Sunday, May 27, 2018

Race 4: Guardia Urbana Diagonal 5K

I am in Barcelona for the Latin American Studies Association conference, and my wife and I decided to find a 5K to run. Neither of us had ever done a race outside the United States. The Guardia Urbana Diagonal was incredible. It was capped at 15,000, which is massive, and although I don't know the final count I can say there was a ton of people. It is unique because it goes on Avenida Diagonal, which is perfectly straight and flat, even slightly downhill. I've never run straight that far before and it helped with speed, as I got down to a 7:39/mile pace, perhaps my best ever.

Quick thoughts about this versus a race inside the U.S. There's no food--people are not wolfing things down after the race. There is just water at the end. For the 5K they did not bother with water stops (and indeed, why bother?). There was water right after the fork for people running the 10K, which was most--we knew we'd be up late the night before and did not want to go that far. On the other hand, we saw no jogger strollers at all, and no kids, which stood out given the short distance and the many casual/slow runners. Last point: it was cheap compared to U.S. 5Ks, just 14 euros (about $16) compared to a minimum of $25 in the U.S. The city heavily subsidized it.


John Weeks 6:20 PM  

Thinking of few strollers and children, the birth rate in Barcelona (as throughout Catalonia) is very low. Did you see kids elsewhere in the city?

Greg Weeks 6:39 AM  

As a matter of fact, it struck us how many children we saw in a fairly dense urban area. The city has bike lanes strictly marked and children routinely rode bikes and scooters to and from school. There was a youth soccer field visible from our window that was always busy. One funny thing in contrast to the U.S. was that on the beach there were playgrounds that included climbing nets that must have gone 12-15 feet in the air, with children playing on top. No way you would see that here.

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