The Worlds Best 10k - Puerto Rico By Sarah Petre-Mears
On Friday 26th Febuary we arrived in Puerto Rico in anticipation of competing in The Worlds Best 10k event scheduled on Sunday the 28th. This was to be a first time for either Stanley or I to compete at this race and one we were looking forward to.
On entering the hotel we had the most wonderful surprise as we entered the elevator to stand between the Kenyan team. Greats such as Moses Masai ( who went on to dominate the event) and team mate Peter Kamias. Exiting on the same floor these amazing gentleman introduced themselves and wished us well for our up and coming event.
Saturday hailed the expo for us to collect race packs and verify chips, been non spanish speaking I spent a lot of time repeating the phrase " No habla Espanol" as I swore to myself I would have at least learnt a few line before my next visit!
Race day arrived and at 2pm we got on the bus to the race site, the race was not to start until 5.25pm but the road would soon close and we had to get there early. This was the only negative thing about the race. We had over three hours to wait in the heat with no where to sit down comfotably, this in itself was exhausting.
At 5pm the line up proceeded but with no one to monitor the corrals this meant that no one was in any particular order, the pros headed out with a rocket and soon after the masses with 10,647 runners the start was slow. Soon after the gun went off I found myself behind a row of walkers, jostling for position this made things a little frustrating but was soon highlighted at 1km when the pro's were passing us at the 5k mark on the other side of the road. With marathon being my usual distance I have never seen pro athletes of this caliber actually racing as they are usual miles ahead, this course allowed everyone to see the lead pack running by with incredible grace and speed just an amazing experience. By 3k things had started to thin out and I had found my pace. A little frustrated by the slow start I gave my all and am pleased with the result.
This race is hot, humid and the start is uncomfortable but the atmosphere is electric, the crowd amazing and a great representation of Puerto Rico.
The weekend was complete when we once again met the Kenyan team at the hotel, photos were taken thanks and recognition for a spectacular win. The Kenyan smiles seemed much brighter as they prepared for their trip home. A lady after my own heart Vivian Cheruiyot was ensuring that her flight home was via New York, to celebrate her second win at this event was going to find some time to shop in the big apple before her flight home.