Right, so the first section of the course was an out-and-back climb that topped out at 13,490 ft, roughly analogous to Imogene without the steep grades. My brother reports that there were a sizable number of runners, perhaps first-timers, that took off like a shot at the start as if it were a 5K and not 42K, and faded badly by this point. There were other runners that waited to jump into the field at this point perhaps because it was more convenient than back at the start. The back-end of the course enters the city and begins to weave through many of the neighborhoods. Like many first time races, the aid stations ran dry before much of the field came through. Several of the local folks lining the course through this section were thoughtful enough to bring out pitchers of water, and some store owners handed out bags of water to the runners. A bit like the good folks handing out orange wedges in Boston, except with probable health implications! Tough it out and hydrate I say. Most of the course's second half was a net descent ending with 300ft of climbing over the last 2K. Kind of a rough finish, but you know, you've got to earn your post-race beer so you gotta suck it up and charge through it.
|Major Brennan at far left, crushin' it|
|Here's a better photo of the guy in which his relentless|
speed isn't blurring the image
|Bishop and the Stars and Stripes|
The runners up front seemed to have little difficulty with the course challenges or elevation. The winner hailing from Bolivia, finished in 2:33:20. He was shadowed by two Peruvians who came through in 2:34 and 2:35. We figure the altitude handicap to be about one minute a mile for the average finisher, maybe double for a runner not training at altitude (quite possibly DNF cause running at 12,000ft is a freaking chore).
All things being equal, my bro felt La Paz was probably not as difficult as the Great Wall Marathon in China. Great insight, I could make that call and I've run neither. The Major adds those two finishing medals to his finishes in Athens and Rwanda. Yes, he ran his first marathon in Rwanda, and no, people do not consider me the odd one in the family.
- Maraton de Santiago, Chile
Assorted race photos courtesy of Ms. Sara Greengrass:
|Bolivian Bear Costume Guy, likely thinking that all the other runners in the field are chumps|
|Boliviano Clown Guy making it happen|
|Guy at left sucking on water bag, guy at center without water bag hurting badly|
|Awesome Old School Guy running with retractable pancho, satchel, and color-festooned socks creates a sharp contrast with lame punk-kid runner at right. A similarly old-school attired runner finished 12th overall. One word for that: Badass.|
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