Spartan Race Mexico – Day Before the Race
It seems no trip to Latin America is without some form of entertainment. After an uneventful ride from the airport to the hotel in Valle de Bravo on Thursday afternoon the group of Spartan Racers from America were excited to take on Mexico. The US contingent includes, Miguel Medina, David Magida, Chris Rutz, Hunter McIntyre, Brad Fredricks, Andi Hardy and myself rounding out the motley crew. We arrived, ate a late dinner then all retreated for the evening.
Early this morning we gathered together for a traditional breakfast of eggs, beans, and fresh fruit. Around 8am we got together in the lobby to head over to the race venue for a few hours. Little did we know this would be an indication of the rest of the day, as we were over 30 minutes late leaving the hotel. As we drove to the race venue this morning our driver, who apparently is new to the area, got us lost four times, turning an hour drive into something, well longer. On the plus side we are all friends and made the best out of the situation.
After a rustic road to get to the race site we got our first glimpse of the course. The one thing I have to say is the Mexican’s do it right when it comes to the race venue. Among a plethora of sponsor tents, there was a photo booth for racers to take pictures, gift bags at the finish line, and several food options to make everyone happy. It was an impressive site! Hunter is a celebrity on the Mexican Spartan Circuit as he is here defending his title, constantly he was being pulled aside for photos and the whole group definitely got a lot of love from the racers who were there racing today. Initially the race was suppose to be only Saturday and Sunday, however the registration filled in less than 48 hours and an additional day was added. It is estimated that 9,000 will race this weekend.
After a couple hours at the site we headed out for a quick trip to the local town, for a few supplies the initial plan was to head back to the hotel and rest for the afternoon. Rest was something that was not to be had, as we were about to embark on our own Mexican version of a 3-hour tour. The theme of the afternoon was “it’s only 20 minutes away”. As we got lost yet again trying to find the town, along the way plans changed and we decided to head into the town of Valle de Bravo to have a late lunch and see the large lake that is a tourist attraction for the area. Yet again, we got lost and each time Miguel asked the driver how far way we were, he would always respond “20 minutes”.
Hours later we had arrived in town and found a restaurant to eat lunch in, the drive should have been under an hour. We were ushered to a table on the top floor of the restaurant, it was not until after we ordered and were about to get our food, we had inadvertently sat in the middle a private birthday party. Nothing could be done, so we ate, enjoyed the view and left as gracefully as possible. Prior to getting out of the van we had arranged to meet our driver where he let us out of the van, at a designated time. We left the restaurant and watched the driver as he drove away, over the next 30 minutes or so we tried to locate him. Instead of getting upset and frustrated we made the best of the situation, I got a fresh coconut and drank it’s sweet water, just before Hunter and Brad decided to have a handstand walking contest around the village square. As the locals clapped and cheered watching the crazy American’s Miguel located our driver. It is safe to say we have made a splash today.
As we boarded the bus to finally head back to the hotel, the time was now around 5pm and we had left at 8:30 in the morning. Everyone wanted to just get back to the hotel. But it seemed the adventure was not over yet again. We were told this time we were really only 20 minutes from the hotel, and yet it was over 45 later we had yet to get to the hotel. As we headed down yet another rustic road, one of which large trucks should never go down, our driver stopped more than once to ask for more directions. Any frustration and rage turned into laughter as the day continued to become more and more amusing. As we finally reached the hotel and got out of the van, our driver whom we all were ready to say goodbye to for the day, asked for a group photo. It seems he enjoyed his trip with us. We just laughed at it and although our restful day was anything but restful it was definitely an adventure and this is truly what life is about. We saw great sights today, got to tour around the area, most of the time by mistake, and shared stories with other racers during the 6-7 hours we spent in a van today.
Now we rest and tomorrow we race! We will see how the Americans fair against the Mexicans tomorrow. It has 100% been a day of Exploring, Conquering, and Inspiring.