10 Things I Think About The San Silvestre Sevillana 2017
1. Type 4 Fun
I don’t think I need to explain why I’m in Spain again. The weather back home is unsuitable, I don’t like it. I went running in the Ballyhouras on Christmas morning which normally would be enjoyable, on this occasion it was utter misery because of the perma-darkness, semi-freezing rain and howling wind. It wasn’t even type 3 fun, it was type 4 fun, it wasn’t fun and never will be fun.
2. The Disease
I don’t think a human being has ever suffered from as bad a disease as I’ve had this week. I had to take two days off running because my lungs filled up and stopped working. I tried lots of drugs, Sudafed, Actifed, Panadol Night, Exputex, Fluimucil and some random stuff I got in a Spanish pharmacy. Nothing worked. I even tried taking lots of Ventolin like Chris Froome but all this did was make me shake. I was utterly miserable even though I was in Spain, I even fell asleep on a small John O'Connell sized sofa in Conor’s AirBnB which was exceptionally uncomfortable. Thankfully the wine and sun made it better just in time for the race today.
3. Best Disease Ever
I think the fastest way to lose weight is to get a good disease. I think I should bottle my current disease as a weight loss drug. It’s both an appetite suppressant and a metabolic stimulant. If I could tame the minor side effects like incessant barking cough, profuse sweating and shivering then I’d definitely make millions. I was interested to see if I’d run faster today with there being less of me there than usual.
4. Safety Pins
Registering for Spanish races is very difficult, it’s all online and in Spanish, we managed to register two of the four of us that were going to run at the first attempt. Sinead’s registration seemed to get lost in the Spanish internet, and I entered twice instead of entering Conor, thankfully Conor was able to fix everything at the dorsal collection. Safety pins to attach the numbers were not so easy to come by. Safety pins are remarkably hard to buy in Spain, they don’t sell them in shops or pharmacies. I had one from the clockwork orange t-shirt I bought so I used that. They had loads at the start so it wasn’t a problem.
This was a classic approximados race, everything was approximados. The start time changed from 1800 to 0945 a few days before, the race distance was advertised as 5k. All this meant was that the race wouldn’t start at 0945 and that the race definitely wouldn’t be 5k.
6. Orange Trees
I really really like the weather in Seville at this time of year. It’s perfect. It’s goldilocks weather. It’s not too hot and not too cold, it’s just right. This morning it was about 12degrees and kind of sunny. Perfection. There is no wind in Seville, it doesn’t exist, I think it’s illegal for it to be windy in Seville. I was able to wear my orange sunglasses to match my orange singlet and the oranges on the orange trees. Orange trees are my favorite type of tree.
7. Star Wars
The race started at the Plaza de España, it’s where they filmed a Star Wars film apparently, I’m not sure which one. It’s a very beautiful place to start a race. Unfortunately the race organizers seemed to have forgotten to inform the guardia civil that the race was starting at 0945. In Togher everyone would have died of hypothermia, but instead we just chatted and did some strides to try and intimidate the Spaniards. The guards arrived at around 1010 so it wasn’t too bad.
8. Cherry Cola
We got talking to a Spanish girl called Lola from Granada at the start who saw that we were from Cork because of Michael Herlihy’s beautiful North Cork singlet. She had worked in Cork and knew who Robert Heffernan was, he’s very famous in Spain apparently. She supplied us with some valuable insider information on the course like that it went left after the first roundabout and that it was only 4.2k. This made sense as all the faster looking Spaniards had lined up on the left hand side of the start and looked intent on running very fast. Normally I hate short races but as I was still a bit diseased I was happy to hear that it was only 4.2k. It was like a deci-marathon.
9. The Carrera
I think the Spaniards know how to run passionately. Every single one of them went off at a ridiculously unsustainable pace. I went off boringly because of my disease. There were many triathletes dressed in onesies ahead of me, I just about managed to stay ahead of the giant minion. After about a km they all slowed down and I started passing people which was unusual and only happens in Spain. My disease wasn’t too bad. The km markers were dramatically inaccurate, once we passed the 3k marker, you could see the finish. I wasn’t sure that it was the finish but it was. It was definitely the fastest 5k I’ve ever run. I managed to beat all of the triathletes so it was an acceptable performance.
10. El Campeón
I was very jealous of Sinéad today, she comfortably won the women’s race. As a result she got to stand on the podium and be sprayed with shaving foam by Spanish kids. Conor also got sprayed with shaving foam on the podium for 3rd place which made no sense as he came 6th. They both got excellent Spanish prizes, a voucher for El Corte Ingles, a big trophy and a massive Spanish ham. The local Spanish club ADSevilla were so impressed by Sinead that they tried to poach her. I wish that I was good enough at running that a Spanish running club would try and poach me. I’d love to be poached.
Despicable Me (and The Minion)
A Clockwork Orange