THIS IS BRILLIANT!
There are many things in this world I don’t understand. Calculus. Argentine popular television programmes. Fashion.
And complainers. Especially those who complain while doing something they chose to do.
Doing Cruce de los Andes was one of the greatest things I have, personally, ever done. For the physical challenge; for the experience shared with my best friend; for the incredible views and places we saw; for the achievement.
Although the decision to do it was taken rather easily, Maria and I both knew that there would have to be a strong commitment to it. And that commitment was broad too, including: our time, our fitness, our money. And we invested in all three.
So, it pained me when we got to the finish line, burst over the time chip and happily stood in the queue to get over the lake to the final finish at the camp, to hear people complaining about the race.
“I am so over this race now. This needs to be over. Why didn’t they…” We shut our ears to the rest.
24 hours later, we were at the airport in Neuquen waiting for our flight back to Buenos Aires. The little restaurant was full of Cruce runners: faces we had spotted as we’d passed them; heads we’d only seen the back of; and all telling slightly different versions of the same last three days. It was a good atmosphere. People were tired, but happy.
Apart from the bunch of girls at the table next to us. On their mobiles, talking to friends and family for the first time since finishing (actually, it turned out they didn’t), all they could do was moan and whine on. It was as if they were the only four runners in the whole event. Their bags didn’t turn up on the second day! It was total chaos! They had to wait!
Like everybody else.
Cruce de los Andes is not an event for princes and princesses. We saw plenty of people who didn’t qualify, for whatever reason: injury, border issues. And we heard other team mates shouting as if the world was ending to their running partner, metres behind, trying to get them to hurry up. Being angry about it all is a complete waste of energy and time.
But we were so close.
I know, and that’s the point. You were there. You at least had the chance. You nearly did and probably could have (for whatever reason). You still saw all that stuff along the way. And you chose to do it, knowing it wasn’t going to be five-star service and everything at your fingertips.
So, these people should stop complaining and take away the good things from the trip. It’s not called an adventure race for no reason. It’s hard, things go wrong, you’re at the mercy of nature. And in those tough and trying moments, with burning thighs, sun beating down, a never-ending climb, the finish always round another bend, there was only one thing I could shout: