Sunday, 29 September 2013

Karen writes: Ready to run Zaragosa

And I'm at last resting with my feet up.  Its 3pm, the pedometer says I have walked 23017 steps and I believe it completely.  First thing this morning, a sensible trip by taxi to the registration point across the city. The taxi driver was keen to help but seemed slightly misguided, after a few miss-starts and being turned back by armed police eventually he stopped outside a building he described as "sporta pavilion". Hmmm...didn't look good, no signs, no cars in the carpark, one person walked in the door as I watched, they didn't look like they were getting ready for a marathon.  Inside there were pictures on the walls, including one of some feet in water apparently being nibbled by small fish, say what?  After a couple of women walked in carrying gym looking bags...aha...beauty salon/gym?!  Am I being given a hint here?

Outside, a chat to some wonderfully helpful and armed police provided hope.  They huddled round the piece of  paper, they ummed and arrrrrhed over the map, they pointed somewhere else..."thankyou for helping" I said, "thankyou for asking for help" said the designated spokesperson. I didn't dare ask for a photo though thinking that would push my luck a bit too far.

So it's 200 meters that-a-way.  Nope.  Across the road and along a bit and that seemed to be a space for the finish line but no sign of a registration expo. I should say that when I booked the dratted marathon I hadn't realised that the start and finish line were in different parts of the city, the accommodation is by the start-line which raises the question of how to get back 'home' tomorrow (TOMORROW!) after the race, will any taxi driver want me in their nice clean and fragrant vehicle?  Eventually it was time for a backtrack, stopping at a cafe for a chocolate croissant and more of the sweet drinks with unidentifiable ingredients that seem so prevalent round here (its that or coke), and wandering thinking where to now, aha, triathlon sports shop.  They pointed back to the place the policemen had recommended and this time there was audible music coming from a nondescript looking building and inside was at last what looked like an expo.

Funnily enough it looked like lots of these lineups, there were some stands promoting socks and compression gear and gels. Queues of runners, mainly terribly lean and fit and young looking men, and when I eventually got to the front of the line after some gesticulating and repetition and guesswork I had my registration pack and number and was ready to go.

Not a bad goodie bag, a buff scarf advertising (I had to look this up online as I had no clue) some sort of water filters, a nice technical-T and the bottle of Zaragosa marathon wine...Kate you really should be here, it's so wasted on me!
Then things stopped being sort-of sensible. I just had to go across a fabulous looking walking bridge on the way back, and once over that it seemed like a simple task to cut across the city back to the accommodation. Simple...yep...tui moment.  I dont really need to say any more I guess given what people know of my history when it comes to navigation, except two meals later I'm finally sitting down thinking about what to eat for breakfast.  But tell me, after looking at the photo below, how could anyone possibly NOT want to have a look at what's on the other side of this beautiful bridge...