Tuesday, May 19, 2009

21 km

Your correspondent is pictured above, making an ass of himself while running the Riga Half Marathon on Sunday, presented here in perhaps some sort of mental compensation for posting that picture of an anonymous staffer eating a giant steak last week.

The half marathon was a good time, although it's a less festive event than similar occasions might be in the U.S. Thousands showed up for the 5k mini-marathon. Hundreds participated in the half-marathon. Maybe hundreds* took place in the full marathon, which involved multiple laps of a course in Riga's center, and was flat but probably pretty boring. There were a few spectators here and there, and a few brass bands to liven things up. But mostly, there isn't a real culture around running here. It is very rare to see a Latvian running on city streets, as you see in any American city on any morning of the year - exercise here is something you do inside at a gym, if you must. I thought maybe this concept would bring out spectators interested in seeing the freaks out sweating in public, but apparently that would be more sad than fascinating. Then again, they may not have known there would be participants like your correspondent above, going above and beyond to look like idiots.

* editors note: It turns out that several hundred ran the marathon. Our correspondent is not so good at estimating the size of a crowd strung out along 26 miles of road.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Without a funny costume, I'm not sure you can lay claim to looking like an idiot. The people who come out to run dressed as, e.g., Scooby Doo, or a lighthouse, or etc., are one of my favorite things about the NYC marathon.