A Philosopher's Blog

Puerto Rico: Running

Posted in Miscellaneous by Michael LaBossiere on December 30, 2009

Being an obsessive-compulsive runner, I have to run even when on vacation. While visiting Puerto Rico I ran everyday. For the most part, running in Puerto Rico was just like running in the States. Just like in the states, I had a few drivers honk and flip me off as they drove by. That made me feel right at home-after all, senseless hostility towards runners is all part of the American running experience.

There are two main differences between running in the States and running in Puerto Rico. The first is that it is always hot here. I would get up between 5:30 and 6:30 each day to run and it was typically in the mid 70s already. During the day the temperature would soar up into the high 90s. This is, I should remind you, in December. December is winter here, although winter seems to mean that it is marginally less hot that the summer. By “marginally less” I really mean “not at all.” By way of comparison, December here is like August in Tallahassee, Florida. So, if you plan on running in Puerto Rico, be prepared for the heat.

The second difference is that many community tracks have a shirt rule for men. I found this out when I was stopped by the track guard (tracks there also seem to have official enforcers of the track rules) and told, in Spanish, that I needed to wear a t-shirt while running on the track. At first I thought I was just being messed with, but the track rules had the shirt requirement posted. After I got the t-shirt and returned, I saw that there was a uniformed guard at the track and she watched me the whole time. Two of the tracks I went to did not have the t-shirt rule. Naturally, I did not bring any running shirts with me since 1) I knew Puerto Rico would be incredibly hot and 2) I had never heard of any track or city having a rule that required men to wear shirts while running. I had heard of some isolated communities that did have such ordinances-typically put through by mean old ladies who are apparently driven into righteous frenzies of anger by the sight of a man’s bare chest.

So, if you visit Puerto Rico and plan to run on the tracks, be sure to bring a suitable running shirt. I only had normal t-shirts and they made running around the track in the sweltering heat rather unpleasant.

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