Dando la Cara por México

A menos de tres días de que concluyan los Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe, Veracruz 2014 y México, como era de esperarse esta peleando la punta del medallero con Cuba. Este viernes 28 los de la isla nos han superado por primera vez desde que comenzó la fiesta deportiva. Pero más allá de que si México logra recuperar la posición de privilegio o no hay algo que esta quedando muy pero muy claro. En el país azteca, hay talento de sobra.

Con 286 medallas hasta el momento en el que estoy publicando esta nota, no hay país que se le pueda acercar a México. Desde mi punto de vista el único oro que estamos obligados a ganar es el de fútbol varonil. Se le puede llamar decepción al hecho de que en el béisbol los nuestros hayan quedado fuera de las posibilidades de contender por una medalla desde muy temprano. Pero no se le puede llamar fracaso. A que en el básquetbol solo las mujeres se hayan subido al podio tampoco es fracaso.

Cientos de atletas mexicanos se han subido al podio en estos juegos y estan teniendo sus cinco minutos de fama. En la gimnasia Cynthia Valdez con tres medallas de oro y una de plata se convirtió en la atleta con más preseas doradas en la historia de estos juegos, de Cynthia y sus compañeras solo nos enteramos cuando estan en este nivel de competencias.

A donde voy con esto. México ganó todas las medallas de oro posibles en el nado sincronizado, todas las de oro posibles en triatlón, modificado a duatlón por las condiciones del Golfo de México, se mantiene el dominio en los clavados, disciplina donde México es de los mejores del mundo, para muestra los logros de Fernando Platas, Paola Espinosa y Yahel Castillo entre otros. Diez oros en el Tae-Kwon-Do hablan por sí mismos. La lista es interminable pero vuelvo a repetir, en México hay mucho talento que asoma la cabeza en este tipo de competiciones, los medios masivos se aprovechan de sus resultados temporalmente y no volvemos a saber de ellos hasta que estan en una Universiada, Panamericanos y algunos de ellos en Juegos Olímpicos.

Lo que se debe de hacer es apoyarlos incondicionalmente de aquí en adelante. Algunos por falta de recursos dejan de entrenar para ponerse a trabajar. Muchos deben tomar transporte público para llegar a sus entrenamientos, pocos se pueden dar el lujo de estudiar en una buena escuela por tal de poder entrenar como su nivel de competencia se los exige.

Hay pocos futbolistas que cuentan con títulos universitarios, pues ellos también le dedican una buena parte de su día a los entrenamientos. La diferencia son los salarios. Mientras a un atleta que le dedica su tiempo al atletismo para intentar sobresalir a nivel nacional y mundial muy apenas se le paga parte de sus viáticos, a un futbolista profesional en nuestro país se le paga por partido, por publicidad, viáticos incluidos, instalaciones de buen nivel a su disposición, doctores y a final de cuentas con su salario le alcanza y le sobra para un coche y muy probablemente una casa. El Tri” es de las cinco selecciones con mayores ingresos en el mundo. Según la revista Forbes, la selección mexicana durante el pasado ciclo mundialista (2010-2014) gasto 10.3 millones de dólares. Se estima que los salarios del cuerpo técnico de la selección mayor superan los 25 mdd. Mientras tanto la selección de básquetbol que nos representó dignamente en el pasado mundial de España tuvo que pagar para poder llevar exceso de equipaje, según Gustavo Ayón, ahora jugador del Real Madrid.

A Carlos Slim se le puede criticar el manejo de Telmex pero el hombre es un sabio a la hora de apostar por deportistas. En el 2004 él y su familia le prestaron el apoyo incondicional a un muchacho que se dedicaba al karting a los 14 años. Diez años después, Sergio Pérez estaría junto a Fernando Alonso celebrando su segundo lugar el en Gran Premio de Malasia. Esteban Gutiérrez pasó por el mismo proceso aunque hasta el momento no ha logrado subirse al podio. Cuando menos se esperaba, gracias a tener dos pilotos en la máxima categoría del automovilismo y los patrocinios de Slim y Slim Jr. a dos escuderías de la F1 en noviembre la Ciudad de México albergará otro Gran Premio.

Ana Guevara tuvo que irse de México junto con su entrenador Raúl Barreda para prepararse en el ciclo Olímpico rumbo a Atenas 2004. En cuanto comenzó a dominar la Liga Dorada y se consagró en Paris como campeona del Mundo le llovieron patrocinios. Muchos se olvidaron de sus esfuerzos que la llevaron al quinto lugar en Sydney 2000 y llamaron fracaso al segundo lugar en Atenas. Ejemplos como los de Ana y Sergio hay miles en México.

Las fortunas que varias empresas se gastan en la selección de fútbol podrían ser bien aprovechados por los boxeadores, gimnastas, canoistas, corredores, tenistas y muchos otros deportistas que se tienen que rascar con lo que pueden para poder sobresalir y darle a México las alegrías que le esta dando en estos Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe.

Hasta países como Cuba, que no son territorialmente muy grandes y mucho menos en población saben de la importancia del apoyo al deporte. En el atletismo nos estan matando pues han conseguido 22 oros por siete de México. Para ser un país tan pequeño pero en materia deportiva altamente desarrollado es de llamar la atención.

Al final del día espero que en México quienes nos estan manteniendo en la pelea por el dominio de estos Juegos Centroamericanos reciban el apoyo que merecen, ya que si en política no tenemos una buena cara que dar al mundo, en el deporte sin duda hay cientos de atletas que nos llenan de orgullo.

La delegación mexicana. Hay talento, solo falta apoyarlos incondicionalmente (La Afición)
La delegación mexicana. Hay talento, solo falta apoyarlos incondicionalmente (La Afición)

Last Week In Sports (Nov. 17-23)

FORMULA 1

Lewis Hamilton wins the 2014 F1 Championship (daily.co.uk)
Lewis Hamilton wins the 2014 F1 Championship (daily.co.uk)

It was a much anticipated race under the lights of Abu Dhabi without a much anticipated result. The final 55 laps of the 2014 Formula 1 Season decided the winner of the entire year. Lewis Hamilton came in as the favorite but just 17 points behind was a german with an incredible will to win. Nico Rosberg, who has been friends with Hamilton since their days back in karting series when they were both around 12 years old took their lifelong rivalry to the biggest stage there is in motorsport. Rosberg who had qualified in first lost his lead before even getting to turn one. After being able to keep his teammate within reaching distance after one pit stop Rosberg faced his worst nightmare. His engine lost a tremendous amount of power and instead of fighting for a championship he had to fight the car to finish the race, which he did ending up in 14th spot. That way Lewis was able to relax for most of the race just working to keep Felippe Massa away from the lead. The brazilian put up a fight but was about 2 seconds shy of going past the now two-time world champion. Lewis Hamilton, who had been serious and barely talking the past week showed quite some emotion in the post-race stage when he had already sealed the deal. Rosberg was obviously not happy with his result but conducted himself appropriately and congratulated his teammate, plus acknowledged the superiority of Hamilton not just that day but throughout the season.

NFL

Interesting week in the NFL. The first shocker came from the Oakland Raiders who had not won a single game throughout the season but managed to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 24-20 on Thursday Night Football. On Sunday Seattle and Denver got back to their winning ways and defeated Arizona and Miami respectively. It was also a good day for Aaron Rodgers who led the Green Bay Packers over the Vikings claiming the first spot on the NFC North with a 24-21 win. But the most exciting game once again involved the Dallas Cowboys as they showed up at MetLife Stadium in New York to face the Giants on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys came off from a bye week where all their division rivals including Giants had lost. Eli Manning had thrown five interceptions on the past game. The game headed in the right direction for the local team who had a 21-10 lead heading into halftime. The Cowboys responded with 21 points on the second half including a game-winning drive of 80 yards with less than two minutes to go in the game. With a 31-28 win the team owned by Jerry Jones is 8-3 this season, about to clinch a playoff ticket.

SOCCER

It was a record just like any other that was meant to be broken and Leo Messi had been lingering around it for a long time. Telmo Zarra had of 251 La Liga goals. Messi had tried to break it at the Santiago Bernabeu during the derby but was unluck for that one and the next two matches. Saturday against Sevilla not only did he tie the record, but with a hat-trick he set a new one in 253 and counting. Barcelona ended up winning the game 5-1. Real Madrid defeated Eibar 4-0 to keep the lead of “La Liga” after 12 weeks. In the MLS Playoffs L.A. Galaxy took the lead on the first leg of the Western Conference Final with a 1-0 win and the New England Revolution beat Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on the Eastern Conference Final. In Mexico the playoffs are set and America will be facing Pumas, Tigres against Pachuca, Atlas will play against Monterrey and Toluca will have Chiapas as their opponent in the first elimination round.

CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN GAMES

Medal Count as of November 24 at noon. (Veracruz 2014)
Medal Count as of November 24 at noon. (Veracruz 2014)

Mexico continues to dominate the medal count in Veracruz with just a week to go in the games but Cuba is closing in strong and with the wide range of track and field events they might find what they need to attack the host nation. Some of the highlights from last week were Horacio Nava’s (MEX) first place in the 20 km. race-walk with a time of 1:25:05 while Mirna Ortiz from Guatemala took gold on the women’s side with a Games record of 1:35:43. In soccer both teams from Mexico (men and women) advanced to semifinals with a perfect streak during the group stage. The men will face Cuba while the women will play Costa Rica. Mexico dominated the synchronized swimming events with seven out of seven wins and that can be considered as to what is making the difference between Cuba’s 63 gold medals and the 67 earned by Mexico so far. Colombia is in third with 51.

NBA

We are just getting started with a long basketball season and some teams are over the expectations while others are below. Lebron James came back to Cleveland hoping to be the secret element to bring the Cavs back to title contention. Up to this point we can say King James is missing having Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh by his side since the team he is now playing for is in an early season crisis after a four game losing streak. Toronto is the best team in the league so far with a 9-1 record after ten games. Both Dallas and San Antonio have a 7-3 record heading into the last week of november while the Lakers even with Kobe Bryant being Kobe Bryant can’t find a groove and are 3-7. Last week they were demolished by the Mavericks at Dallas 140-106 just after beating the Rockets on the road.

F1 Season Finale Preview

Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi will once again be the host circuit of the Formula 1 Season. Throughout the year there has been huge criticism on the engine sounds after downgrading from a V8 to  V6 while limiting fuel consumption to 100 kgs. per race. But it will be the first time in F1 history that any race in the calendar gives double points. Regularly the first place would take 25 points, second place 18 points, third place 15 points, 12 for fourth, 10 for fifth, 8 for sixth 6 for seventh, 4 for eight, 2 for ninth and 1 for tenth. The easiest way to understand this is to just multiply the available points for each position times two.

This will highly benefit the constructors points who will earn money needed for the development of their 2015 cars and secure a spot in the starting grid at Melbourne next year. While Mercedes already took the title in this category, Ferrari would like a god share of the prize after a disaster of a season in 2014, but right now they are sitting in fourth. Way behind the close to perfect performance by Mercedes is Red Bull in second place. The team that had dominated the Formula for the past four years with Vettel winning pretty much every race, including the one in Yas Marina in 2010 to claim the first of his four world titles has now picked most of its (Red Bull) 373 points via Daniel Ricciardo, who came from Toro Rosso and is the only pilot this season to know what it means to win besides Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Vettel won his last race in the season finale at Sao Paulo last year.

In third place comes a team that has been performing above the expectations many critics had before the season started. Williams assembled a team that may not be getting many podium finishes but is definitely doing things right. Valterri Bottas is currently in sixth place, helping out a veteran Felipe Massa who is eight in the drivers championship score important points for a team where I can say the combination of a veteran like Massa and a upcoming talent like Bottas has paid off nicely.

Fourth place as already mentioned is currently held by the only team that has not missed a Formula 1 season since 1950, Ferrari. Here, even with having two world champions like Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen behind the steering wheel, the results have been way below what was expected. Zero wins for a historic team is beyond unacceptable. Apparently the car has not favored the drivers and while Alonso regularly finishes in the top-5, his teammate usually has a hard time scoring any points. The spaniard heads into Abu Dhabi for his last race with the team, Sebastian Vettel is set to take his spot.

It is no longer a rumour that Alonso will be driving with the fifth place of the constructor’s championship. McLaren has just had a couple of good races this season but besides that consistency has been an issue for a team lead by world-champion Jenson Button. The british driver is currently in the seventh spot, but his teammate barely fits into the top-10. Both drivers have an uncertain future after what happens in Yas. Alonso recently declared that he would like Button to be his teammate, but with a very expensive contract the spaniard seems to be requesting from the british team, the safer bet for McLaren from a financial standpoint would be to let Jenson go and probably retire. The decision is set to come in December.

In sixth place we find Sahara Force India. A team that seems to be happy with both of his drivers as it is almost a sure thing that both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg will return with the team for 2015. Hulkenberg has been more consistent than Perez who has had a rough last four races scoring only two points and retiring on the first lap at the U.S. Grand Prix. In Bahrain, the mexican claimed the first podium finish for the team. Nico has picked up points in every but three races this season. I do feel that keeping both drivers is the right call, specially with the F1 heading to Mexico next year.

Toro Rosso, the “driving-school” of Red Bull can call it a good year with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat as their drivers and hoping that the squad doesn’t suffer any changes for next season. Even though both drivers are outside the top-10 with Vergne leading the charge at 13th, they are taking advantage of the poor performance by even better-funded teams like Lotus which is eight in the constructors championship. Lotus will not suffer changes to its squad coming next season. They just announced that despite their troubles to fight for the top spots on the grid they are keeping both Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean.

With only two points we find Marussia in the ninth spot.The team has not been competing since the U.S. Grand Prix. In Russia they only had one driver after Jules Bianchi , who was yesterday declared out of coma, suffered a horrific accident at the Japan Grand Prix. He will hardly drive in F1 again but he did manage to get those two points for his team in the streets of Monaco. The team will not see action at the Yas Marina circuit but unless Sauber and Caterham don’t score any points they will keep their position and could get money from Bernie Ecclestone and the F1 organization for next year.

Sauber, a team that runs with a Ferrari engine is about to close the 2014 season without a single point. After Esteban Gutierrez had a strong finish to his 2013 season he has not found any type of success in 2014. It was recently announced that he did not come in the plans for the team coming 2015 so he is either looking at Marussia or a practice pilot spot, unless a big surprise sets him in a better team. He was expected to run for Lotus but that will not happen. The team will face a complete renovation for 2015 with even Adrian Sutil stepping down. Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr will be the new drivers for the swiss team.

At the end we find Caterham. with Kamui Kobayashi and Will Stevens. Another team that has gone scoreless for the past 18 races including the two they had to forfeit due to financial difficulties. With a crowdfunding campaign and the help of Bernie Ecclestone they will be back for at least the season finale, without 2015 being a sure thing, and obviously the drivers not knowing if they have a secure seat.

Finally, one of the most interesting things about the Yas Marina race is that it starts during the day and ends at night, making it harder for the drivers to choose an adequate visor. The circuit has many curves, but long enough straightaways to provide good spaces for overpassing. Seeing cars crash is a common site in this circuit, which could compromise the fight for the drivers championship between Rosberg and Hamilton. The latter one has the lead but the first one has the ambition. On sunday, at 7:00 am lights will be out and 55 laps later we will know who is the new F1 Champion.

Nico Rosberg (left) could win his first F1 ChampionshIp at Abu Dhabi.
Nico Rosberg (left) could win his first F1 ChampionshIp at Abu Dhabi.

Screen shot 2014-11-21 at 12.33.29 PM

Last Week In Sports (November 10-November 16)

GOLF

Despite most of the attention of Mexico being centered on what happened abroad with their soccer national team, both the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) and the Ladies Professional Golfers Association (LPGA) tours made stops in Mexico. The men played in Playa del Carmen Mexico at the Mayakoba Classic. There after three days of action Charley Hoffmann took first place with a scorecard of -17. Followed by Shawn Stefani just one stroke behind. Representing the host country at “El Camaleon Golf Club” were Carlos Ortiz, Oscar Fraustro, Roberto Díaz, Rodolfo Cazaubón and José de Jesús Rodriguez. The first two finished in the ninth spot with eleven strokes under par. Cazaubón along with Díaz and Rodriguez did not make the cut after the second round. Meanwhile in Mexico City at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Christina Kim claimed her first LPGA Tour win in nine years even after losing a five stroke lead which decided the winner between Kim and Shanshan Feng in a playoff hole. Coming in at the 19th spot was Alejandra Llaneza, the best mexican in the tournament.

SOCCER

Most national leagues were in a break this past week due to the international matches that were played around the world. Probably one of the most attractive matches on paper was the Netherlands vs Mexico game which was considered by many a rematch from the past World Cup game in Brazil where Mexico lost in the last minute. This time, at the Amsterdam Arena Mexico found in the return of forward Carlos Vela, its best weapon to seek revenge. Vela scored the first two goals for “El Tri” while Javier Hernández sealed the deal for the visiting squad. Wesley Sneijder and Daley Blind tried to make a push to tie the game but this time it did not work out. 3-2 was the final score. One of the few leagues that dares to stop when there is international action going on is the MLS. They had their Conference Semifinals where Landon Donovan and the L.A. Galaxy advanced to the final after defeating Real Salt Lake 5-0 after two games. FC Dallas tied 1-1 with Seattle Sounders but the result benefited Seattle who will play L.A. in the next round. On the Eastern Conference Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls will punched their ticket to play New England Revolution in the Conference Finals.

Formula 1

Abu Dhabi is the last stop for the 2014 Formula 1 Season which even though failed to deliver in engine sound, is really putting up a show when it comes to how competitive it has been. Even though the Constructors Championship was decided back in Russia for Mercedes, its two drivers, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are fighting for the Drivers Championship. Rosberg from Germany is 17 points behind Hamilton but new this year is a double-points system where a first place would give him 50 points instead of the 25 a win gives away. That being said Rosberg needs to win and Lewis can’t come in second if the German wants to take home the glory. Important to mention that in 11 races this season Mercedes has been 1-2. While many other teams look to improve their constructors rankings for the money they get, Caterham will be back on the grid after missing the last two races due to economic problems. Most of the money raised to come back was donated by fans of the team. Marussia is definitely out and will hardly be seen taking the grid next year.

UFC 

The show had to go on despite its main attraction being ruled out due to an injury. Cain Velasquez, who was in attendance had to watch how Fabricio Werdum, who would have been his opponent took the UFC Interim Heavyweight Title by knocking out Mark Hunt in the first round. Besides being a special night for UFC, since it was the first time the world-leading martial arts organization stopped in Mexico it was also the final of the Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. Alejandro Perez beat José Quinonez by split decision after a three rounds. His victory meant he now has a contract to fight with the UFC. 21,000 fans in attendance, a record for the “Arena Ciudad de México” who had just days earlier hosted an NBA regular season game between the Rockets and the Timberwolves.

NFL

After winning their game in London where the beat the Jaguars, the Dallas Cowboys had their bye week this past week and if they performed any strange kind of voodoo to affect the teams in their division, it worked. The New York Giants (their next rival) lost 17-10 against the San Francisco 49’ers. The Green Bay Packers showed no mercy on the Eagles, probably a top contender on the NFC East by 53-20. Also the Redskins have not won a game after beating the Cowboys on the road. This time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came out on top by 27-7. Another surprising victory was presented to us by the Rams who were untamable against the Denver Broncos by 22-7. Peyton Manning was unable to extend his streak to 16 of games where he has thrown at least two touchdown passes.

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic probably has never won a final game as easy as it came this past weekend in London. It was a much anticipated final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals between the number one and two in the world, Roger Federer. One of the most decorated tennis players of all times hurt his back in the semifinal match against his countryman Stanislas Wawrinka. With just a day to recover it was impossible for the 33 year old swiss to recover and play against Djokovic. That way, Federer withdrew from the final game just two hours before the finalists were supposed to take the court. Andy Murray stepped up to the plate to play some exhibition games in front of the fans who had already paid a ticket for the show. The fans will receive a partial refund according to organizers.

MISCELLANEOUS

The Central American and Caribbean Games “Veracruz 2014” started last week with 31 countries not including the United States. So far Mexico has the lead in the medal count with a total of 47 including 23 gold medals. Followed by Cuba with 27 (12 gold). Due to the dangerous conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, the triathlon was changed to a duathlon last saturday. Also the host country added three gold medals to its count in Tae-Kwon Do. A weird fact happened when a table tennis player from Cuba instead of flying to Veracruz, took off to the United States. This event which lasts from November 14 to the 28 can be used to qualify for the Olympic Games in “Rio de Janeiro 2016”

10 Kilómetros Color Esperanza

Quienes me conocen saben que he estado ligado al deporte del atletismo prácticamente desde nacimiento. La verdad es que correr me ha dado muchas cosas que otros deportes no me dan. Gracias al atletismo tuve la llave para estudiar mi licenciatura en Estados Unidos.

Durante mi carrera como atleta estuve acostumbrado a tener carreras una vez al mes y cuando llegué a la universidad era una por semana con el nivel de exigencia en aumento conforme pasaban los años ya sea fuera de mi ciudad natal o inclusive hasta fuera del país.

Hubo un tiempo donde llegué a pensar que podía dedicarme a esto de por vida, pero que en México no se iba a poder debido al pobre apoyo que existe para este deporte en mi país. Universidades como la Anahuac y el Tecnológico de Monterrey únicamente becan a quienes tienen conexión con la selección nacional.

Aprovechando la inercia del alto nivel de competencia al que me enfrenté en mis primeros años de la universidad estuve muy cerca de clasificar a Boston pero se me llegó a negar dos veces por menos de cinco minutos. Una vez, por tan poco como 90 segundos. Justo cuando mejor me sentía corriendo, hubo varios cambios en mi vida que afectaron mi condición, mi rutina y en mis prioridades como atleta.

Después de graduarme tuve que desertar del Maratón de Chicago por falta de preparación y por el trabajo. Pase casi un año corriendo una o dos veces por semana. A pesar de que me iba bien en el trabajo sentía que me faltaba algo pero por mis horarios era difícil coordinarme y tener la energía suficiente para hacer un buen entrenamiento.

Tuve que dejar de vivir en Estados Unidos y dejar de trabajar de tiempo completo para que realmente pudiera volver a correr. Con las constantes decepciones de no poder encontrar trabajo el atletismo es lo que me reanima. Me ha costado trabajo retomar el ritmo y la condición de antes. Justo cuando parecía que estaba a nada de lograrlo mi ambición por acelerar el proceso me dejó fuera de actividad por dos semanas.

Fue y es un golpe duro porque no sólo afectó mi ritmo sino que un programa de entrenamiento para un maratón donde aún no tengo muy claro si debo participar. Todo iba muy bien, pero esa lesión en el chamorro y la ingle me dolió más allá de lo físico pues me había quitado temporalmente lo único que me estaba dando alegrías en ese momento.

Dos semanas de rehabilitación y pude reiniciar el proceso de entrenar para el maratón aunque obviamente no del punto donde había dejado sino más atrás. Una semana más tarde viajé a Estados Unidos y aunque tuve poco tiempo para entrenar la primera semana, fue en la segunda donde regresaron las buenas noticias.

Corrí todos los días y me enfoque en retomar la velocidad. Jugando con fuego pues aún esta latente la posibilidad de resentirme de la vieja lesión. Mi meta era aguantar el ritmo de martes a domingo. Trabajar en velocidad de diferentes formas para estar listo en caso de que llegara a correr el domingo una carrera de diez kilómetros.

El sábado en la tarde salí volando (literalmente) de Dallas sabiendo que había la posibilidad de llegar a la carrera, cansado pero podía llegar. Tras tres horas de vuelo donde no pude dormir llegué a México D.F. para de ahí irme a la central camionera y tomar el primer camión a Tampico a donde llegué poco antes de las 6 am.

Algo entumecido pero ya inscrito no había de otra más que correr la carrera. No sabía que esperar. Había corrido 10 kms. el día anterior, viajado diez horas y muy apenas dormido, mucho menos en una posición cómoda. En algún momento mi cuerpo iba a decir basta, sólo esperaba que no fuera durante la carrera.

Menos de dos horas después de haber llegado a Tampico comenzó la carrera. El primer kilómetro fue rápido aunque con algo de subida y lo pasé en 4:03. El segundo tuvo una mayor inclinación y lo acabé en 4:17. Gracias a que el siguiente kilómetro era más plano mi ritmo aceleró a 3:53, siendo el parcial más rápido de la carrera. Con más de la mitad por avanzar esperaba que no me estuviera quemando muy temprano y parecía ser que sí porque el siguiente parcial fue en 4:17 pero pude recomponer el paso y volver a correr debajo de 4 minutos (3:57) para llegar al quinto kilómetro.

Con 20:27 ya podía hacer las matemáticas de que podía esperar para el final. Mi meta había sido correr abajo de 43 y siguió siendo esa. Algo de viento en contra puso mi sexto parcial en 4:21. Ya no me podía conformar con llegar bien hasta ahí pues estaba “cerca” del final. Aproveche lo plano del recorrido para un 4:07 en el séptimo kilómetro. Difícilmente podría volver a bajar de 4 pero no quería subir de 4:15. El octavo kilómetro me puso a temblar porque fue más lento (4:13). Era ahora o nunca si quería un buen resultado. El noveno kilómetro lo marqué en 4:15 por una subida que mermó mi ritmo pero ya estaba todo servido para poder cerrar. Lo había ensayado durante la semana, de chico era mi mejor arma y en la carrera no me falló. 4:12 fue mi último parcial para un 41:38. Mi mejor tiempo desde hace más de 18 meses.

No es mi mejor marca, ni estuvo cerca de serlo pero las circunstancias que lo rodean no podían estar más en contra de lo que sucedió. Los viajes, la lesión y la falta de trabajo apuntaban a que tardaría más para llegar a hacer eso. Aún no defino bien lo del maratón pero se que poco a poco estaré donde llegué a estar por mucho tiempo, al menos cuando me refiero al atletismo.IMG_1125.JPG

From a Joke to Formula 1

I am trying really hard to put into words what this week meant to me. In my short career I have worked at Cowboy’s games, UFC events, NBA Playoffs. At the end of the day none of them come close to the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix.

This week was a dream within a dream which will be impossible to forget. Working at a Formula 1 Race is by far the best job in the world. I came back to the United States thanks to F1. The way it all began was kind of a joke. I was looking for tickets to come to the United States Grand Prix in Austin as a fan but without a job it was hard to afford. I tried looking for freelancing jobs that could send me there but that also did not work. I had been wanting to go to this race for the past two years but it just wasn’t happening. I then had the idea of asking a friend, that had worked there the year before if she was going back, unfortunately for her, she wasn’t. Then as a joke I asked if I could take her spot. Before I knew it I was being contacted by a german tv station to help out at the USGP. I did not think twice, and said yes to the offer no matter the conditions.

I knew I was heading to a big event but many times the expectation I have of something does not live up to its hype. Formula 1 definitely lived up to it and even surpassed it. Here is why.

The first day was pretty simple with the exception of buying groceries for about 40 people, it took forever but we got it done and then headed to the circuit where I saw where the media outlets from around the world were setting up. Then went up to the tower that overlooks the where you can see the whole circuit. It is an iconic part of the Circuit of the Americas I got to experience without making a long line. The next day the highlight was going for a run around the circuit. I’ve ran around the “Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez” a few times but this is a much more complex race track. More curves and more hills where turn one is by far the hardest one even for the cars but once you get up there the view is great. It was a short run but I loved every step of it.

On thursday I started to meet some of the drivers as I realized I had access to the paddock. That when I was starting to really realize when I was getting into and it would just get better. Just that night, since I was working for a german tv station we got to do an exclusive interview with 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. Even though I did not understand what was going on during the interview (all in german) I was just happy to be there.

On friday I spent most of my day in the van driving the crew around the circuit and barely had a chance to see the F1 cars in action but I did get to meet even more pilots that day and walk around the pits while the teams were getting ready for the second round of practice sessions. At that moment I knew this was already better than what I expected to do this week and I still had the two most important days ahead of me. I had heard a lot about the low sound that the cars make this year since they have downgraded to a V6 engine and have a 100 kg limit on fuel for every race. I remembered well how in the French GP of 2006 I was barely able to hear a thing after the race but this time my ears never popped no matter how close I could get.

Saturday was a bit more hectic as it was the first time the station would broadcast live so everything had to be done quick and in time. Traffic started to become an issue as more people were coming to COTA. That day the highlight was meeting Pamela Anderson, one of the VIP guests at the race and someone who was really easy to talk to and approach. At the end of the day out of nowhere I met Nico Hulkenberg who was riding his bike while his mechanics ran around the track in a small race for media and F1 entourage I was not aware off. This was done at the same time as the paddock girls rehearsed the routine for the national anthem ceremony. Now the countdown was on for the big day.

Having to buy groceries at 8 am was the start of probably the most exciting day in my post-college life or probably my life. I headed out to the track a few minutes before 10 and made it there around 10:30 thanks to me avoiding a close to one mile line to get to the circuit, if not I probably would have been in line for about another hour. I unloaded the car and then headed to the paddock to help out the production crew and later on we went into the track for the driver’s parade. It was an awesome experience to have all the drivers walk right in front of me. Then walked along the pit lane while mechanics were making the final touches on the cars. Continued with going to turn one to watch the beginning of the race and then to the hospitality suite of Mercedes. For the next hour I walked around the track to see the race from different points and just before the race was over I had the chance of seeing the finish from the Mercedes garage. It was just the icing on cake that was needed to make it an almost perfect week which was slightly damaged when Sergio Perez was out after the first lap.

Things slowly unwinded from that point on, but it was just the right moment to think about everything that went on in the past six days. I was and still am at a loss of words to say how I really feel about it. I knew it really happened since it is now a thing of the past but something I will remember for a lifetime. I went to heaven and came back, I lived in a fantasy world for six days that I will never forget for as long as I live. All I know is that I am beyond lucky to have this on my resume from this point on. It was a job that definitely took me further than I could ever imagine.

Standing next to a legend. Niki Lauda.
Standing next to a legend. Niki Lauda.
Running on the track was definitely a highlight.
Running on the track was definitely a highlight.
A picture with Nico Rosberg was probably one of the highlights.
A picture with Nico Rosberg was probably one of the highlights.