There was a short "fun run" at the track for young children beginning at 6:30 am (wow!), and the 5K/10K races began at 7 am. So I was up earlier than usual. Of course it was plenty warm (er, hot and humid) even at that time, but better than it would be later on.
The course started and ended at the track where I've run so many times. It's been closed for maintenance lately, so I've been running on the road. But it was open again for the race. Turnout was excellent, and there were plenty of volunteers on hand as well. The event was incredibly well organized. Mexico continues to impress me in surprising ways!
Superheroes and Disney characters were all there for the kids. Yep, even Captain America!
The kids who did the fun run got their photo taken with some of the characters. There are a lot of fit adults in Playa, and it was great to see children enjoying physical fitness as well.
Barry got up early and came along to support me and take all the photos. I really appreciated his help as this blog post wouldn't have happened any other way. I wasn't about to carry a camera along while I ran.
Here, I'm as ready as I'll ever be...just gotta get my number pinned on....
All the runners lined up behind the starting banner and showed some spirit, as the announcers energized us with some pre-race announcements. Even though I didn't understand most of what he said (in Spanish), it was exciting to be a part of this crowd. I was one of the very few non-Mexicans running, from all appearances.
And we're off! I am in the center waving at Barry, behind one of several canine runners. I loved that some folks brought their four-footed friends along!
After running a half lap around the track, we headed down 10th Avenue south, turned east at Calle 4, then north onto 5th Avenue. There were police blocking traffic at every intersection, and it was a blast having the roads to ourselves.
I'm to the far right in the photo below and already soaked in sweat.
After turning back onto 10th Avenue, we ran back towards the track. I'm fourth in the photo below and getting pretty spent by this point, mostly due to the high humidity. Whew!
Once back on the track, we ran another half lap to complete the 5K ("cinco kah" in Spanish) course. The 10K runners had to do the entire course twice. No thanks!
The course was on the short side, coming in at only 2.71 miles instead of 3.1, according to my Garmin wristwatch. I had thought that this might be the case based on my previous runs in the area. But on this hot and humid morning, I wasn't going to complain.
I was happy with my time of 25:20.7, or 9:21 minutes per mile. If we had run a full 3.1 miles, that puts me at 29 minutes, which would have been my fastest 5K time ever. At age 54, I'm not complainin'!
There were numerous announcements after I'd finished running, and some children were introduced. I would have loved to have understood what all they were saying -- perhaps some day my Spanish will be good enough, but I'm not there yet. Still, it was fun to be a part of.
Here, the announcer was introducing this cute little boy.
Here I am feeling proud and happy after the event. It was the culmination of a lot of difficult training and much, much sweating over the past few months. I liked the medal and pin all the runners received as well!
Huge props go out to the organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and municipal police for all they did to make this event a huge success. I hope the funds raised will go a long way in the community to help children and families affected by autism, and I am grateful to have been a part of such a special occasion in Playa del Carmen!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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