Cortez walked here. Xichotencatl walked here. The great warrior Tlahuicole walked here. And from October 21st to 27th 2012, we walked here also…..for 145 Hours. “Here” is Tlaxcala, Mexico. “We” are everyday athletes who believe in the pure spirit of sport and in the joy of participating in something which challenges both body and mind.
The second annual 145 Hour Ultramarathon had the same basic course as in 2011, but since our headquarters had been moved (thanks to the generosity of the Primo family, who loaned us their whole front yard for the week) our laps were slightly shorter: only 2.7 miles looping around both sides of a river, with level terrain varying between dirt and paved path, and with four metal bridges to cross.
Developed by A Green Project Organization (www.agreenproject.org), this event was meant to bring the sport of Ultramarathon to Tlaxcala, as well as to involve local people in physical activity performed with joy. For that reason, everyone is welcome: walkers,
joggers, runners of all ages. If you can move, you can participate in this pick your own pace, go as you please event.
At our elevation of 2325 meters, the weather was perfect again this year…warm days, cool nights. Well, one night was much more than cool,but one night of frost is not hard to deal with. The biggest surprise for participants was that the Botanical Garden chose the month of October to begin replacing their fence, causing a short obstacle course along one side of the loop. But this kept us alert and even gave us a cheering section.
When the workers learned what we were doing,they started keeping track of everyone and the area became a place for banter and smiles all around.
Three nights of bright moonlight allowed us to go without our flashlights on most parts of the trail. Passing corn fields in the wee hours of the night, with the only sounds being the gurgles of the river,the swish of footsteps in the dirt, and the very muted hum of the distant highway, it was quite easy to imagine walking in the very footsteps of our hero Tlahuicole.
We had a total of 76 people registered and participating in some form this year. The regular daily joggers recorded their laps in our logbook, groups of boys came after school to burn off a little extra energy by running and recording a lap or two, and neighbors came out with their dogs to enjoy being a part of something new.
Four athletes completed ultramarathon distances during their 145 hours. These were Teodoro Munoz, 59, of Tlaxcala, who finished 40.5 miles. Raul Hernandez, 22, also of Tlaxcala, finished 35.1 miles. This was the first multiday event Teo and Raul had entered, and both are planning strategies and training for next year. Veteran 6 Day eventer Marco Antonio Zapata of Tlaxcala, age 56, set a new course and personal record by walking 307.8 miles. Next is myself, Debbie Zapata, age 54, of the USA. I set a new personal record of 175.5 miles walked.
We would like to invite everyone to join us in October 2013, from the 21st to the 27th, when once again we will walk with the spirit of Tlahuicole for 145 hours. You are all welcome to come down and be warriors with us!
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