Facebook, for once, has had a positive effect on my life! It suggested this 'Beer Runners Valencia Event' to me on its cheeky side bar and, as I had no other plans for a saturday morning (and with new years resolutions still in the air), I agreed.
Beer Runners, I have learnt, is "An initiative to promote active lifestyle that combines two essential elements of Mediterranean culture, physical activity and the social act of sharing a beer.
The objective of this activity is to promote physical exercise, encouraging anyone, but especially young people, to go running or another sport in groups and have a few beers after exercise in good company."
Sounds like a pretty awesome idea to me - self improvement and socialising with like minded people :)
So, this morning I had a nice warm up jog along the Jardin Turia, along to the Athletics Stadium. The early bird catches the worm and being one of the first 100 people to register I received a free t-shirt YAY! Everybody loves stash. It was well organised and totally free, I believe it's a one off event but I'll be keeping my eye out for similar things.
Over the next hour more people arrived and the atmosphere was very pleasant; good friends exchanging family shenanigans, the young looking peachy after an presumed heavy friday night, the old limbering up their creaky joints...all basking under the glow of the warm (22 degrees) January sunshine and accompanied by some pumping tunes to get the adrenaline going!
|This chap clearly had had his Weetabix for breakfast- almost pushed the tree over....there's life in the old timer yet!|
If you want to know what 1000 people look like (up & down for yes.....)
I received very many odd stares from the Spanish as I was happily sporting my awesome GTL tank top with lycra shorts, with them dressed up to the nines in leggings, fleeces, hats, gloves...you name it, they were wearing it!! The crowd were all very friendly and chatty, making the day so much more enjoyable than that awful selfish vibe you sometimes get at local running events.
The race itself was good fun, although the start was manic as ever with lots of jostling about and the odd elbow coming into contact with soft flesh... The route was a big loop along the West section of Jardin Turia. The supporters and marshals were all great and smiley and put on a brave face in spite of the dust clouds being whipped up due to the epic wind.
I made a rather large miscalculation of the route so ended up doing my 'push for home' a lot earlier than necessary :( however a lovely woman encouraged me forth and thanks to her cheeriness I was able to pick it up for the actual finish. All training is good training and I'll bear this in mind with regards to my longer races on the horizon. Watch this space.
What made me so happy about the race was the fact that it was all-encompassing. Everyone was welcome. There were elite runners out to get a good time, there were proud parents with their little joys all wrapped up in the super buggies, there were groups of friends who merrily chatted and joked their way round and there were all types of waifs and strays who wanted their moment to be involved in the community and do some phys! It was so lovely to see and be immersed in such a friendly environment.
There's a first time for everything in life, and today I witnessed Spaniards queuing.....albeit for beers and tapas!! What a grand surprise! It was a great event and well organised, I look forward to doing more in the future.
What have you done this weekend thats new or different for you? How are your New Years Resolutions fitness plans working out? Heads up folks, there's always tomorrow :)