Last weekend, I boarded a bus for Puebla to run a 10K. Puebla is about two hours from Mexico City. I went on a day tour there the first month I was in Mexico and really loved it, so I was excited to run a race there. Two of my favorite things – travel and fitness!
Taking long-distance buses in Mexico is really easy. You get to the station, buy a ticket, and board a very well-appointed bus. You get a drink, a snack, wifi, headphones for the onboard movie, and a newspaper. The buses have electric outlets, too, so no danger of a dead iPhone.
The seats are comfortable and spacious. There is a little bit of a security rigamarole (bags have to be scanned and passengers are patted down before boarding), but it’s pretty quick.
Once I arrived at the bus station, I bought a taxi ticket. These tickets are priced by zone, and my hotel was some distance from the station, but my ticket was a very reasonable $6. I waited in line, turned in my ticket for a card, and gave the card to the taxi diver. Every thing had UPC codes and was scanned – this is Japanese-style efficiency and I half-expected the taxi driver to be wearing white gloves.
The expo and race start/finish were in the Parque de Arte. Walking there from my hotel was very interesting-I crossed three pedestrian bridges to get there, avoiding traffic on the streets. The bridge leading to the park is quite long, with benches, runners, and cyclists.
You can really get a nice view of the city from the bridges.
The park was pretty awesome, too. Ponds, ducks, exercise equipment, a running track, miniature golf, and restaurants.
I really liked this part of Puebla. It wasn’t at all touristy; I spent most of Saturday afternoon in the park, shopping, and walking on the pedestrian bridges. Pretty much what I would have been doing if I was at home. I hear about Mexico’s growing middle class frequently and Puebla is a shining example.
In fact, I was one of the last 4 or 5 people to finish. They were out of 10K medals when I
put an end to my misery crossed the finish line, so I got two 5K medals instead.
I’d like to blame the altitude (Puebla is at ~7200 feet), the heat, the travel, the drunks who returned to their hotel room next to mine at 4am…but really, I just didn’t train enough.
But then again, I’m not trying to win any prizes; I’m just trying to stay in shape, have fun, and see new places while I’m in Mexico. And running along with views of Popocatépetl Volcano really cannot be beat.
Thanks for stopping by!