"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Rio's Rave Run

Every few months, business calls me to Brazil.  With locations in Sao Paulo, Rio and Manaus, these trips require constant movement, multiple hotels and a familiarity with way too many Brazilian airports. In other words, "business" does actually mean business, with little time for anything more than gazing at the absolutely beautiful landscapes, soaking in the very interesting and wonderfully distinct regional cultures, and, of course, eating more meat-on-a-stick than I should. No complaints, mind you, just very little downtime.

So, when I find myself with a few hours of "me time," I know exactly what I have to do ....... go for a RUN! Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to run the jungle (Amazon Run) and I have run through the village of Sorocaba, outside of Sao Paulo.  But the run that has always been out there teasing me with each trip, is the one along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. In what must be one of the most breathtaking oceanfront views in the world, this beach is a runner's paradise.

As you might guess, this week was the week.  Arriving late afternoon, I checked in and could not wait to change and get going. With summer days this time of the year south of the equator, daylight extended until well past eight.  Although, it really didn't matter what time the sun went down, runners, bikers, soccer and volleyball matches kept the beach alive most of the night.

The path for miles and miles
The route, as shown on the photo above, went along a path that extended 4 miles to the south (the direction I chose) and even further to the north, through parks and trails.  The first thing I noticed was that this really was an awesome environment for runners.  Various running clubs were located along the path and more than once, elite athletes glided by like gazelles across the plains. 

Incredibly, the path was as shoulder-to-shoulder with movement, as I have ever experienced on a run that was not a race.  This is where I also learned that bikes, rollerblades, and various cart pushers all share this 6' wide track.  But it really wasn't a hindrance. I actually enjoyed it.  Once you get past the feeling of a cyclist coming alongside, their elbow often brushing yours as they peddle past, it wasn't so bad. In fact, I felt like I developed a rhythm for peeking back, making my moves around others and sensing those around me. 

World Famous Copacabana Beach - Rio de Janeiro
The photos (not mine, I could kick myself for not capturing the views) give you a good indication of just how much of a rave run this was.  I kept thinking if we could move to Rio and take up training, I might actually become a decent runner.  Ahhhhh, a guy can dream.

As if the 8 mile run wasn't pleasure enough, the cool down just really topped it off. With shoes in hand, the moon shining down on Rio, and Samba music playing off in the distance, I found myself walking along the water and thinking about how I might can find these same two hours for running when I return in March!

Christ the Redeemer keeping watch over all us runners down there! 


  1. That sounds amazing! Great job finding an awesome route on your trip.

  2. Some people have all the luck! What a beautiful place to run - compared to wet and windy Britain!

  3. Thanks Emily. And Old Running Fox, I am with you regarding the wet and wind, but trust me, there are many UK routes that would be absolutely stunning to us Yanks. I have run a few while in Ireland and in London. In fact, I know the Olympic route wasn't exactly the London Marathon route, but it has me wanting to register for the LM one day. Have a great New Year.