Warm 10K in Nazare

Our guide Christina Duarte told us early that day that a 1o-kilometer road race would start and end right outside our hotel room window, just across from the beach.  It was a hot summer day, but fortunately, the start was at 7 pm when it had cooled off some.  By 6 pm, runners began to  gather while crews finished up with the course infrastructure – barricades, a starting line and overhead clock.

The start/finish line from our hotel room balcony, with Nazare's beach in the background

The start/finish line from our hotel room balcony, with Nazare’s beach in the background

Related festivities were taking place right next to the starting line, as couples in traditional costumes performed regional folk dances to music.

Folkdance in Costume

Folk dance steps at race start

More Nazare Dance steps in costume

More dance steps

 

Short clip of folk dance

Urania poses with Alex (who wears a cross and Jewish star) and his partner, selling their artisan wares

Urania poses with Alex (who wears a cross and Jewish star) and his partner, selling their artisan wares

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, at the starting line, as maybe 150 runners lined up, the anticipation was building.  The Portuguese have a history of distance running excellence.   Over 30 years ago, working in California’s Central valley, I walked into a cafe in a town called Gustine, which had a large Portuguese-American population.  There were newspaper clippings on the wall about several hopefuls preparing to compete in the Olympics in Los Angeles later that summer.  Carlos Lopes won the men’s marathon that year, while Rosa Mota got the bronze medal in the women’s.  She would win the gold medal 4 years later.  Fernando Mamede held the world record for the 10,000 meter distance.  These are just a few.  Maybe one of the runners at the start line in Nazare would be next.

Are the winners in this photo?

Is the winner in this photo?

Or this one?

Or this one?

And They're Off!

And They’re Off!

 

 

 

 

 

The images below tell the story.  About 10 minutes after the start, the leader came through, at least a minute ahead and seemingly in command.  There was a tight race for second place.

The early leader wins, finishing strong

The early leader wins, finishing strong

a balding man, maybe slightly older, finishes second

A balding man, maybe slightly older, finishes second

a woman exults as she finishes third overall

… and a woman exults as she bests most of the big boys, finishing third overall

 

 

It was a day of the old and the new

It was a spectacle for both young and old

All in all, a fine day in Nazare

All in all, a fine day in Nazare

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2 responses to “Warm 10K in Nazare

  1. Bonitas fotos de la carrera. Tenian un motivo especial para la carrera o es la carrera del pueblo? No recordaba que los portugueses tuvieran tradición de corredores. Gracias por compartir tus experiencias del viaje. Abrazo

    • Buscaba unos resultados pero no los he encontrado todavia, tampoco mas informacion general sobre la carrera. Habian días de fiesta nacionales alrededor del evento. Es buena pregunta. Voy a hacer el intento de averiguar mas. Gracias, un abrazo.

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