Masters Running


Maraton Internacional Paraguay Report or…a journey to memory lane (Read 328 times)

    The short version: a solo marathon ran in Quiindy, Paraguay in 90 degree weather, high humidity as a way to promote community wellness in the villages surrounding this small, but progressive town of Paraguay. Time: 4:49:03. FR: blue short, white long shirt, blue hat, red door perfume and terracotta color lipstick. Back ground (this is a long report written for closed friends and those who would like to take the journey with me.) Thanks for reading. The first time I ever heard about marathon running was in my home country, Paraguay. When I was a mere pre-teen girl, who was just aspiring to become a runner against my own parents and society’s wishes. This may sound a bit radical for many of you who grew up in this free country, but for many of us who grew up in other countries, especially in the sixties and seventies, running and specially running for girls, was considered a taboo for many of us. Time and space will not allow me to expand how I become a runner in my homeland, but I will mention here that I was then and am still now one of the few female runners from my hometown of Quiindy, Paraguay. When I planned to go back home to visit my family this year, I knew I had to run a marathon down there both to fulfill a childhood dream and also as a way to promote wellness among women in my hometown. I knew that running a marathon in the middle of summer would be challenging and that it would take a lot of work to find the perfect route and to measure it. Before I left from here I did a lot of research and received a lot of good advice from fellow runners in this forum about running in high heat and humidity. Thank you guys and gals for your advice. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and for giving me the knowledge I needed to know how to run in H&H. You helped me get to the finish line in good health with a smile in my face. Gracias. The route was drawn and marked by a team of skilled professionals thanks to my brother-in-law Richard, who happens to work as a technical advisor for the regional soccer league. Richard is also a professional soccer player. His knowledge about playing sports in high temperature and humidity came very handy to me during my training and run day. Following my father’s suggestion, we decided for a route that would take me in and out of the different villages surrounding my hometown, many of whom I have never had the privilege of visiting prior to marathon day. The original day set for the marathon was Feb. 2, but it was postponed for another day due to the extremely high temperature expected that day (high 90). Looking at the weather forecast we then set a new date, Feb. 9th, but a terrible mishap with food poisoning kept me away from running that day as well. This small mishap kept me as an inpatient overnight at a private hospital (with 4 liters of IV fluid dripping in to me plus a variety of medications). At this point I considered canceling the marathon, but by that time I had too many women who were participating in the wellness program I had started during my trip down there. These women were all excited to see me run that distance. There was also this childhood dream of running a marathon that kept popping up on my head…. so I knew I had to run my solo-athon even if I had to crawl most of the way. Thank God that I recovered quickly and less than 4 days later at 5 am I was all dressed and ready to start my solo marathon adventure. The morning of the race I woke up early to get ready for my adventure. I felt lonely for other runners at the starting line, but I had the support and encouragement of two wonderful people, my brother-in-law Richard and my sister Estela. Both of them served me as a support crew through the whole adventure. They followed me in their motorcycle and waited for me every kilometer to ensure that I was OK. One carried my drinks and the other one kept track of my heart rate and my overall health. With the heat and humidity of the day (Hi 90°F Lo 72°F) it was very, very important to pay close attention to my water intake and my HR. My support crew. Richard The first 5 miles took me thru memory lane by running in the same plaza where I had spend endless childhood hours and where I received my first kiss as a young teenager. After the warm up 5 miles the course took me towards the outskirts of town, passing by my old high school and then by the soccer club for which I was once elected “queen” in my younger years. Two miles later I ran across the first of many streams I would encounter during the marathon. Some I could jump across in key places; others I could run across precarious bridges and stones; and for others I had to stop, take my shoes off and wade through them. Soon after I left the town limits and started running towards the small satellite villages, passing by sugar cane, manioc, cotton, coconut and peanut fields. I passed farmers walking to town to do their weekly shopping and I waved at farmers plowing their fields and children walking their livestock to the nearby pond for a drink. [img] Mariposai posing in front of a sugar cane field. As I passed by the different villages I had kids coming towards me greeting me with their hands covered with dirt. One child offered me part of a mango fruit he was enjoying and a lady who passed me by with the cantaro (earthen water jug) on her head offered me some water with a smile and a question in her eyes. The local radio station had announced my route the day before, so many of these people were waiting to see me run by. To my amazement the route was hillier than I had anticipated with its share of shade in the first leg. But once passed mile 15 the heat was merciless with no shade insight. As I conquered the miles and as the heat of the sun started to make keeping a pace more difficult, I decided to resort to a gallowalking mode. I ran a km and walked a minute, this worked very well for me to keep the HR under 160 and brought me to the finish line at 4:49:03. My welcoming committee with a champagne ready to celebrate I may run many marathons in my life, but Marathon Quiindy will always stand alone as one of a kind. I will always remember my father’s eyes filled with pride and joy as he came to give me a hug telling me how proud he was of me and how seeing me run this marathon made him remember the many dreams he had as a young man to; of becoming an athlete; of dreams that were never fulfilled due to work and family matters. Marathon Quiindy also served me as a springboard to promote wellness and the importance of walking/running in my own hometown. Because I dared to run this marathon I was blessed with many opportunities to talk about the health benefits of walking and running. I was interviewed by the local radio station, which gave me the change to encourage people to start moving and now I have a group of 22 people in Paraguay and 2 in Argentina who are wearing pedometers and are aiming at walking 3 miles a day until I return to the southern hemisphere. And the best result… My nieces and nephews are already self proclaimed future marathoners. I know that many people who are reading this report may challenge the validity of Marathon Quiindy, but if anyone has a doubt…I have a race t-shirt (thanks Tet) and a medal to prove it (thank you Paul, my husband, my sweetheart of many year and greatest cheerleader)

    "Champions are everywhereall you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard


    MM #405

      As I sit here, tears are dripping onto my keyboard because I am so happy for you that you did this. You know what is so sweet? It's the fact that you did it to promote health and wellness and walking and running in the community. You did it for the people. The picture of the smiling faces of your beautiful neices and nephews is my favorite....they will never, ever forget the day you ran the Quiindy marathon and showed them you can do whatever you put your mind to. Congrats Mari, you are one of a kind. your friend, arf

      MM#209 / JapanJoyful#803

        dear comadre mariposai, Your speedy Maraton Internacional Paraguay hardly seems to have noticed the tropical heat, day-and-a-half of travel to get there, jet lag, food poisoning, and everything else about going home to a different continent to say nothing about not that much training in the snows of eastern Washington before you left and what-looks-like very tricky red-clay-like roadway surfaces for running (even w/o shoes a couple of times it seems - Smile). I guess it doesn't matter though when you're running for more than the running and accomplishing a lot more than just a marathon. Your boomer friends with whom you have run in various marathons without regard to how much we've slowed you down are privileged and honored to have experieinced your unselfishiness in what can sometimes be a single-minded, individualistic undertaking. mucho felicidades. tu compadre

        Henry the Great: "I'm going to keep running as long as I can."

        T. Igarashi (summiting Mt. Fuji at age 100): "Enjoy yourself. Your younger days never come again."


          mariposai, I knew you were going to Paraguay to run a marathon but did not realize the whole story. What a neat thing you did. It was a heartwarming report to read. I'm sure it was an emotional experience for you to run your own marathon where you grew up and bring health awareness to others. Congratulations. TomS
            What a couragous adventure. Thanks for sharing your dream with us.


              Quit being so damn serious! When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. "Ya just gotta let it go." OM
                {{{Mari}}} A true boomer goddess! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Cool Eliz


                  I cannot express how proud I feel to have read this report. Outstanding run for all the right reasons. This one is the best race report ever. Good job Mari! Bill

                  "Some are the strong, silent type. You can't put your finger on exactly what it is they bring to the table until you run without them and then you realize that their steadiness fills a hole that leaks energy in their absence." - Kristin Armstrong


                    Fantastic!! You are an inspiration. What a great experience to have - not only for you, but for your family and for those of us lucky enough to call you our virtual friend! You have brought real meaning to your running - that is so awesome. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful report from a beautiful person!!Thank you. C-mom

                    King of PhotoShop

                      I replied over on Kick, but will say here also that this was a very inspiring report and I enjoyed every word, and the pictures. Your family must be very proud of you, as we all are. You are a terrific lady. Spareribs
                        Mari - what an incredible story, and thanks for sharing it with us. I can't imagine running a marathon in those conditions. You're a strong woman, and one of the best things I take from your experience is the positive influence you're having on the children in that community, especially the girls. You've come a long way, baby! Jeanne
                          Mari - I am so glad you got to fulfill your dream! You are an inspriation, not only to your Paraguay citizens, but to us Boomers too! The photos are just bursting with colour! Beautiful place to run, it is too bad H & H cannot be captured in a photo to really relate to everyone how tough you are. Enke

                          "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."


                            I have to come out from lurking and say many congradulations. That was great and surely an inspiration to many.
                              Mariposai, I thought of you often while you were gone and this report was well worth the wait. You had told me some of your marathon and why you wanted to run this, but until I read this report and saw the pictures of your run and your family, well, I had not come close to realizing what a meaningful journey this was for you. And, not only a meaningful marathon for you, but to your family who shared it with you. Now, also, as your friends we have a better understanding of your homeland and the obstacles you have faced as a runner, and as a woman. Your efforts to simply get out and run that day, and facing the heat and the humidity, well, they were just the last remaining things for you to hurdle over. (In Spareribs' video he posted yesterday, the dying man says in his talk something to the effect that brick walls aren't there to prevent you from doing things, but to show you how much you really want something. That is certainly true here. Smile) You have come full circle from that time as a young girl dreaming of being a runner. What a beautiful, beautiful thing that is. Paraguay, your hometown, your family, and especially those young nieces and any young girl or woman who saw you run by that day ... are all fortunate to call you one of their own. Abrazos, Krista
                                Gosh, where to begin... You said this report was for your close friends. These friends are very lucky to have you call them close friends! Thank you for deciding to share your experience with us all. What a journey you had, to go back and fulfill a childhood dream, overcoming the obstacles that women runners faced, all so you could selflessly promote and share the joys of running. You weren't doing this just for yourself, you were doing it to inspire and encourage others and to bring about changes to peoples lives. It takes a very special person to do that. It is already evident that you have touched people with your run, based on the people in the villages that came out to support you along the way. There were so many details of you report that I loved, and the pictures really helped bring everything to life. I get a glimpse of where your kind heartedness comes from from your fathers pride in your accomplishment, and his willingness to set aside his personal aspirations to support his family. Thank you for including us on your journey.