Thursday, February 22, 2007

A city of extremes

What an incredible day! An early morning bus tour revealed a city of dizzying extremes. From beautiful mansions, once owned by the British estancia owners in Recoleta, to the shanty towns surrounding El Boco, the former home of Maradona and birthplace of Tango. Although it is clearly an extremely poor area the locals have successfully created a vibrant, bohemian community with corrugated tin buildings painted in every imaginable colour. Very much like Camden, the streets of El Boco are peppered with life size paper mache statues of Argentinian heroes. Evita, Juan Domingo Peron and Maradona loom over the main street of Carminito watching over the local artists and tango dancers who entertain the many tourists who visit the area.

Back at the hotel we abandoned the idea of another al fresco training run choosing instead the safer option of the hotel treadmills. We weren’t alone…one fellow runner aptly described our run of yesterday as a death march (although this didn’t deter the hardier types from venturing forth once again).

All 198 runners have just sat down to dinner together for the first time and it proved to be a humbling experience. We met runners from 16 other countries many of whom were members of the elite ‘7 continents club’ – their task being to run a marathon on all 7 continents. One lady has already completed this endeavour and is doing it for the second time! Another lady runner, Ludmila Sunova, is 75 years old and hoping to complete her 115th marathon in Antarctica. I hope to be able to share some of their stories with you over the coming days.

Tomorrow we fly to Ushuaia and from there board the boat for Antarctica. Blog updates will then be dependent upon favourable weather conditions…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Nathan. Great blog about the marathon. Did you get a chance to meet my husband, Wesam Mahmoud, the U.S. Marine from Egypt. He is running the marathon too. Unfortunately he told me Monday morning that he met somebody he is in love with on the flight over there and he dosent want to talk to me the rest of the trip. (I guess i am not going to get any stuffed penguins) I am still trying to follow the progress of the marathon I feel like I invested something in it too after going with him on all his runs bringing him water and giving motivation and so on. Good Luck--- Jenny Mahmoud