Thursday, November 20, 2008

Corriendo por Helado

One reason why Andrew keeps stepping in stuff: All the trees are in bloom, it's really beautiful.

Pre-race stretching while waiting for our taxi.

By Louise

Even though my Spanish is coming back to me at great speed, when I spotted a poster for the 2 da Maraton del Autentico Helado Artesanal, I was certain I had read it wrong. An ice cream marathon? For real? First, it's bakeries on every block. Now, it's running for ice cream? What kind of nirvana is this? On closer look I discovered that it wasn't really a marathon, but rather a 3K/8K race. Even better.

Having had my first tastes of Argentine helado (FYI: The ice cream mugging scene created by Katharine was just a tad exaggerated. There was no screaming. I had clamped my hand firmly over her mouth.), I knew that we needed to be at the place where there were bound to be buckets of the rich creamy, dreamy stuff. So I pointed the sign out to Graham and suggested that maybe he might want to run it while I cheered him on with a spoon in my mouth.

As race day grew nearer, Graham started saying things like, "Mom, don't you think we should start training?" and "Come on, mom, let's run." Graham has known me for nine years. He should know that I'm not a runner; I just like to talk about it.Yet thoughts of dulce de leche would not leave my mind. I figured just this once I could get over myself and run.

When Sunday arrived I pulled on my sneakers. I ate a light breakfast, knowing that in no time I would be headfirst into helado.

I called us a taxi (this being my job now that Andrew has flustered himself out of it by confusing nombre with numero one too many times) and told the driver what park we needed to go to. I suppose it was sort of like saying, "Take me to Central Park," because his response was along the lines of "OK, but that park is huge. Where do you want to go?"

I tried to explain in Spanish that we were going to the big ice cream race. He still didn't get it. So I said, "Corriendo! Helado!" The driver looked at me as if I were crazy. I couldn't figure him out. We were heading to a big race and festival. There were posters all over town. What gives?

The driver, obviously coming down from a busy Saturday night, ignored my continued attempts at communication and got us to the park on time. We registered and joined the other ice cream lovers at the starting line. There was something odd though: Where were all the ice cream booths? I brushed the thought aside, assuming that by the time I finished running things would be set up and spoons set out. Now was the time to focus on the race.

We prepared with a little stretching while sizing up our opponents. I spotted a woman with a stroller; bending down, I whispered to Katharine, my running buddy, "We must beat her." Meanwhile, Katharine counted up her victims. Graham, on the other hand, was focused on the fastest path to the front of the pack. He would not stop running until he crossed the finish line. Andrew's plan: stick with Graham.

The count down began. Graham shot off with Andrew trying to follow. Katharine, holding my hand turned to me and said, "I don't want to drag you the whole way. Get a move on!"

The woman with the stroller turned out to be a little quicker than she looked, but we passed her. Then Katharine spied her first victim: a small boy running with his dad. "I'm going to wipe him down." And so she did. Next up: two girls about her age, their ponytails bouncing as they skipped along with their parents. "Let's go!" Katharine snarled and took off, leaving me in her dust. The two girls sensed a challenge and tried to keep up with Katharine, but I cut them off and charged forward. We crossed the finish line to cheers from Graham and Andrew, and were handed an ice cream in a cup with one of those pressed on lids like you get in school. What the heck? I'm lactose intolerant. I'm not going to waste an upset stomach on pre-pressed helado! I felt my muscles tightening. Oh well, there's always the Queso y Queso 2K run next Sunday.

Attempting to psych out the other runners by showing off our muscles.

The other runners cleared out, they were so scared.

We kicked butt!

The point of running 3K: Ice cream!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hermano !! We've maniacs in the family. Has any helado been saved for la familia ? Did you have choices ?
Can't wait to hear about the queso run. Hope there's some manchego.