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<b>The short version</b>: a solo marathon ran in Quiindy, Paraguay in 90 degree weather and high humidity as a way to promote community wellness in the villages surrounding this small, but progressive town of Paraguay.<br><i><b>Time:</b></i> 4:49:03.<br><i><b>Fashion Report:</b></i> blue short, white long shirt, blue hat, red door perfume and terracotta color lipstick.<br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2207/2287529904_b1072d0201.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><b>Back ground</b> (this is a long report written for closed friends and those who would like to take the journey with me.) Thanks for reading.<br><br>
The first time I ever heard about <span style="color:#000000;">marathon</span> running was in my home country, Paraguay. When I was a mere pre-teen girl, who was just aspiring to become a runner against my own parents and society’s wishes. This may sound a bit radical for many of you who grew up in this free country, but for many of us who grew up in other countries, especially in the sixties and seventies, running and specially running for girls, was considered a taboo for many of us. Time and space will not allow me to expand how I become a runner in my homeland, but I will mention here that I was then and am still now one of the few female runners from my hometown of Quiindy, Paraguay.<br><br>
When I planned to go back home to visit my family this year, I knew I had to run a marathon down there both to fulfill a childhood dream and also as a way to promote wellness among women in my hometown. I knew that running a marathon in the middle of summer would be challenging and that it would take a lot of work to find the perfect route and to measure it. Before I left from here I did a lot of research and received a lot of good advice from fellow runners in this forum about running in high heat and humidity. Thank you guys and gals for your advice. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and for giving me the knowledge I needed to know how to run in H&H. You helped me get to the finish line in good health with a smile in my face. Gracias.<br><br>
The route was drawn and marked by a team of skilled professionals thanks to my brother-in-law Richard, who happens to work as a technical adviser for the regional soccer league. Richard is also a professional soccer player. His knowledge about playing sports in high temperature and humidity came very handy to me during my training and marathon day.<br>
Following my father’s suggestion, we decided for a route that would take me in and out of the different villages surrounding my hometown, many of whom I have never had the privilege of visiting prior to marathon day.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2323/2286659973_c787d210e0.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The original day set for the marathon was Feb. 2, but it was postponed for another day due to the extremely high temperature expected that day (high 90). Looking at the weather forecast we then set a new date, Feb. 9th, but a terrible mishap with food poisoning kept me away from running that day as well. This small mishap kept me as an inpatient overnight at a private hospital (with 4 liters of IV fluid dripping in to me plus a variety of medications). At this point I considered canceling the marathon, but by that time I had too many women who were participating in the wellness program I had started during my trip down there. These women were all excited to see me run that distance. There was also this childhood dream of running a marathon that kept popping up on my head…. so I knew I had to run my solo-athon even if I had to crawl most of the way.<br><br>
Thank God that I recovered quickly and less than 4 days later at 5 am I was all dressed and ready to start my solo marathon adventure.<br><br>
The morning of the race I woke up early to get ready for my adventure. I felt lonely and longing for other runners at the starting line, but I had the support and encouragement of two wonderful people, my brother-in-law Richard and my sister Estela. Both of them served me as a support crew through the whole adventure. They followed me in their motorcycle and waited for me every kilometer to ensure that I was OK. One carried my drinks and the other one kept track of my heart rate and my overall health. With the heat and humidity of the day (Hi 90°F Lo 72°F) it was very, very important to pay close attention to my water intake and my HR.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3063/2286745245_f14df7f499.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The first 5 miles took me thru memory lane by running in the same plaza where I had spend endless childhood hours and where I received my first kiss as a young teenager.<img alt="cool.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/cool.gif"><br><br>
After the warm up 5 miles the course took me towards the outskirts of town, passing by my old high school and then by the soccer club for which I was once elected “queen” in my younger years. Two miles later I ran across the first of many streams I would encounter during the marathon. Some I could jump across in key places; others I could run across precarious bridges and stones; and for others I had to stop, take my shoes off and wade through them.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2146/2287839908_7fa001dcf0.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2022/2286741229_558dcd21a7.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2072/2286739285_0bfef99330.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Soon after I left the town limits and started running towards the small satellite villages, passing by sugar cane, manioc, cotton, coconut and peanut fields. I passed farmers walking to town to do their weekly shopping and I waved at farmers plowing their fields and children walking their livestock to the nearby pond for a drink.<br><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3188/2287539710_0231006923_m.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3216/2287445842_489049a1c4.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br>
Mariposai posing in front of a sugar cane field.<br><br>
As I passed by the different villages I had kids coming towards me greeting me with their hands covered with dirt. One child offered me part of a mango fruit he was enjoying and a lady who passed me by with the cantaro (earthen water jug) on her head offered me some water with a smile and a question in her eyes. The local radio station had announced my route the day before, so many of these people were waiting to see me run by.<br><br>
To my amazement the route was hillier than I had anticipated with its share of shade in the first leg.<br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2138/2286667343_3533d542f4.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2065/2287447084_0ec0a89c06.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
But once passed mile 15 the heat was merciless with no shade insight.<br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2406/2286737971_9a18c34192.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
As I conquered the miles and as the heat of the sun started to make keeping a pace more difficult, I decided to resort to a gallowalking mode. I ran a km and walked a minute, this worked very well for me to keep the HR under 160 and brought me to the finish line at <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><b>4:49:03.<img alt="banana.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/banana.gif"></b></span><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2264/2286748031_88a8e07fef.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span><br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2203/2287536830_e2e3c88e92.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br>
My welcoming committee with a champagne ready to celebrate<br><br>
I may run many marathons in my life, but Marathon Quiindy will always stand alone as one of a kind. I will always remember my father’s eyes filled with pride and joy as he came to give me a hug telling me how proud he was of me and how seeing me run this marathon made him remember the many dreams he had as a young man to; of becoming an athlete; of dreams that were never fulfilled due to work and family matters.<br><br>
Marathon Quiindy also served me as a springboard to promote wellness and the importance of walking/running in my own hometown. Because I dared to run this marathon I was blessed with many opportunities to talk about the health benefits of walking and running. I was interviewed by the local radio station, which gave me the chance to encourage people to start moving and now I have a group of 22 people in Paraguay and 2 in Argentina who are wearing pedometers and are aiming at walking 3 miles a day until I return to the southern hemisphere. And the best result…<br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3150/2287045829_694123aace.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br>
My nieces and nephews are already <b>self proclaimed future marathoners.</b><br><br>
I know that many people who are reading this report may challenge the validity of Marathon Quiindy, but if anyone has a doubt…I have a race t-shirt (thanks Tet) and a medal to prove it (thank you Paul, my dear husband, my sweetheart of many year and greatest cheerleader)<br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2410/2286908753_64e86f27c8.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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You truly are the MariPosai.<br><br>
You're a leader and a pathmaker<br>
A visionary with compassion and<br>
the determination to make a difference.<br><br>
The photos are great.<br>
And 4:49 is a tough run at that temp.<br>
I'm glad you had a good crew.<br><br>
Also,<br>
I'm glad to be in<br>
the forest where<br>
you flutter.<br>
jjj
 

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Amazing! Looks valid to me - congrats on the win! I guess you also came in DFL...<br><br>
What an epic journey and a great way to honor your family and orgins.<br><br>
Congrats!
 

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You are an inspiration. I thouroughly enjoyed your report. Congratulations on completing your goal.
 

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Hey mari, what a great story! You certainly overcame some unique obstacles! And you organized and carried this out in a way that will help so many people. You truly are an inspiration.
 

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See? I follow you all the way to Paraguay to say nice things about you!<br><br>
What an inspirational report and great pictures too. I am so proud of you for doing this. I especially enjoyed the tender comments regarding your father's words to you. I am sure that meant a lot, and what a wonderful man he must be.<br><br>
Very well done Mari. Spareribs
 

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Very cool! Thank you for sharing this and the pictures with us!<br><br>
IT takes a special person to go out and try to make a difference in peoples lives, kudos to you!
 

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Yay, butterfly lady! I am so grateful for your narrative and your pictures! What a triumph for you and for your community. Welcome home, and thank you!
 

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This was brilliant! I'm in awe, and a little choked up, to think of the myriad accomplishments wrapped up in one with your run: fulfilling a childhood dream, running a solo marathon in blistering heat, and promoting wellness through your work. And all with lipstick on!<br><br>
BRAVA! BRAVA!<br><br>
--Robin
 

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Hi Mariposi! I have to say that is about the most interesting marathon report I have read in a long time. What a great time you must have had, thank you for sharing it with us. I think you did exceptionally well in that heat. Larry
 

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Beautiful Mariposai -- what a wonderful report! And such gorgeous pictures of the deep, deep green plants highlighted by Paraguay's distinctive red soil. Oh my, it was hot, too....please rest for a while and let this wonderful experience sink in. We are so proud of you!
 

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There are tears welling up in my eyes as I type this. You are an incredible inspiration. Words cannot express...<br><br>
Mike
 

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I love reading race reports just because races focus the training challenge down into a little time capsule where we confront ourselves. The self-made races bring whole new facets to this capsule, and tell a lot about how we relate to the world around us. And that was never more true than here. Thanks very much for sharing.
 

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Mariposi, thank you for sharing your adventure with us. You really overcame some obstacles and still finished in a very respectable 4:49 in the heat and humidity <img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif">. The report and pictures are quite inspirational. What a role model you are for all your friends and relatives. I'll bet the local people are still talking about you.<br><br>
Welcome back, I'm looking forward to seeing you again very soon.<br><br>
John<br><br><span style="font-size:xx-small;">edit: can't spell</span>
 

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Mariposai - fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to share this wonderful event - it is an official marathon indeed. I love the photos, especially the one of you posing in front of a sugar cane field.
 

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Mariposai, thank you for your story. The pictures were wonderful. You are truly an inspiration and an amazing lady. It was a long journey over time and then distance to take you to this particular marathon. I am happy for you that you fulfilled a dream, butterfly lady!
 

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Wow! What an incredible story. I enjoyed reading every bit of it and I liked the pictures too. You are an inspiration for other women. Congratulations!
 

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Great story. El Maraton Nacional de Paraguay was more than just a physical or mental challenge for you. It was, even more importantly, a pilgrimage of the heart. May the legacy you leave behind there continue to grow and flourish in the form of those young future marathoners.
 
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