I am a very competitive person, I can not deny that I have aspirations of winning my age group someday in any kind of race. Not that I have won ever, but that is my long term goal and I will make it, even if takes lots and lots of years. I am committed to it. When I told my dad I was running the São Silvestre, the first thing he told me (and repeated multiple times) that I was not going to be able to run the whole race. The main reason was due to the number of participants: 30,000 participants. Well, I have run the Peachtree Road Race, (about 66,000 participants, the biggest 10k in the world) and I was able to run the whole thing. In fact, I think that my best 10k time was there. Go big or go home, right? I was determined to run São Silvestre.
The race started at 9 am and it was warm, but not 95F. I was glad, I was thinking I was going to run better. The organization advised not to drive so I took the subway. It was the fastest and easiest way to get to Paulista Avenue. The subway ride took about 35 minutes from my dad’s place but I started to realize that there were a lot of people riding it and wearing bib numbers. Hmmmm…
By the time that I got to my destination, I knew it that it would be hard to run it. It was tough to leave from the subway station and I got there early!
The race was pretty awesome and much better than I expected. My dad was right, I was not able to run. Actually, I was able to do it for about 4 kilometers but the first water stop was at a really narrow street and the stop and go started. I got frustrated for about 10 seconds and then, I just embraced the fact that I was not there to run but to have fun. The organization is pretty awful, there is no wave start, everyone starts at the same time and the water stations were placed in tiny streets but the crowd along the way made my race unbelievable.
I love São Paulo. Crowded, dirty, busy, loud. You can find it all there. Running through the streets made me feel alive. Running through tunnels were a different experience, spectators on top of it would make such a loud noise cheering, runners could hear the echo while running through them. It was such a great vibe from runners and spectators. My Minnie ears were particularly popular with kids. They would scream and yell for Minnie. I could not help but stop and high five every single tinny person. It was a magical experience and I can not help but think about coming back next year. I highly recommend São Silvestre for the city, for the people, for the runners and specially for the kids. The organization needs to do a lot of work, they are lucky that people make the race unbelievable.