adidas split 16k — the race from hell

Adidas Split 16k -- Mexico CIty from The Story Bureau on Vimeo.

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This weekend I ran the Adidas Split 16k. The race took place in Santa Fe, a little detail I had failed to notice when I signed up. If you’re not already aware of it, Santa Fe is full of hills. Long, steep, horrible hills. If I’d seen where the race was before, I’d never signed up for it. I hate hills.

The time I aimed for before I knew the race was in Santa Fe, was something in the 1:20s. After I learned where it was, I thought maybe I could still manage a 1:28. That was stupid.

When the signal went off and I started running I felt pretty good. I quickly took the back of the 1:20 pacer and thought to myself that this might still be easy — I might even set a new pb!

But then … then came kilometer 8 and the start of the damn climb. Only a few meters onto the first hill I knew I was screwed. This was not going to end well. From then on it was to hell with the clock — now it was all about survival.

The hills kept coming. Santa Fe was showing no mercy. Between 8k and 13k I said my prayers, cried a couple of times, started to understand the necessity for assisted suicide, and hoped that one day Mexico would the first country to outlaw running.

Official time, 1:34:30. Chip time, 1:33:54.

Official time, 1:34:30. Chip time, 1:33:54.

After 13k the hills finally let up, and somehow, through a miracle, I managed to push through (though I did, I’m afraid to say, walk a couple of times). In the end the clock stopped at 1:33:54, and considering the hell I went through, it could’ve been a lot worse. In fact, it’s almost four minutes faster than the 16k I ran last year!

The lesson learned: Pay closer attention to where the race takes place before you sign up. And do more hill training. Even though I hate it. It must be done.

Thought my damn calves were going to fall off.

Thought my damn calves were going to fall off.

It's decided. I'll buy a bulldozer and shave off every pinche hill in Santa Fe.

It’s decided. I’ll buy a bulldozer and shave off every pinche hill in Santa Fe.

Ran into the lovely José Ángel Araujo again. He hated the hills as much as I did.

Ran into the lovely José Ángel Araujo again. He hated the hills as much as I did.

Even the cleaning lady needed a stretch.

Even the cleaning lady needed a stretch.

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