90KM DOWN RUN

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MARIO MESA: 24 HOURS ON THE RUN IN COLOMBIA

“On Saturday, January 30th 2021 at around 12:30 midday Colombian time, I embarked on a magical journey: “24 HOURS ON THE RUN” on the road from my hometown Sogamoso to Bogotá, with the goal of completing 24 hours of running, in honouring my father and dedicating certain kilometres to people or events who are the essence of my life.

 

To make possible such an effort I divided those 24 hours into several distances, from longer to shorter, alternating with some recovery time:

90.01km in 13:37:21 hours

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/6194407933

 

42.41km in 07:25:40 hours

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/6198341460

  

1.61km in 00:14:16 hours

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/6198449318

 

 0.21km in 00:03.04 hours

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/6198488703

 

Thus, I completed 134.04km running in those 24 hours which ended at 12:30 hours on Sunday, January 31st.

 

COMRADES: The first 90.01km were my celebration of this great race on this centennial anniversary this year 2021, a race that I have run since year 2015 every year and going for my Green Number. So far I have 5 Medals plus the Back2Back medal in 2016. Those first 90.01km I ran holding the Colombian Flag in one hand, and the South African flag in the other hand, honouring also the Colombian Comrades who fought on the route of the War Campaign led by Simón Bolivar, which in the year 1819 gave the Colombians independence from Spain.

 

Those 90.01km were so special, my thoughts along that route were filled with such great memories I have from those magical five journeys I have run so far between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, honouring also that history of resilience, of perseverance that thousands of runners along the last century had made the Comrades Marathon so much more than an athletics event: a celebration of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

 

When I had completed the first 75km at midnight, I had the surprise of meeting Colombian friends who had run the Comrades Marathon too: Sandra Diaz, Maria Angélica Ramirez and Luis Eduardo Vargas, who ran with me until that 90.01km mark, and Adriana Téllez joined them for the next three distances to arrange a pacing team together with some other friends from my Team Correr Bien, they all pulled my tired legs to complete the task: a true example of the strong friendship bonds that the Comrades Marathon fosters among people all around the world.

 

In these difficult times of the pandemic, those 90.01km helped to keep alive my promise, my promise to go back to South Africa one day in the future, to complete my sixth journey, to keep bringing home many, many great memories, which are the very essence of my life.”


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