domingo, 23 de junio de 2013


To: His Sanctity, Pope Francis I 
From: Those affected by Chevron-Texaco in the Amazon
May 6, 2013.

His Sanctity, Pope Francis, Apostolic Palace 00120, Vatican City.

To his Holiness Francis I:

     “Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” 

       Saint Francis of Assisi proclaimed these words 800 years ago. In spite of so much time and distance, it seems like these words were uttered by us; because, this quote summarizes our endless struggle. We live in the northern area of Ecuador’s Amazon region. Today, the communities affected by the Chevron-Texaco oil company address you, your Holiness, because we know how much you love life and respect the environment.

     The work lead by the American company, Chevron-Texaco, has left 30,000 people affected. We appeal to you, Holy Father, moral leader of the Catholic Church and of humanity, to request your guidance and prayer. Both settlers and indigenous peoples of Ecuador’s Amazon have filed a trial against this oil company for over 20 years. Out struggle began because the company contaminated our home by freeing toxic waste derived from petroleum onto our soil, into our rivers and creeks; which are the main water sources for those of us who live in the area.
    The fight for justice has been ongoing for two decades; with insufficient resources, armed with only our faith, hope, goodwill and the desire to reach what seemed to be impossible to many: cleaning up the Amazon. Day by day we wake up believing that truth will prevail and that in the end there will be work done to repair all the harm that has been caused. You should know that this is an epic struggle: a community that faces one of the largest companies in the world and with each step we take our faith grows stronger. The prayers we have raised to the heavens have been so many, thousands even. While time goes on, the damage to our soil persists, silent but with graver cruelty. Your Holiness should know that in the area we live in (the Ecuadorian provinces of Orellana and Sucumbios) have the highest cancer rate in the country, the average is 3 to 1, all due to contamination.
    This oil company spilled 60million gallons of toxic water into creeks and rivers. It did so, not because of lack of knowledge but to avoid costs. -8.31billion dollars is how much it would cost to put the residues back into the tanks. This is why we can no longer use our water. Instead we have to buy it ($1.20 USD per gallon) or collect rain water.
    Water is not the only contaminated element, also the soil. Verdict 1, on 2 instances, acknowledges that the oil company opened 880 wells, each 25 by 50 meters with a 3 meter depth. Others were covered with dirt or with waste. This is how the company tried to state that it had repaired its wrongdoings. 
    That’s not all they have done to us. They have also affected our environment and the lifestyle of our ancestral communities. Two of them disappeared forever, the Tetetes and the Sansahuari peoples. The damage caused to our brothers and our homes is uncountable. Our land no longer wants to produce. Moreover, they are insatiable, changing our way of life, altering one of the planet’s lungs is not enough; they slander against us. They call us liars and make up evidence to detach themselves from any responsibility of all the harm they’ve caused.
    For all the aforementioned points, we come to you. The only thing we ask for is justice and for those responsible to take responsibility. The truth is on our side, it is our strongest weapon. That’s why we pursue our struggle. We fight for our lives and for everyone else’s- for our brother the armadillo, our sister rodent, our brother crocodile – so they can live peacefully in their habitat. So the Amazon can be the world’s lung once again. To conclude, so that what seems impossible today can become a reality tomorrow.
    We know and trust that in God’s eyes the fight for justice is well seen. Because it is a struggle for life, which is why we address you with all due respect to request that you include us in your prayers.  We, the men and women affected by the operations carried out by the Chevron-Texaco company always keep you in each and every one of our prayers.
    As you, your Holiness, told President Rafael Correa: “Men pardon from time to time. Nature never forgives and if we mistreat it, it will crush us.”

Thank you, or as we say here: may God repay you.

Sincerely yours,

Humberto Piaguaje Lucitante

Coordinator of the Affected People’s Union (UDAPT)
You can also sign this petition at:


Photo: Mauro Burzio - from Yasuni ITT

The Ecuadorian Amazon needs your support!

This year began with full force, hope and solidarity. The Ecuadorian Amazon has been seriously threatened by the current extractivist policy. Nevertheless, movements are gaining strength and uniting to achieve the impossible: protecting what’s left of the Amazon. We thank your support and solidarity!
There are over one million signatures on the petition to protect the Amazon.

1,083,154 have signed. We’re going for 1,250,000
The petition is addressed to President Rafael Correa, requesting him to protect the Amazon from devastation, oil exploitation and to respect Ecuador’s Constitution.

What about you, have you signed the petition yet?

February 2013 bulletin
Shyris E9-38 y Bélgica esq. Edf: Shyris Century
Oficinas 12 e y f, Quito – Ecuador

Copyleft 2013 – Fundación Pachamama


SOLIDARIO 10K X YASUNI: The  Economic Report under request of two runners

Rossana Manosalvas and Marcelo Garcia wrote comments on the blog. I contacted Rossana by email but could not find Marcelo. I thank them both for their inquiries. That’s what we should all do: question, protest and not remain silent.

Below are their words and my response with the race’s Economic Report:

“I have read carefully and was surprised to see “If there is any left over money” it will be delivered to research centers in Yasuni. The accountability should be clear, If it’s not, then you’re just using the cause’s name to make money. ”
Rossana Manosalvas.

“The part which says “If there is any money left over…” should be specified. The event and its expenses were supposedly planned for already. Many of us ran for Yasuni. But, if we had been told that it wasn’t certain that the money would support the cause, we may not have participated.” Marcelo Garcia.

Dear Rossana,
I don’t know your email but I hope that we can make contact through this message. When you organize a race for the first time, as in my case, there’s no way to know if there will be enough people enrolled in order to reach a balance point; let alone know if there will be any profit. We clearly stated that if there are any leftover funds they will support one of the two research centers located in Yasuni. We were able to cover costs thanks to support from Banco Solidario, a company that wishes to continue supporting the cause without seeking any benefit. Running 504kms is clear. I hope we can unite to build conscious and not doubt.
Warm hugs,

From: Rossana Manosalvas []
Sent: Thursday, February14, 2013 11:10 a.m.
Subject: Response

Dear Maria de Lourdes:
Thank you for answering. Even though I understand that you are unable to know how many people will enroll in the race, I believe that the case of Yasuni should not be used as a motivation to compete, if there is no effective support to this vital environmental issue.
No, it is not specified when you enroll, it merely says so on the blog; about the funds available to contribute with Yasuni.
It seems like the issue of alternatives to petroleum extraction is being taken lightly. 
There are people and organizations (aside from those two research centers) that work on environmental issues; they could have supported you.
Personally, as a citizen, I exercise my right to be informed; in this case, I want to know if the SOLIDARIO 10K race does what it says, I expect that in exchange.

Rossana Manosalvas

Sent: Thursday, February14, 2013 12:27 p.m.
To: 'Rossana Manosalvas'
Subject: RE: Response

Hello Rossana, thank you for contacting me and for expressing your concerns, they have been helpful. It is absolutely true that out accounting and purpose must be public. It would be my pleasure. I will publish a blog (this one) regarding that with the purpose to convey the Solidario 10k x el Yasuni’s results in other ways.

Did you know that the Challenge 21x24 (run 21k in each province for the sake of Yasuní) came to be with a single objective: to build awareness among Ecuadorians about the treasure that Yasuní is; that it is in danger, that it’s being exploited.
My idea was to run alone. But, my friends and runners that became my friends started adding along. They each devoted their money and themselves. Banco Solidario, where I work, decided to support me because this project goes hand in hand with their philosophy of sustainability. Of course I thanked them and we moved forward with the 24 provinces.
When we finished the 504kms, the over 150 runners that had come together said: What else are we going to do? My boss at the bank said: What else are we going to do? That’s why I contacted Soledad Darquea at Podium and we saw the opportunity of organizing a race that would be Cross Podium’s second edition, as a closure of the Challenge and the beginning of new paths. Until then, the objective was the same. Build awareness about Yasuni’s protection (And the Amazon in general. For example, in Zamora Chinchipe we ran through the Podocarpus Forest too; we wore T-Shirts donated by the Ministerio de Ambiente (Environment Secretary))

 Also, since the beginning (October 2010) I contacted the Yasuni ITT Initiative. They gave me bracelets, caps and also collaborated so I could obtain a permit to enter Yasuni to complete the Challenge. I have an ideological connection with Fundación Amazonía por la Vida  (Amazonian Foundation for Life) and Fundación Pachamama (Mother Earth Foundation).
When I was asked whether we would give any leftover funds to ITT, I spoke to the organizers and runners and they all said no; that it’s unsure if the initiative will reach its objective. They said we should those who are inside the park breaking their backs to protect the reserve.
The total cost for the race was $ 27, 062 dollars. We finished off paying for the following bills: chips, tents, canvases, permits, publicity, hand-outs, ciclopaseo (bike-path) and chaquiñan (narrowpath) access, press conference at the Dann Carlton Hotel, cash prizes, purchase orders, backpacks, medals, T-shirts, staff uniforms, runner numbers, buses from Quito’s southern area, portable toilets and coordination in general.

The sponsors were: Álamo (they covered each runner for the day with insurance and sponsored the event), Vivant and Gatorade (with beverages) and Banco Solidario that covered the costs that enrollment and Álamo’s support did not cover. 
As you could see, the organization was quite good; we complied with all the rules, permits and requirements for runners and the public, etc. There are always some things left to improve. But, we made a huge effort.

The surplus was ($1,250) which will be invested in an investigation project run by PUCE (Catholic University of Ecuador) and/or a book published by USFQ(San Francisco de Quito University) and the Web of Life which have awoken concern countrywide and worldwide regarding the Amazon’s treasures. It’s not much. But, Banco Solidario has the intention of sponsoring another race in Manabi (you’ll be notified) and with this, we intent to increase support for what we have proposed in this area.

Beyond providing funds to one project or another, the objective to achieve that people the territory as their own. To respect nature for the sake of their children and grandchildren. It’s the greatest collaboration that one can give. Don’t you think? To achieve a non-extractivist mentality.

I am open to any other inquiries or suggestions. We can even arrange a meeting.
Warm hugs and thanks again,

Lourdes H

PS:  Just in case, do you know Marcelo Garcia? He also wrote a comment, I would like to contact him.

From: Rossana Manosalvas []
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2013 10:43 a.m.
Subject: Re: Response
Thanks again for your thorough response. What I wrote is not intended to question your intentions, nor those of the people who believe in taking action to support a cause; in this case, to support Yasuni.
In fact, I think there should be more people like you so things can start working and moving. (…)
As regards the struggle to change our consumption-driven and extractivist mentality, we fight it each day. (…)
Kind regards,
Rossana Manosalvas
P.S. No, I don’t know Marcelo Garcia.



 The athletic competition called Solidario 10K por Yasuni (Solidario 10k for Yasuni) took place yesterday as planned. Around 800 elite and amateur competitors were enrolled. They tested their rhythm and measured their timing on a circuit full of obstacles like twigs and pebbles on an irregular surface like El Chaquiñán (The Narrow Path) in the Tumbaco and Cumbaya area.

The race lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes; it began at 8:00 at the Portal La Esperanza area (Hope Portal) kilometer 10.5 and ended at the Colegio Menor San Francisco (San Francisco High School) parking lot. There were hydration points along the path which were located on kilometers 3, 5 and 8. Also, there were 35 police officers that helped us in order to close access to any motor vehicles during the competition; together with 2 ambulances in case of an accident. The objective of this race is to build awareness among athletes about Yasuni, the event was organized in a month and a half and this year it has been become a trademark under the name of Solidario 10K.

The organizers hope that the following editions will have more participants and that more private companies will help promote awareness about this endangered ecological reserve.
At the finish line, runners received a hydration and a recovery  kit that consisted of a pear, an apple, water and a brochure with information about the Yasuni project. Each participant received a medal and a backpack with the competition’s logo.

This is the second year that an athletic race has been held by the same organizers in the Chaquiñán area, last edition was named after Cross Podium, but it was changed because of Banco Solidario’s sponsorship and due to the support of several private companies to the development of this competition.

Cesar Gualotuña was the first runner to reach the finish line in 32 minutes and 56 seconds. He had been training on the race’s circuit with his trainer; they stopped the timer at 35 minutes, two minutes more than what he marked at the race. This very satisfying for Gualotuña, who didn’t find it difficult to come across twigs and pebbles. 

The athlete confessed that this race was useful as a warm up for the Ruta de los Tres Juanes (Three Johns Route) that will take place in Ambato on Friday February 1st.
In the ladies category, the participant to arrive was Michelle Quimbita, her timing was 40 minutes and 05 seconds. It was this 19 year old runners first time on the podium in this type of competition.

According to Michelle, the last two kilometers of the race were fought for against Angela Guznay (42 minutes and 07 seconds).

Another athlete that arrived among the first places was Milton Tuquerres, the sweat on his forehead and his smile when he crossed the finish line were the result of the effort made on the final parts of the circuit that are all uphill.

This was Milton’s second race on the chaquiñanes (narrow paths). He arrived in fifth place in the last Edition, this year he was fourth.

The winner of the elite category won a $300 cash prize, second place $200 and third place $100. The amateur competitors that arrived in first positions received $60 dollar gift certificates from the local sports store Podium, the event’s athletic organizer.
People of all ages participated in this competition, some people even ran with their pets.
The organizers set up tents and a space with instructors so competitors could stretch after the race.

Solidario 10K competitors can see their official timing at:

This content was originally published by Diario EL COMERCIO on the following address: If you intend on using it, please, quote the source and create a link to the original note where you have obtained the content.

viernes, 21 de junio de 2013


Sunday, January 20, 2013

The million dollar question: What does the race do for Yasuni?


The cause of the Solidario 10K(10k in solidarity) and the 21x24 Challenge is to awaken consciousness about what the Yasuni is, so we can feel that it’s ours and avoid its exploitation. Any remaining funds from the 10k solidarity race will be given to two universities PUCE and USFQ who are working on the ground on a daily basis, so they can continue protecting, investigating and disseminating how marvellous the park is.

Running for the Yasuni is a civilian initiative, not political it’s about loving nature and against the exploitation of the sacred forest.

THREE reasons to protect the Yasuni:

•         First, because it’s ours. It belongs to each Ecuadorian and we enjoy its beauty. The forest cannot be exploited without our consent.
•         Second, because what is on the surface which is the forest, if left untouched, is endless. It reproduces itself, its natural resources increase. In contrast, the underground oil resources last only a few months and the money earned from it will reach us only a little, if any by the time it ends with the Forest’s lifeline. This would leave us empty handed.
•         Third, what happens to the Forest will rebound on us sooner or later. Our children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences. The Forest is where rain comes from, which means where water comes from. That’s where oxygen comes from, which means fresh air.

Our sole proposal is: for you to go and see this wonder for yourself... what you know, you come to love. How to reach Yasuni? [1]

What is Yasuní?  It is a million hectare large untouched tropical rainforest located between the provinces of Orellana and Pastaza in Ecuador. It has the greatest biological richness on the planet, as regards water and land. It is the last biosphere reserve, which means it covers all of Europe’s CO2 emissions (it is the world’s lung). It has more species of plants and animals tan all of the US and Canada together. And it’s ours! We are so proud!

Foreign tourists want to see virgin rainforests. They don’t want to see Coca or Nueva Loja, or el Puyo, their streets are smothering and stripped. What they want to see is a fresh and peaceful forest. There are more utilities; particularly long-term ones in the Forest than there are underground, for Ecuador.

The book Yasuní, Tiputini and the Web of Life by Oxford, Bish and Swing says: let this book be a celebration of what the Yasuni National Reserve holds and not a historical recount of what it once was.

Fortunately, 78% of all Ecuadorians want to preserve the reserve.

We will continue summoning people to run for Yasuni. The next circuit is on the coastline, in the province of Manabi. And so on until God gives us strength. Luckily, the next generation of aware youngsters is coming. They will be less consumer-driven and they will take the next step.

For sure, you are in that same group!

[1]  TBS Tiputini Biosiversity Station:; ECY Yasuní Scientific Station:; Napo Wildlife Center  It’s not easy for tourists... But, if you show true interest and respect, you can reach Paradise.

viernes, 24 de mayo de 2013


London Marathon Overview

All I know is that fear and depression were buried in London’s pavement.  There is no reason or interest in welcoming those two enemies into my life.

On Sunday April 21st, 700,000 spectators took London's streets. They held signs that said: We will not be stopped, For Boston, We are not afraid. These were all reactions to the indignation caused by the explosions at the Boston Marathon on April 15th whose perpetrators were allegedly two Chechen terrorists.
Each runner was given a black ribbon to pin on to our T-shirts. We were also given several instructions. For example: to notify the police if we saw anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.

There were also press announcements suggesting that spectators who go to cheer for runners should be alert and inform the police of any suspicious actions. They said: it is impossible to watch 42 kilometers, but each of you can keep a look out of your surroundings. This message was so different from the six marathons I have run and the dozens of races I have participated in before. It seems we really have be prepared for a different type of world.

From my point of view, the Expo was great. Cristina, Fernando and I went one Friday before the race. It wasn't as huge and glamorous as the one in New York. But, we were welcomed with triumphant music at the chip stand. It was also so well organized, just as much as the rest of the competition. Then, we walked through a gallery that displayed the 5 Majors (the biggest races in the world) with pictures and messages. I had some pictures taken of me there. Because, if all went well on Sunday, it meant I had completed the 5: Chicago, Boston, NY, Berlin and... London.

Further down, there was another gallery fashioned like a planetarium -sponsored by Adidas- with a wall to sign and official race clothes on display in a very broad space. The new beverage Lucozade-official sponsor of the race- held a lot of events and presented new flavors, and there was a DJ playing really cool electronic music.

In the pasta party area there was a pop music choreography. The crowd ate spaghetti, the best meal prior to a race. Personally, I preferred to not eat there. I chose to eat at the hotel where I could control which and how many ingredients each meal had.

Since this race is based on charity and solidarity work, the rest of the stands were assigned to causes: Alzheimer's, heart disease, children with Down Syndrome, kidney disease, Cancer, etc. When I saw all this, I made a commitment to myself: I will not run for Yasuni which is my cause in Challenge 21 x 24 and in my everyday life, but rather I would run for people with depression. Because I have always considered depression as the worst of all sicknesses; because it removes your will to live.

On Saturday, we had a relaxed day and took a city tour. We walked along Camden Market with Floren, Ana Maria and Javier, and rested at the hotel. At night, we had some pasta at a restaurant in front of the hotel and then continued resting some more.

At 7:00 o'clock on Sunday morning a bus picked us up, about 100 runners from different countries. Among which there were 9 Ecuadorians. We were so excited and nervous that we spoke to each other with utter enthusiasm and at times we were in sheer silence trying to concentrate and relax. I loved the fact that we were together the whole time during the marathon. In other competitions, we kept to ourselves.

I met Coco Guiterrez on the bus, a spectacular Mexican that was running his 41st marathon and was about to complete her majors just like me. She told me that he used to run four marathons per year. But that he lowered the amount in order to keep in good shape to continue running her whole life. She also told me that his best timing was 3:24because she was training for an ultramarathon and ran 42k as part of his training. She doesn't race in order to improve her timing anymore; she does it for fun (Coco arrived before I did and welcomed me at the finish line). I have her email address to keep in touch.

I had already set my mind to believing that this would be my last marathon. But after meeting this lovely Mexican, I am not so sure anymore.

We arrived to the starting line, on Greenwich, and we went towards the grass field where the clothing trucks were that held our belongings. There was a show; there had been a religious ceremony some thirst-quenching stands and toilets. Some metal boards that we found became useful seats to avoid sitting on the wet ground. 

There was some small talk before our stretching exercises. I was thrilled; all the nervousness had gone away. 
The weather was chilly but sunny, about 10 degrees C; perfect for me. It was too hot for everyone else.

Each of us went to our places; most of us were assigned #4 for runners who were expected to arrive from 3:30 to 3:45. A minute of silence was requested for the victims of the Boston bombing, it might have been the most felt moment of the race. 35,000 runners quiet and meditating on the pain that our fellow athletes had felt a few days before at the Mecca of athletic events.

The whistle blew and I began to take off the plastic bag, the old T-shirt, the old sleeves and anything I thought I could remove when I started to get warm. The rest of my friends were already wearing the uniform that Asics and Marathon, our sponsors, had given us.

Greenwich is a huge area, so we had run for at least 10km, maybe more, mostly downhill and a bit uphill. That was surprising. I thought that the route was flat; according to what Gaby Solah- an experienced runner who completed her 5 Majors a long time ago- told me.

I ran alongside Cristina for more or less 6 kilometers and with Lenin up to the 15th kilometer. Then, I continued alone, fully concentrated and a bit distracted at times by my own thoughts and by the people that cheered for us the whole time. I remember a sign that said: Running is the only fuc… thing you have to do now. Another one said: Don’t stop, everybody is watching. That one made me laugh. But then I realized that I was 4 minutes behind my time and that was not funny at all.

I heard Fernando shout out my name at mile 13 and that made me so happy, I felt fulfilled. At that point the route turned back. So I Could see the elite runners who had already reached the 35th kilometer. They seemed tired; for some reason it surprised me. To me, they should have been relaxed and happy; they were elite runners and were about to reach the finish line. Later on I saw for myself what it meant to be at Km35. 
You tend to forget!

You can run 6 marathons. But, the seventh will always give you surprises. Quenching my thirst with Pedialyte may have prevented me from having cramps; staying in pen #4 might have avoided me from getting stuck with slower runners; my contention training stopped me from burning my last efforts; Chi running from the very beginning freed my from leg pain. Maybe it was eating outside my schedule, it could have been that snack I failed to refuse from someone, or just because that's like. New obstacles kept me from breaking my personal record.

As always, the final kilometers were crucial test. George, an experienced runner with a coach's spirit, told me what I should think on the way: George is my leader. Keep on target.  Of course I laughed and told him that I would not follow his advice. Unexplainably, somewhere along the 36th kilometer I found myself saying-in my mind- Keep on target.  Keep on target.  After kilometer 38 I started to feel pain in my hip, it wasn't too strong and I felt a bit nauseous. I didn't even remember my Feldene flash that I had stored in my belt. All I could ask was for God to take to heaven or to the finish line; he had to lift me because I could no longer do it. I was by the ship and Eye area, a beautiful spot for the race. But, I felt terrible. I saw some birds and wanted to fly. I got over it. Instead of wondering when I would arrive, I started thinking: "I'm flying. This is beautiful, relax."

We arrived at Hyde Park, near the Buckingham Palace and we could already see the 800m sign, then 400, only 200 meters left. And I felt like killing them! I felt down again. Finally, I saw the finish line and had the strength to sprint a little and smile for the camera. I arrived. I saw Coco, who told me rest; that I didn't look well. I felt terrible! I laid down a while and lifted my legs against a tree trunk. The world started smiling at me once more.  Life became beautiful again.

I picked up my clothes and went to the meeting point where I reached the letter E for Ecuador! It filled me with joy to finish, it was great to know that my teammates were safe and healthy; it was so fulfilling to feel that I had attained my goal by giving it my all. What a beautiful race! It was so well organized. The beverage availability was great, so was the volunteer support. It was so well organized in every sense.

No one broke the speed record this year. The winners of the London Marathon were:

Kebede 2:06:0
Mutai 2:06:34
Kebede's (that enabled Ethiopia to hold two spots on the London podium for the first time) 2:06:57.

Jeptoo 2:20:15
Kiplagat 2:21:32
Yukiko Akaba 2:24:43 (first Japanese woman to stand on London's podium)

There were celebrities and many people were wearing costumes; there were also some members of the Guinness World Records committee because of all the money gathered by the foundations. 40 runners were sent to the hospital. The best Ecuadorian runner was Bernardo Davalos (3:16:10).

I missed my goal by 9 minutes, (my timing was 3:42:16) but I still manage to smile each time I remember the final moments: only 400 more to go, 200...It seemed like forever! And then, crossing the finish line; that tiredness, the nausea, the intense pain, the spiritual and mental jogging must be worth something for people who suffer from depression. If it's up to me, there will be no more sadness! There’s only joy and the will to build, to love, to live.


Photo: Prisca Leptoo, Kenya (2:20) Olimpic at London 2012

The British champion Scott Overall wondered before the Virgin London Marathon: Who’s concerned? Don’t worry, embrace the challenge and get ready for the crazy weather and an even crazier crowd cheering on the way.

In fact, London's nutty weather  on the day of the race, varied between 10 and 15 degrees centigrade in the early morning of Sunday April21st, and at 12m, it got to the 18°C with a thermal sensation of 15°C.

This legendary marathon –one of the 5 Majors- was held on Sunday April 21st, exactly one week after the Boston Marathon (Monday April 15th) where  two Chechen terrorists were allegedly the perpetrators of the  bomb explosions which killed 3 people and injured more than 130, all of them part of the crowds which were watching the marathon.

A minute of silence was requested for the victims of the Boston bombing... it might have been the most felt moment of the race. 35,000 runners quiet and meditating on the pain that our fellow athletes had felt a few days before at the Mecca of all athletic events.

The next most famous marathons after Boston and London are: Madrid 42k (April 28th), followed by Moscow on August the 10th (women’s) and August 17th for men, Berlin is on September 29th, Chicago on October the 13th and New York on November 3rd.

Prince Harry, together with eight members of Parlament delivered the medals to the winners in London and some of the congressmen also ran it; couple of them for the second time.

You need to have a plan and a target time to run a marathon, whether if it’s London or anywhere else in the world; also think about running for a cause as many of the London runners.You must also begin the Tapering process which means to reduce training loads two or three days before the race.

My time at this race was not the planned (3:42 vs. my PR 3:34 in Boston 2010). But I had a blast in one of the most beautiful cities of the world. I also loved the people and their culture. Actually, I do not agree with Obelix, who  said: “These Britons are crazy” when he complained about their  bad food, warm beer and the fact that they serve “tea with a cloud of milk”.