The Marathon Tune Up

The Mexico City Marathon is just three weeks away, and my preparations are going just fine. Occasional short jogs, max 5kms, plenty of smoking and…not much else. Oh, and a quick run through Chapultepec yesterday. Quick as in my recorded time, rather than the length of the run. There were two options. A lengthy 26kms for those intending to do the full marathon. Or a still lengthy, but not quite as murderous, 15kms route for the half marathon runners. Needless to say, I chose the latter.


I met the friend I am running the half marathon with at Auditorio Nacional (photo top left), a theatre I have passed many, many times. But never quite this early in the morning. He wasn’t running today, but his wife was, and he came along to cheer. We met again at the end (photo top right), after the run. It’s a good sight, the finishing line. I can’t put into words just how glad it makes one to see it, after all that jogging.


As for my run, I was bloody impressed with myself, even if I do say so myself. On Fathers Day I ran a half marathon, finishing a good 20 minutes behind my friends wife, averaging 6.50 seconds per km. Yesterday I finished 3 minutes ahead of her in 1 hour and 27 minutes, averaging a pretty rapid 5.40 minutes per km, mas o menos. My goal is to do the half marathon in under 2 hours. The Run Calculator I use tells me that I’m currently on target for 2 hours 5 mins. And I still haven’t given up smoking. I shall though, I swear! Mañana. I must. I think I can beat 2 hours anyway. But I know, even if I gave up smoking for just a week, that I could get well below 2 hours. My knee is still causing me a lot of pain though. I suspect it will need a knife to fix. And I’ll leave that till I get back to the UK.


Mexico City might not know how to manage water supplies, but they do know how to organise road races. This was my second, and both were superbly run. This one was a little pricey at 330 pesos, but they did throw in a grey sweater, as modelled by me above, as well as the usual running short. At the end there was pizza (I helped myself to an extra slice) and fruit (which I left for others to enjoy) as well as plenty of Gatorade, water and juices. It’s all quite a good laugh. I recommend it to anyone, even those who don’t really run. There are plenty of 5km and 10km races for those who are less inclined to exert themselves too much. And at the end, everyone gets a nice medal!


3 thoughts on “The Marathon Tune Up

  1. If you laid off the smokes, you could run a full marathon. And live past age 50. By the way, you look incredibly Limey in that photo, more than usual. Always amazes me how Europeans and Gringos are visually distinguishable. It´s a thing that´s hard to put your finger on, but it´s obvious. Brits look like Brits. French look French and Germans look, well, obnoxious, though I imagine some are not.


    • Laying off the smokes sure would help me run a little quicker, and I am interested in the concept of living beyond 50. I am going to experiment with a nicotine free way of life soon. Although, at the moment, it really is my knee that is the biggest issue. One of my students described a problem with his knee from a few years back, word for word as I would describe my complaint. Cartilage. I’ve always rather assumed that cartilage or tendons were the root of my pain. The solution involves knife work. I’ll wait till I’m back in the UK for that. I haven’t the money.

      I guess there are stereotypical ‘looks’ for nationalities, usually with more truth in them that the behavioral stereotypes. I must have more than a little French in me. The surname Denness is Norman in origin. On my mothers side the surname Mombrun strongly suggests genes from the other side of the English Channel.

      But, on the whole, I find it difficult to distinguish between the average German and Brit. Not surprising, I suppose, given the Anglo Saxon descent of many Brits. Although we didn’t invade Poland…



    • Talking of Brits and Germans. Here’s a video, just to show we can’t quite let it go. A spoof ad (one of several on an episode of Top Gear) to talk up the fuel economy of VW’s new Scirocco.


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