My first São Silvestre race

For most paulistanos, the São Silvestre race is synonymous with the New Year festivities. I attended as a spectator for many years, shouting support at the runners or watching the elite athletes on TV.

The São Silvestre is the most traditional street race in Sampa. In this 87th edition, some 25.000 people are taking part – and so am I!

One day before the race and I am getting all apprehensive. On Wednesday, I went to pick up my running kit and looked around: a lot of people seemed quite serious about their running and others not so much, which cheered me up since I am not your Kelly Holmes type of runner to say the least, plus I have a cold from my last London visit that I still haven’t managed to get rid of!

My São Silvestre kit, complete with a t-shirt, foot spray and…a cappucino mix

At the moment, I can run about 5km without stopping and at a reasonable pace, but 15km… I have never done anything like this in my entire life! So why am I taking part?

Because I want to experience the whole thing, soak up the atmosphere, have fun and, of course, tick São Silvestre off my list of things to do here. Besides, I am already resigned to the fact I will walk almost half of it or more – or jog very slowly!

The race will start in Avenida Paulista. We will run downhill towards the Pacaembu Stadium, then head towards the old city centre, past the Teatro Municipal, up Brigadeiro Luiz Antônio (which is said to be the toughest uphill bit of the race) and then down towards the finish at Ibirapuera Park.

Here is my chip and number with my name on – if you see me, give me a good and loud shout!

I will post an update when I recover and after the big New Year’s shindig I have planned for tomorrow. See you guys in 2012 – have a good one!

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