Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Vamos, Mexico!!



That was the hardest course conditions I have ever experienced at Ironman. Had it been my first, I don't know if I would have made it. Full race report to come when I get back to The States and dry out, but can I just say one thing?

Mexicans cheer WAY better than Anglo spectators.

WAY.

Not even close. We’re talking Mexicans are to Michael Phelps as Anglos are to me.

If you’re doing an event in the U.S., you’ll get the occasional “way to go, guys,” or maybe “good job” or the dreaded “you’re almost there” along with the ubiquitous “WOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

This would be sorry fare indeed, judged by the prevailing norms south of The Border. The people of Cozumel lined their streets and made them into the equivalent of a rowdy soccer match. Men, women and children were out all day long, cheering pros and age groupers alike.

They were beating on drums.

They were beating on buckets and pails.

They were beating on pots and pans.

They were singing and chanting.

They cheered audibly and rhythmically for every sad sack that was limping by, well into the night. We heard:

Bravo!! Bravo!!

Bravo, Muchachos!

Vamos!

A-r-r-r-r-riba A-r-r-r-r-r-riba!

We heard much that I did not understand (which might be best later in the day), But every competitor decked out in the Mexican flag was regaled with a rhythmic:

VA-MOS, MEY-HEE-COH!

VA-MOS, MEY-HEE-COH!

The little kids in their soprano voices were the best. They cheered every Mexican competitor as if he or she was an Olympian in the home stretch on the way to certain gold for the Mother Country.

Late in the evening, a little boy about 8 or 9 years old was sitting on a wall by an aid station as the walking wounded and left-over carnage from the bike course were limping through their marathon. In his little, heavily-accented voice he singled out an older, Anglo participant, and broke out his elementary school English training:

“GO! You-cahn-doo-eeet! You-cahn-bee EYE-RON MANG!”

The participant, to his great credit, acknowledged the encouragement. He looked straight at the boy and said:

“You can too. Some day, you can be an Ironman.”

Pay it forward people. Currency exchange is not necessary.

10 comments:

skierz said...

great teaser post! can't wait to see your full report! Congrats on another IM complete!

Junie B said...

i cant wait to read your report! and that last bit about the little boy? holy crap why did that make me cry?

Curly Su said...

yeah i totally got tears in my eyes too.

congrats again, and can't wait to hear (more) about it...

Fe-lady said...

Great intro to your race report...waiting with baited breath.

Brought back a memory of a little girl who was with her family on the Tempe course last weekend. I was trotting along and decided to take a walk break...and she looked at me and said..."Noooo...keep wunning! keep wunning!"

So I did.

Congratulations!

TxTriSkatemom said...

congrats on another finish. I'm anxiously awaiting the full report.

You aren't kidding about the cheering squads - our son played a hockey team from Mexico over the weekend (yeah, I KNOW!!) and the crowd brought it, big time. Our boys beat them (barely), but their parents clearly outshone ours in the cheering/chanting/support/waving flags category.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

HELL yes!

Lisa said...

That is awesome. Congrats on another great race, Greyhound. Can't wait to read the full report!

Speed Racer said...

You nailed it. The Cozumelenos were THE best cheerleaders and THE best hosts I have ever seen.

It was great to meet you this weekend and finally get to speak. I can't wait to hear about every gory detail and chafed testi... well, whatever you chafed.

Thanks for helping make it such a memorable trip.

CoachLiz said...

I liked the comment from a lady we sat with at the awards diner who's husband placed 2nd in his AG and had just raced at Kona last month. She said the crowds an the spectator support put Kona to shame.

Yup, lots of salty mixed nuts on that race. Hope you are recovering and that the tequila and cuban cigar helped out.

I think a family diner is in order in the next few weeks.

Mary said...

I am a Mexican triathlete, and had my first U.S. tri at Galveston, I loved it, even though we didn't swim, there were a lot of kids cheering us up, and great hosts too. We love to welcome people from the U.S to our events. I recommend the triathlons at Ixtapa, Huatulco, and the Mayan X Tri MTB bike. Also the Xterra in Valle de Bravo. They are well organized and safe. (asdeporte.com)
I love your blog