>General Running>Running in Bogota, Colombia
The Irreverent Reverand
I will be spending a week in Bogota, Colombia, for a week in November. I know that running on city streets is not as common in some overseas cities as it is here, and perhaps not always as safe. I have heard that in Caracas, for example, a massive group meets up to run together, due to safety concerns.
Do any of you know about the running scene in Bogota? I will not necessarily be training for any race at that point, but I would hate to skip workouts for a week.
Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. Overweight runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.
Ambitious (but attainable) Goals for 2014 (looking ahead):
Get at least one of the following: Sub-3:30 marathon; Sub-1:35 half marathon; turn 40
PRs: 3:52 marathon; 1:41 half; 47:00 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run
I need more races in more spaces ...
Saw this post on the Georgetown Running Club blog - describing the general anxiety about running in Bogota, but also highlighting a good park in which to run.
location, location, location.
I've been to Bogota several times and saw people out running and biking, but I think a lot depends on exactly where you are in town. Our hosts up on the hillsides didn't like us even being outside without them.
Ask your host or your hotel to take you to a nice safe park.
Running in Cusco last year I met an ex-pat masters runner who was living in Bogota. I asked him about the risks for an American running there. He said that you have to worry less about crime as a runner than you do about the >8,000 feet above sea level of the city.
You just have to run smart. Don't be the guy running alleys after dark with all your fancy electronics. My rules of thumb when running in South America are:
1) Assume the locals have the right of way and that turn-signals (whether on or off) don't mean anything.2) Run as low-tech as possible. No one is going to mug you for your stanky running gear.
3) It is hard to get lost on an out and back course. Do these if you don't know the area.
4) Sunblock the shit out of yourself.
Thanks for the advice.
I've been in Colombia for nearly a week now and my first run - 3 miles - felt like hell. My legs turned to lead and it was just deadly. I cant remember the last times felt so bad after such a short run. Running at 8600 feet aint easy. In addition to the altitude, the street dogs were scary and would chase a little bit, but never came after me In a really threatening way. And the air quality ain't great.
The next day I ran 3 more and felt better. Ten the day after that - not as easily as I could in Indiana, but not as awful as I did my first day in the country.
Tomorrow is my last day in the country - in the beautiful town of Villa de Leyva. The air quality is much better than in Bogotá, and it is about 1500 feet below Bogotá. One of the possible runs includes a 1,000 foot climb, but I think I'll choose another route ...
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