I had four main objectives going into this lengthy sunday long run in Santiago de Chile:

  1. Start
  2. Finish
  3. Negative splitting
  4. Test Nutrition

When I crossed the noisy finish line at the Bernardo O’Higgins Avenue I could gladly tick off all open points – mission accomplished. Better than I anticipated!

A couple of thoughts went through my head when I got out for the 20-minute wake-up trot around the city at 5:30am. While jogging through the blank, misty and unkind roads of Rotterdam, Berlin or Florence the previous years at this time of the day, streets in South America are still busy with people lashing home or heading for another beer.

I never cared about a marathon less than I did about this one. The weeks flew by and I did not taper or did whatsoever special for this race. When I checked the course shape I was kind of stunned but still did not really care. Without the burden of running a PB I lined up in the middle of the pack and got mayor pleasure out of this race around the Chilean capital. I’m not good in warm climate and hills during a road race do not certainly suit me. On this day I couldn’t care less about those facts.

30 kilometer uphill, and the icing on the cake – a crispy 12 k downhill back to Bernardo O’Higgins Avenue. This is the course rundown in a nutshell (See Marcelo’s Garmin Recording for more info). My head divided the race up in twos and I told myself that this marathon is finished at 30k. I trusted myself and when I passed the 30k mark my head reset the system and I was hovering back down to the finish in the city. The finishing 4k hurt a lot and I was suffering.

As my watch died early on during the race I never realized what I was doing. I got the impression that I’m in nowhere´s land as the streets got less packed with runners the further I got. I passed people and the onlookers alongside the street threw “vamos flaco” and “dalle flaqito” corals at me. Pretty amusing and uplifting, I certainly had the beat.

When I saw the watch over the finish line I was surprised. Surprised in a positive way. 03:07:54 was not the time I estimated out of a intentional sunday training long run that should lead me to the Patagonia 84k in two weeks. I scheduled to walk the aid stations at the 10, 20 and 30 kilometer points to drink appropriately and take my gels. Combined with my tiny “pit-stop” just after 36k the outcome is spotless.

I walked of to get drinks and luckily bounced into Patrick who also looked to be delighted with a 03:11:34. Together with Marcelo Spinelli and my other mates from Buenos Aires we sat down in the finish area and enjoyed the break.

This day thought me a lot. More than I expected.

“It’s getting faster, moving faster now, it’s getting out of hand,
On the tenth floor, down the back stairs, it’s a no man’s land,
Lights are flashing, cars are crashing, getting frequent now,
I’ve got the spirit, lose the feeling, let it out somehow.”

 Joy Divison – Disorder