Tag Archive | "Albino"


Casablanca Marathon: A Journal

El Camino stretches west of Rabé

The four-lane stretches northward toward Hassan II Mosque. I glance at the white surf crashing on the black rocks of the road’s curving flank. At that moment electricity flashes through my legs and they turn to spastic stone. As I pitch forward Albino grabs me in a bear hug. He stands like a gate post holding me upright. The length of a marathon is 42K; we are at 31K…

Wednesday, October 17, Rabé de las Calzadas

Again, I find myself running on el Camino de Santiago, running through Rabé de las Calzadas and onto the chalky dirt single-track that starts at the edge of town, at the little church with the walled cemetery with stone crosses, climbs two miles up a beautifully severe valley of steep cropland and sheep pasture, grand vistas marred by not a single man-made structure – no fences! – finally to an abrupt crest offering an expansive view north where a tiny town sits in all that vastness like a stamp on a giant post card.
I stand looking, thinking no one is around. Then, turning, I see a woman sitting at a pile of rocks on the bank above me. Our eyes meet. I spread my arms over the scene before us, and say,
“Hermosa, hermosa.”
Oh. English.
“Beautiful,” I say.
“Yes, it is.”

Read the full story by Dallas Smith by clicking HERE

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Race Bandits Run Again

We sit on Madrid’s Plaza Mayor drinking beer and eating blood sausage, Albino and I.

My overnight flight into Madrid arrived this Saturday morning. Albino drove down to meet me from his home in Burgos, a city in the mountains 150 miles north of here. After walking around Madrid a bit, we’ve landed here. It is a little chilly but pleasantly sunny this February afternoon.

We sit at a table outside, the busy plaza spread before us.

Sharing our table are Belen and Yeya, two young women Albino called a few minutes ago. They are his age, which is half my age. I’m too sleepy to care about that, having missed a night’s sleep on the plane. We order another round of beer, another plate of tapas. Belen puffs Marlboros, Ducados for Yeya. The marathoners abstain.

You could argue that Albino and I ought to not be here. We are scheduled to run the Barcelona Marathon. We should be resting, saving our energy for the big show. But then that’s not until next weekend. Meanwhile, we have business here.

Read the full story by Dallas Smith by clicking HERE

Start of Madrid's Third Latina Half Marathon

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The Wadded Bundle Drifted Like a Weary Soul

Photo by Albino Jimenez

Esto es para mi amigo Albino, even though I let you down in Nájera. I stood and watched you run alone across the bridge over Rio Najerilla and into the singeing heat toward Belorado. I could have changed my mind. I could have slung on my bottle pack and caught up. There was time – I hadn’t yet bought the bus ticket. But I didn’t. The the previous day’s heat had wrung all the juice out of me. My heart was not hard so much as weak.

Oddly, when I write about the cold day in Seville, described in the following story, my thoughts fly back to the swelter of Nájera, and my failure there.

But they were not all failures.

Read the full story by Dallas Smith by clicking HERE

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SnowSevilleBlog 004

Weather Report: Seville, Spain

We went barreling into the roundabout too fast for the wet cobblestones. The car lurched into a sickening skid. Rafael jerked the wheel, and we swooped through the circle clean as a pin. The lucky fact that no other cars were about at that early hour helped.

My friend Albino was riding shotgun; his older brother, Rafael, was driving, and I was in the back. The brothers and I burst out laughing. We didn’t care. The danger seemed small compared to what we were rushing toward, the place where our minds already were.

Which was the XXI Maratón Ciudad de Sevilla. On this February day that had yet an hour to wait before dawning, we rushed along wet streets heading for a rendezvous with the brothers’ running club. From there, according to plan, we would all drive to the marathon at Olympic Stadium.

The Peugeot’s thermometer showed 4 degrees C and the wipers beat back the rain. A little colder and there wouldn’t be rain—which would be an improvement. As it was, we’d be both cold and wet. Staying warm enough would be a problem.

“This is as bad as it gets, unless there’s wind too,” I said.

Then the wind came…

To read the full story by Dallas Smith click HERE

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