor racing track (start/finish venue was the Autodromo) and ran on the roads around the track. But it was entertaining nonetheless to check out the people and because the route was 'out-and-back' on stretches we got to see people ahead of - and then behind - us.

I took a taxi from the city centre, where I'm staying, to the Autodromo - a 30-minute drive.

I loved this! Before the start they had music playing and then about 15 mins before there was this guy and girl on stage doing warm-up stuff with us. Pretty good fun to all jog on the spot and bounce around a bit with other people. It wasn't cold (like Bariloche!) but chilly enough that I was wearing my thin long sleeve top, plus run vest plus long sleeve thermal plus thin run jacket pre-start.

Gotta love self-seeding. And, here people seed themselves properly! Once we got under the start banner I didn't have to work through people to gain ground; I didn't spend 2 minutes walking... I was running next to people of similar pace from the get go! 

And, howz this for interesting... NOT ONE WALKER ahead of me! Actually, no walkers at all. While I don't have anything against walkers at races, I do have a problem with having to fight through walkers moving three-abroad on the road right at the start of the race. Really irritates me at home. As for the no walkers at all - I did find this strange...

A bit after 14km I could see the people at 10km and there were maybe like three of them only. I saw my first person walking at around 12km (calf cramp it looked like) - and he'd pulled off the side of the road (didn't just stop in the middle of the road). And then the next person walking a bit was maybe around 18km and then I saw two or three walking at about 25km and then a few walking in the last kilometre - and by I few, not even 10. And at about 20km when I could see people at 15km (very, very few) they were jogging, not walking. Interesting! 

Then again, for a race flatter than a pancake it isn't like you've got hills to 'justify' walking up them.

I'd say that 75% of the field were running a 4:45-6:00min/km pace.

Me, before the start.
Start! Heading for the start banner.

About 1.5km into the race - on the race track.
Just after I took the photo above this one, the guy next to me offered to take a photo of me. Very sweet.
Water points every 5km and no sachets... 330ml water bottles! Before the 24km mark they were handing out thirds of bananas (with skin on) and paper cups of Gatorade. 

At the finish. A really comfortable 2h44 for the 30km distance. My legs are feeling the after effects of the tar now - not used to all tar and the metronome-like repetitiveness of the road - I've been so spoilt the past month with my dirt roads, trails and mountain vistas in Bariloche. That said, I ran nice and comfortably - the type of comfortable where you can breathe through your nose easily and HR barely felt. Nice!

After the finish line people were handing out things - first a bottle of water, then a bottle of Gatorade, then a cereal-type bar, then a packet with a small packet of cookies and a banana and an apple. Sweet.
These guys were clipping the timing cards off our shoes.
At the last stop before exiting the chute we got these sheets of plastic. Being winter, they're given out so that you don't get cold. You can just wrap it around your shoulders as you go to your car or the bus. Nice to use to sit on the ground too.
My loot.

My race tee. We got them before the start and many people ran in theirs. It's a nice one.
So then, while I've got my loot on the ground to take a photo, the guy near me sees my SA flag and comes to chat. He came to SA in Jan for the half IronMan, and to travel for two weeks afterwards. He absolutely loved it there and says when he is old he has to decide whether he wants to retire in Argentina or to go to Cape Town. Lovely!

We finish talking, I pack up and before I leave I ask whether he knows about a bus (there seems to have been an event bus too from the centro - I only saw this online last night) going back to the Centro. He says he is from another city and he came here for this race (staying in the Centro) so he has his car and can give me a lift. What luck! His daughter and her boyfriend were waiting for him so I was in good company. He really, really loves South Africa. Even has an SA flag sticker in his car. 

Mariano y Lisa
Mariano mentioned a marathon that weaves through the Buenos Aires city centre - it's in October every year. I'll have to get my timing right one of these years because I'd definitely break my road marathon aversion for this one. He's running Chicago later this year.

So, a good morning out and pleasant re-entry to the city. I fly home on Wednesday evening so I've got three nights and another two-and-a-half days to play around here. I've marked down a few places to visit, including a road that seems to be a smorgasbord of yarn shops.

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