La carrera a la cima! (The race to the top!)

So, here it is!  The real reason that Valerie and I have been traveling through Central America over the last year and a half is to train for the Ometepe 100 km (62 mile) Ultra Marathon tomorrow.

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Yeah right, that ain’t gonna happen!

Okay, how about the 70km (43.4 mile) Survival Run?

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Yeah, that’s not going to happen either!

Same for the 50km (31 mile) and 25km (15.5 mile) runs.  Actually, I did very briefly contemplate entering the 25k but my hill/altitude work has been seriously lacking since we left Boquete and the volcano climb would probably be insurmountable for me at this time.  Maybe next year?

Some people think that I am pretty hard core with my 25 to 30 miles of running per week at the age of 55.  Not even close, when compared to the super athletes that have been converging on this island over the last several days.

It is just by coincidence that we are here at the same time of these grueling events.  Our paths have crossed with some of the competitors, over the last few days, and they are truly a unique group.

Running 25, 50, 70 or 100 kilometers up, and down, a volcano must be an extremely demanding challenge by itself.  However, participants in the 70k also undertake various climbing, swimming and carrying challenges that transform a difficult uphill run into a nearly impossible obstacle course. Even the 100k has a few twists like navigating through mazes of trees and slogging through deep mud.

No thanks, I prefer my runs with free hands, steady footing and clear vision.  Not to mention that the only water I can bear to endure during a run is my own perspiration!

The event raises money for the children of Ometepe and participants, as well as volunteers, help clean up debris on the island.  These efforts are very much appreciated.

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The longer events start at 4:00 am so I hope to be sound asleep when those competitors begin their hellish journey.  However, the 25k starts at 7:00 am.  As a show of appreciation for their efforts I will head to the starting line and cheer them on.  Of course, that will be after completing a relatively leisurely 4 mile run on mostly flat and stable terrain. 🙂

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