World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 23.0 km (Accumulated: 29660.0 km)
Elapsed time: 02:12:14
Start 12:35, 22c, cloudy & light wind, at km-stone "129" on hwy. E35 to Quito. Finish 15:09pm., 26c & same, at km-stone "103" on hwy. E35 to Quito. [As you can see from the gps-track, we didnt follow the E35 all the way and thus our route was only 23km and not 26km as the distance between the km-markers].
Courage from Finland.
Late last night I met up with Reino from Finland. He had arrived in Equador to join me in the world run two for about 1month of running - similar to what he did when he visited for a 1500km jog' in Mozambique by the time I was running through Africa. One can certainly say that this runner isnt afraid when he chooses the places to join: Mozambique isnt exactly the most wellknow tourist-spot on the map (though it turned out to be an extremely friendly culture with no problems for the run; except malaria risk and some infected wounds which I later had operated in a South African hospital). This time its Equador and in 9 more days of running... Colombia.
Colombia probably makes most travellers hesitate a bit. But when you add running straight through the contry, safe & unsafe regions alike, it becomes further challenging. Add to that Reino's background: besides beeing a long time longdistance runner & crosscontry skier - he is also the ceo. & owner of a group of industries in Finland. Colombia, beeing famous/infamous for targeting rich westerners in hijacking attempts; and you have a very 'interesting' challenge.
And it certainly requires guts. In the finland version of "SISU" - which combines courage and endurence.
I think he will need both in the weeks to come. But with his overwhelming calm attitude to any occurence, no matter how difficult or challenging (and there were challenges also when he visited in Mozabique), then its the exact right mental baggage to have if one wants to have a chance to not only run through these regions - but also Enjoy the Run :-)
The drive to pickup Reino in Quito, which is approximately 129km North of the location where I am running at present, was less.. Enjoyable.
Onehundred km's is not much of a hassle to drive on european or northamerican highways. But; on South American roads, and not least with South American driving culture - its quite a different thing. It took 5hours to drive the 129km yesterday after I first had done a short but hectic 30km run in equally intense/dangerous traffic out on the route of world run 2. And to add to the fun: When we finally entered Equador's capital, Quito, by sunset, we were stopped by Equadorian traffic-police. It turned out that cars with licenseplates ending on "9" are not allowed into Quito on fridays. What are the chance that our peruvian support-car has a license plate ending on...9 and that we enter the city to pick up Reino on a friday ? Little. But apparently high enough for it to happen ! And a lot higher than the chance for us to know about this rule (there were no information or signposting whats so ever - but atleast I dont think it was one of the 'corruption fines' which often is attemted by Peruvian police for creatively invented "offences").
Anyhow; the pickup succeded, but only via a frantic one hour tour in a local taxi through Quito for my part, and for my support-driver Wilmer; a patient wait untill dark - where he slowly rolled into Quito and found the hotel Reino was staying in. Quite an eventfull first impression of the hectic 3million city Quito, which sits at 3000m. altitude at an amazing location sourrounded by mountains and volcanoes. I could easily have spend more time in this place !!
But the run has to move forward and we will pass Quito again in a few days, this time by running and hopefully without license-plate-surprises.
In todays pictures I have added a few photo's to give an impression of South American traffic, and Equadorian in particular - they have one of the most friendly and relaxed cultures I have met, and with an Amazing nature; but when they get behind a wheel of a car... They are amongst the most dangerous and bad drivers I have experiensed. (And I have seen some bad driving in East Africa and Russia. But nothing which comes close to how traffic 'rules' are interpreted in South America ;-)
So, all in all, I dont suspect that the main issue for Reino will be security reg. Colombian militia or criminals - its much more likely that the thing to focus on reguarding caution is traffic. And this is a thing I guess goes for all runners, no matter what contry we do our daily running in !
NB: Tomorrow I will upload the reports from the previous 3 days. And try to get a bit more distance run as well ;-) The time leading up to Reino's arrival yesterday has been quite hectic, preparing the support-car for one more person to use it and to get all the details of the pickup-scenario in Quito in place. When the reports get uploaded there will also be the story of a 10km test gone awfully wrong ;-) I certainly dont have the pace I had 10 or 20years ago in roadrunning, or even 5months ago when I did the last pace-test w. a 10km full speed stage in Argentina.