We Run Lima – 10K
Posted November 7, 2010on:
It’s Saturday, and as usual we spent the day running errands and doing the things we don’t have time to do during the week. We got home about 7:30pm and were cooking dinner when we heard what sounded like a car outside in the street blasting its stereo at full volume, with the bass thumping. The car seemed to be parked as the music never stopped. “How weird!” we said. Why would someone park in the street and have their music so loud, for so long without someone complaining. A little while later we hard a lot of bulla (commotion) in the street. Cars where honking and the traffic was backed-up on our street, which usually isn’t that busy. When we looked out the window we saw that all the traffic was stopped and people were getting out of their cars and walking around in the street. The traffic was at a standstill and nothing was moving. Again we said “How weird! Something must be going on”. So, we decided to go out and investigate.
We walked down Bolívar, the street we live on, toward Larco and soon realized that the music wasn’t coming from a car at all. There was a live DJ on Larco with a large crowd gathered around. It was then that we realized what all the commotion was… it was We Run Lima, a 10km run something like The Sun Run in Vancouver. We had seen them assembling stages and big screens in Parque Kennedy earlier in the day, but didn’t realize that the run was today. The strange thing was that it was at night, in the dark!
We stood on Larco for about half an hour and watched all the runners pass-by in their bright, florescent green t-shirts. We were situated just past the 9th kilometer mark and the runners were on the home stretch, heading toward the finish line. The house music being played by the very cool, geisha-like DJ blared in the street. The atmosphere was energetic and the whole scene was quite spectacular.
The stream of runner seemed endless. We later found out that there were about 10,000 participants in the run. Not quite the 50,000 runners that participate in The Vancouver Sun Run, but pretty good for a country which doesn’t have the same focus on fitness and exercise.
The runners finally thinned out as the last few stragglers made their way toward the finish line. All the streets had been closed to cars, hence the traffic jam on our street. Oddly, before the last runners finished, they began to open up the streets to cars again. I guess the bottlenecks were so bad they couldn’t keep the streets closed any longer.
We made our way toward the finish line, which was located near Parque Kennedy. At that moment, when we saw the thousands of people milling around the finish line, we realized how lucky we were. The finish line was located right outside the Municipalidad de Miraflores, where we got married the previous Saturday. If we had chosen November 6th instead of October 30th to get married, it would have been a disaster!!!
A little further along, in the Ovalo de Miraflores, there was a huge stage and screen set up. They were announcing the men and women who finished in the top 3 places. Not surprisingly, the man who won (finishing in just over 30 minutes) was a 23-year old from Kenya. The top placing woman, however, was a 35-year old from Huancayo, Peru. Huancayo is a town located in the Sierra. The high altitude forces the people to have strong lungs so they are able to breath the thin air. I guess that makes them good runners because the 2nd place man was also from Huancayo.
One of the things I like about Lima is that there is always something going on in the city. Even when there are large crowds gathered, the atmosphere always seem very fun and friendly. Unlike in Canada, people here can drink open alcohol in the streets; however, this doesn’t seem to cause any problems. This event was sponsored by Nike, which was very obvious by the check mark logos everywhere. The run appears to have been very well-organized and managed, even if it was delayed by 2 weeks from the originally planned date. Congratulations Lima for a successful event!