Written by Jacqueline Newell
What: Maraton 21 K Arnet Buenos Aires 2015
Where: Av. Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 7000, Palermo, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
When: September 6, 2015, 07:00 AM
Who: 25,000 of my closest friends, all clad in spadex
With matching shirts, bags filled with sneakers and gels, and boarding passes in hand, 53 members of Alto Running Club descended upon Buenos Aires to take part in the biggest half marathon in South America. On Friday morning, I gathered with several team mates in the Mendoza airport and began what would become a weekend filled with lots of coffee, picture taking and sneakers.
Upon arrival, I took a cab to the apartment of my friends Charmaine and Marine in Palermo/Recoleta. We crossed town to pick up my race kit and get my tshirt personalized before grabbing lunch and heading to Charmaine and Amanda’s English club at a school near her apartment. I helped the girls, along with Amanda’s mom, lead the class with some great students. It was great to see how other Fulbrighters are conducting their classes in a different city!
On Saturday morning, we had a mini Fulbright reunion with everyone who happened to be in BA for the weekend: Amanda (and her mom), Charmaine, Matt (Fulbright’s chamyuro master), Brianna, Sam, Adam (and his three friends from the USA) and me. We had brunch before going our separate ways for siestas.
In preparation for the race the next morning, all 53 members of Alto gathered for a giant pasta dinner. It is just one of the many reasons why I love this running group! After a 5AM wake up alarm, it was time to get going. We shared a tent at the start line with a running group from Baires where we could dump our bags before getting lost in the crowds. There was a colored bracelet system to find your starting carrel but that was thrown out the window.
We ran through Palermo, past the Obelisk, cutting back to the Plaza de Mayo and the Pink House, before running back to the finish line by way of the highway. The course was almost completely flat which was a really nice change from hilly Mendoza. Because of that, I was able to cut about 10 minutes off of my last half marathon time.
Once the race was over, I made the trek back to Charmaine’s apartment and navigated the Baires subte system. Adam was in Puerto Madero with his friends from the USA and invited me to come hang out at the pool. I discovered the power of blonde in Baires when the ticket man let me ride the subte for free… too bad I was waiting for the subte going in the wrong direction. We hung out at the Hilton Hotel for the afternoon before I went back and absolutely crashed.