Caren Ware's Blog

May 14, 2012

COME TO THE GALAPAGOS MARATHON

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 3:39 pm

Not just a marathon on every continent, but a quest to find the remotest ones dealing with the remote  people.  What are their issues, struggles, rewards, gratifications? How do they live and against what odds, or oddly enough, am I to find they have a better place…a better pace? Am I doing so because I have tumbled through a divorce making me among the outcast, a person no longer with a home, a place to be from.  Or am I doing it because I live daily with the struggle of óur mexican´boys who are now graduating from college, but still cannot get papers in the USA to work? And, am I wondering what roads I have sent my own young adult children to trod on? Or, do I just have a restlessness that needs to make sure I venture to enough of the unknown to produce a life lived?  All of the above.  It will take me some time to put into words the wonderful discovery of the Galapagos, that this place was not like the striven or stricken cities.  COME really meant COME.  We invite you to join us.  We like it here and so will we make you.  THANK YOU, Rick and Bere for the marathon, the connections.  Everyone visit  www.cometogalapagos.com.

A Saturday night in South America means loud music.  I think I was still trying to figure out how to sleep through pulsating walls when the 3:45am alarm went off. The instructions were clear; do not miss the bus to the start.  It was shrouded in fog and a heavy mist was falling at ‘the top’.  After bouncing up and down hills for near an hour, we were dropped off at an arch over the road supported by a loud generator.  Two holes had been dug in the ground with three sides of plywood leaned against stakes.  This was Galapagos Islands’ rendition of a porta potty.  ESPN was busy capturing the start.  Most of the allotted 200 entrants had opted to run the half marathon.  I kept hearing ‘muy difficuc…42 kilometers aqui.’ 

The Galapagos Island Marathon is everything a remote island marathon should be…and that makes it a little frighteningly intimidating.  You don’t know what to expect.  Is the fog going to lift too soon?  Will the extra miles out of town be found in cow pastures, lava trails, dirt roads, daunting up hills, and sheer down hills? Will we run on hot black top near the death zone of the last miles? Yes, to all of the above. But yes, to kilometers.  They go by faster.  There was a little sign propped by a lava rock and every .62 miles you could measure progress.  And every few kilometers there were young navy dressed guys holding out baggies of water and baggies of Gatorade.  This actually worked well.  You could tear the tiniest hole with your teeth and sip away as you ran.  They asked us to drop the little baggies in the middle of the road so they could easily be gleaned. Since parts of the course are out and backs like wings on a grasshopper, I strategically left a few protein bars by the kilometer signs.  I have no idea what happened to them because they were nowhere to be found on the return loops.  Dogs?  Who knows?  Trash pickup?  So I had to rely on that sweet Gatorade to fuel and a handful of gummy Powerbar gels I had. I currently have no desire to taste sugary anythings for a long time.

The forest was inviting.  The hills and crawling through the farms was downright work.  But the view that opened up of the town we were rapidly dropping down to was so awing anyone would be ashamed to complain. Thrill. The expansive Pacific Ocean rolled off the horizon.  We entered town and ran past casual by standers all saying “bravo, bravo.” What a tease.  We had almost 12 more kilometers to go. Waves crashing against the shore made it durable until we ran all the way out to the airport and beyond.  This was on the dreaded black top with the morning sun directly atop our heads.  And we baked into blurry thoughts of “why did I make my son take piano lessons” and “God bless you, again, coughing sea lion.” A long, cruel hill on this black top dropped to a lone beach that we all knew we would have to return back up.  Then back through town where everyone taking a Sunday stroll would care freely comment, “good job.  Keep going.”  Wonder if they really know what this feels like.  I am vowed to run, but it more resembles a scuffle.  The hill climbs and fast descents were havoc to any legs, trained or not.  And then the finish line and a cheering crowd and interviews with ESPN.  The overall winner surprised everyone, being a Danish women of 48 years old.  For me, I was just glad to survive it and concluded why my body was better suited for track.  But thrilled am I.  A week ago I could hardly keep my head lifted upon itself.  What a mircaculous thing exploration and rest can do.  What a sad statement of how I tend to myself in the states, thinking that doing all things, for all people, all the time, at an incredously pace is virtuous when it is downright flawed and unhealthy.  I plunge into Pacific Ocean to cool off.  Whew. I have to smile.  I am thrilled about this place and what I have internally learned here.

 

 

 

 

3 Comments »

  1. Hey Caren, Good to see you are still competing. I interviewed you several years ago for the Activa Women in Motion piece for the New Year’s Resolution Catalog. I always remembered your enthusiasm and drive. Alas, Activa is no more. But I’m working for a new company now with the same passion for inspiring active women. Check us out on facebook and say hello when you get a chance. http://www.facebook.com/splits59

    Hope all is well with you.
    Best,
    Penny G.

    Comment by Penny Fiftynine — July 17, 2012 @ 10:07 am | Reply

    • Hi, Penny. The theme is in it for the long run. I plan to compete this summer at the World USA Track & Field Competition. And am also running a marathon on every continent with whatever remote indigeous peoples are on that continent as I try to rasie awarenes of how tough it is to be the outcast. I raised 5 Hispanic kids from the hood in LA that were all illegals, but worked their way to be something by being fast runners. I am up in Jackson going to let myself get snowed in so I can write thier book. Race on! Caren Ware

      Comment by carenware — October 15, 2012 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

      • Penny,

        What are you doing these days? Are you still working in the running industry? Caren

        Comment by carenware — October 15, 2012 @ 10:49 pm


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