10 Things I Think About The Rock ‘N’ Roll Madrid 10k
1. Rocket Ship Train
I think we should get a rocket ship train in Cork. The easiest way to get to Madrid from Cork at the moment is to fly to Málaga and then get catapulted in great comfort at 300km/hr to Madrid. It’s definitely my favourite mode of transport ever, very nice.
I think that those Nike 4% and 5% shoes should be banned, they’re everywhere. They were selling the 4% at the Expo for €209, the guy at the stall let me try on a pair. I tried a size 12, not a hope, my feet are far too wide, I was bursting out through them, they’re just not made for fat ankled lumps like me. It’s almost discrimination. The Spanish guy didn’t even try and sell them to me, he just shook his head.
I think that if I go to enough races in Spain I will eventually become fluent. I learnt a new word at this race, cajón, it means corral. It’s just as well I learnt it because they had put me in the over 40 minutes corral which contained about 6000 people. Changing cajón at the Expo was surprisingly unspanish and disappointingly easy, they just put a new sticker on my number over the old cajón number and I was good to go. I’d have preferred something more complicated.
I think that Madrid has some excellent walking tours, I did three in two days, the best one was the Spanish Inquisition one which was given by a Limerick guy who could have been Blindboy without the plastic bag. Perhaps that’s what he does when he goes to Spain, either that or he used the podcast for material for the walking tour.
5. Spain at 8am
I think that Spain does not work at 8am. Because of the Spanish elections the race was moved to Saturday with an 8am start for the 10k, 8am in Spain is like starting a race in Cork at 5am. It was great from a weather point of view as Madrid is idyllic in the morning but appalling from a coffee clearance point of view. Finding coffee at 6am in Spain is very difficult.
6. Rock ‘N’ Roll
I think that the Rock ‘N’ Roll events are really well organised but appallingly unSpanish. Nothing went wrong for the whole race, everything worked perfectly, the course was exactly 10k, people even obeyed the starting corrals. I kind of prefer a bit of organised chaos.
7. Alpha Centauri
I think that the Alan Parsons track that they play at the start of the Berlin Marathon should only be allowed to be played in Berlin. It doesn’t work in Spain it makes the already excitable Spaniards too excited and they all sprint off at an even more crazy pace than normal. I couldn’t keep up at all. My inability to keep up had nothing to do with badness from the marathon as debadification was completed in a record three days. Perhaps there is some hidden latent badness.
8. I Only Did the 10k
I think half marathons and marathons should be rationed, they’re like biscuits, if they are there, then there’s always a danger that you might be tempted by one. I was so tempted to change to the half marathon at the Expo, my debadification after Boston was so excellent that it almost seemed foolish not to run a half marathon. A 10k seems so lazy, you have to say “I only did the 10k” to everyone on the walking tour afterwards which disappoints them greatly. I had sense in the end.
9. Spaniards don’t like hills
I think that Madrid is a very hilly place. The marathon and half marathon course look very hilly, far more than Boston and Cork. The 10k had a rake of hills, the worst one was at 7km, I was in a group of Spaniards when we got to the hill and amazingly I dropped all but one Spaniard. Perhaps Boston has made me good at hills.
I think that the first thing that warned me that I was about to be chicked was shouts of Chica from the side of the road just as we passed the 9km mark by the Prado. It was actually Chicas as there were two who were trying to beat each other badly. When the first Chica went by I tried to follow, she turned and gave me that hate-filled look in the eye that you only get from someone that’s about to beat you badly and accelerated off up the road, so fast, like the rocket train. I tried again to follow but couldn’t, then the second Chica passed and I kind of gave up. My new ambition is to get good enough to avoid being Chica’d in future.