M&MRC Cruce Story #1: Making a career out of it

Over the next posts, Maria and I are going to tell the story of our Cruce de los Andes. You’ve read about the training, the preparation, the excitement, the teams and how we found ourselves in San Martín de los Andes. We will now take you through what happened: the highs, lows, frustrations, joys and madness. Bit by bit. Where one leaves off, the other will continue. We hope you enjoy reading the story as much as we did doing it and will do writing about it.

The more that first day in San Martín went on, the more we got excited. Every hour, more and more people were arriving and were walking round wearing their bright blue new fleeces, or their running shirts, or the buff around their heads or necks. We could spot our new family a mile off.

The excitement built further as we tried to pack with all our new clothes and additions. Others arrived to the hostel with running shoes and big brown bags full of Cruce goodies. Everyone was there for the same thing.

Around 8pm, we headed to the school to take more photos and enjoy the free wine, beer and cheese on offer before the talk started. This is the second of many a great jumping photo! There was a nervous energy about the place. When talking to people, one of the first questions was “Is this your first one?”

And then there were familiar faces: not only did I bump into someone from a company I used to teach at in Buenos Aires, but there were also people we recognised from the Cruce Facebook pages we stalked in the build up to being there. It was like a party where you felt like you knew everyone and no one at the same time.

Then came the presentation, led by Sebastian Tagle, race director. For the next four days he would be known as ‘Chief of our Lives’ as he took us through logistics, distances, timings and generally scared us with lines such as, “The second day is going to be more difficult than the first“. But we are climbing a volcano on the first day, what can be worse than that?! (We would later laugh at ourselves for questioning the Chief of our Lives)

As there were people from different countries and a load of Brazilians, the talk was translated into English and Portuguese. This, for us, was the only point in which the organisers of Cruce could have done better. We had been amazed by their organisation and coordination of everything so far, so it was a shame that they had resorted to a terrible Google translation of important details they were telling us. Maria and I speak Spanish, so for us it was fine, but we did feel for the others there relying on that information and not being able to understand a thing. Sometimes, it just didn’t even make sense. One of our new friends, Dario, asked how the English was. “It might as well be Japanese for all we understand,” I told him.

One of the main errors was the translation of carrera, which in English can be race (which we were doing) or career (I don’t think so!) Some first-timers must have been sitting there thinking, Holy crap, what have I signed up to?

Of course, as we thought and realised later on, there were those there who were doing their career. The elites that get sponsored, who every week are somewhere in South America running up and down mountains, winning prize money, earning their ticket to the next adventure race; they might have understood the wrong translation perfectly.

But, laying in bed that night, that thinking was far from our minds. This wasn’t our daily comfort zone. Far from it. But this was our first adventure race and damn if we weren’t going to have fun doing it.



About Laura Alonso

We run. We travel. And to combine both is a beautiful thing. "Runners just do it. They go for the finish line even though someone else has reached it first."

Posted on February 23, 2012, in Cruce Story and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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