How not to run a 10k race to the Mitad del Mundo

The week before we went to Mexico I decided to sign up for a 10K race with a couple of friends down here Erin and Andy. The route of the race ended at Mitad del Mundo the equator’s landmark in Ecuador, so I thought it would be a cool race to try. Knowing myself I knew that I had to sign up for the race before hand otherwise I wouldn’t end up running it. So I signed up and thought I would try to get out for a run once or twice before hand. I figured this along with the weekly basketball, soccer and occasional hike would be sufficient to run 10k. While this sounded good in theory it did not come to fruition. Rather my training went as follows, I ate as much as my stomach could hold while in Mexico, stopped all physical activity 2 weeks prior to the race, got sick for a the full week leading up to the race and chaperoned the school play the night before the race in a freezing cold ‘auditorium’. But not to fear I did some prep work leading up to the race, I drank a gatorade the night before and two in the morning prior to the race, you know hydration is a key part to running 10k. So I went to bed slightly nervous but overall confident that I could easily slip off the course grab a cab and meet Erin and Andy at the finish line if necessary. The morning of the race came far to soon and true to form I ask Caitlin to hit the snooze, I think she hit it 3 times and I’m pretty sure it malfunctioned the last time as I felt the time between annoying buzzes was far longer. After the third snooze and much internal debate of whether backing out would get me too much of a berating from Erin and Andy I decided to get up. As I got up and donned my running gear and my two gatorades, you know you have to stay hydrated for these kinds of things, I was ready to go. I called for a taxi only to find out that none were available, a common occurance here in Quito primarily when a taxi is of the utmost necessity. So I decided to go hail a cab down the hill, I figured this would count as my warm up as I jogged down. Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long to get a cab and off we went. As we got closer to the 10k start line we began to hit traffic, I kept looking at my watch to see if I was going to make it. While I was checking my watch for the 10th time and debating whether or not my watch was accurate the cab driver told me that we weren’t going to be able to make it because they had block off the road. So like a cliche movie I paid the cab driver and started running to the starting line. As I was running I quickly became aware of people staring at me like I was a drunk and confused since I looked the part of a runner in the race but was not running with all the other runners. I soon saw the rest of the runners and began running with them. I felt a little guilty, like they thought I was cheating but I didn’t get discouraged and I plugged along. I glanced down at my watch and saw that I had about 15min to get to the race line and I was about 3K out so picked up the pacing hoping to get to the starting line in time to stretch as I had ignored doing so in my haste. It wouldn’t be as dramatic if as I jumped out of the cab I bent over to stretch my hamstrings would it now? So I continued running all the while thinking “This is what I get for that extra snooze, 10min extra sleep equals 3k”. When i finally get to the 10K starting point they had already taken off, as I got to the start line I had to hurriedly with little more than hand motions explain to the race monitor that it he needed to let me get across the rope so that I could cross the electronic start line and have my start recorded. It took a little bit of convincing as apparently I looked in about the same shape as everyone else around me who had been running 11K already. I knew this was not a good sign. The rest of the race was relatively uneventful. Although I did think about the fact that I should have finished at the 7K mark and that maybe next time I should train a little bit more throughly. I finished the race and met up with Erin and Andy and got to visit Mitad del Mundo for the first time. After meeting up with Erin and Andy we decided to pay the ridiculous $2 for a picture in front of the monument since none of us ran with a camera. Unfortunately the first photographer did not check to see that Erin’s eyes were open. So we had to get another picture taken which cost us another $2. But figured when else will I run a 10k race that ends at the equator.

Closed Eyes after the race.

Second try. Turned out much better.


3 thoughts on “How not to run a 10k race to the Mitad del Mundo

  1. You don't look so bad for a guy who a) did not train; b) was late to the start line; and c) finished. Way to go Alex; you make us all proud.


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