Last night when we went to the park to see the Earth Day (will write about it later) we saw that tents were being put up, there were lots of portaloos around so something was obviously going to happen the next day. We saw lots of Nike logos and gathered it will be a run so we went home to google it.
It was the Fireman's Race, a 10k run that firemen have to run in full gear, wearing 20kg of stuff. They are not expected to run all of it though, it’s a relay race where four of them make a team and each run 2.5k. Apparently 200 firemen from Barcelona and lots more from other parts of Spain participate every year.
I can only assume that Nike came and took over the whole thing and made it a big 10k race available for everybody. It seems like it’s a very popular race as according to a website 20.000 people can apply, you can apply within a month or when all the places are gone and they are usually gone within a week.
We got there about 20 min before 10am and the party was already in full swing. There was a DJ on stage with huge amplifiers pumping out music, people wearing the event’s T-shirt warming up and finding their place according to their personal best and visitors looking for good view points.
Finally a few minutes before 10 everything was ready. All the 20000 people were there and we kept a minute silence for the Boston Marathon, and I think the London Marathon will do the same. A few people were running with a huge white fabric that said ‘Boston, you’ll never have to run alone’.
The tension was palpable in the crowd, the runners were all ready, the presenter was shouting something to the people (we didn’t understand), the music was loud, it was an amazing feeling to be there.
There was something about Sparta and when he said something the runners replied back the way the Spartans did in the film 300. Then the race started.
We spotted this camera that was flying above the runners. We wondered how you get a job like that. It’s like a toy, and you sit there with the remote control and play with it. Awesome!
It was time for the countdown and then it all started. First those who can run it under 37mins ran, then the rest in groups according to their personal bests. The last bit was the 57 mins and that’s when we finally spotted some of the firemen. They got a big cheer from the crowd.
There were so many people running (20000) that for those over 60min (basically the amateur runners) they did the whole show again.
What we noticed was that there were hardly any women at the beginning of the run, most of them were in the over 60min group. Also, the crowd wasn’t as responsive as in London. They were just spectators without any other function while in London the people viewing always cheer the runners on either shouting or clapping or whistling, actively participating in the event.
I felt so inspired and so did Paul, we vowed that on the next 10k run we will be amongst the runners.