Monday, July 30, 2007

"Jogging" Fad Hits Queretaro

Several times a week I drag my aging, arthritic ass out the door for a half-hour, high altitude trot along broken cobblestone streets (it seems wrong to call this "running"), and usually I have "the field to myself." Yet there was a 10K road race here yesterday and 450 people somehow managed to show up for it. I simply had no idea there were 450 people in Queretaro who owned running shoes. (I was not among them, having only discovered it while out for my own little trot, noting that there were a lot more people applauding me than usual. I assumed I was being mocked and heckled, as usual, but in fact I'd wandered onto the course.)

Even more amazingly, the race was dominated - as is every road race everywhere in the whole wide world - by Kenyans. (I swear this is true). They took 1-2-3 in the men's race, plus the top two women's spots. We've been in Queretaro a year now, and have seen exactly three black people, all of them tourists. Yet five Kenyans swept the town's piddling little roadrace and, not incidentally, walked off with the bulk of the 17,000 pesos in prize money. If you're ever thinking of holding a little fun-run where you live, it might be easier to just take all the prizes and mail them to Mombassa.

So here's a sincere question for anyone who understands Mexican athletics better than me: all the local papers list the winning men's times as 28:71, 28:72 and 28:91. Um...a Mexican minute is 60 seconds long, no? Fourth place is listed at 29.00 which, back on Non-Bizzarro Earth, should mean that he won the whole thing by 11 seconds. What am I missing?

If I'd known about this race, I'm sure I could have turned in a 28:950 or so.

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