3,134 miles, 18 pairs of sneakers, multiple cartel checkpoints
February 21, 2022 4:43 PM   Subscribe

 
If anyone is wondering - he finished!
posted by meowzilla at 5:08 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


I did a driving trip from Nogales to Zihuatanejo last fall, and all the way down, looking at the desert, looking at the mountains, I kept wishing there was a long trail in Mexico. Something like the AT or the PCT running from the northern deserts to the Yucatan would be utterly magnificent. Mexico is such a beautiful country. I'm not sure hikertrash turning up all filthy and entitled in tiny mountain villages would be the greatest thing ever, but maybe?

I'm glad Mr. Silva did this.

Also, 18 pairs of sneakers is a lot. That's only 175 miles a pair!
posted by surlyben at 6:39 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Cool. I can imagine a day when driving from Toronto to Buffalo will require going through several #FREEDOM and Dutch Reform Church checkpoints.
posted by brachiopod at 7:09 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


This is really cool. (My knee-jerk response to the discussion of dangerous places is there are usually 10s of thousands of children living there. But, the author called it before I did.) Neat!
posted by eotvos at 7:37 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


3,134 miles

So close!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:38 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Paywalled (& the archive sites posted here before arent working for me, for some reason.) Please remind of archive sites? Thanks.
posted by anshuman at 5:56 AM on February 22


Strava:
- Silva
- Sieff
posted by Klipspringer at 6:17 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


> Also, 18 pairs of sneakers is a lot. That's only 175 miles a pair!

from the article: "He tries to make his running shoes more comfortable by slicing holes in them with scissors" .. so maybe 175 miles is pretty good!
posted by anadem at 7:17 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


That's only 175 miles a pair!

"Only". The sentence that jumped out at me was "more than a marathon a day for months in a row" - 50ish kilometers every day for 100 days is an incredible number. To put that in a perspective my Mercator-distorted Canadian worldview can understand, that's running from Montreal to Vancouver in three months.
posted by mhoye at 8:10 AM on February 22


This is superhuman stuff.

But during each confrontation, Silva described his cross-country run, and the armed men let him continue on. In several cases, gunmen radioed ahead to other checkpoints, telling their comrades to expect a runner entering their territory. Sometimes Silva handed out running shirts to their children.
It wasn’t exactly a window into a peaceful nation, I thought. But Silva’s pitch was that actually, it was.
“If they know you don’t pose a threat to them,” he said, “they don’t do anything.”
...
Silva showed me a picture on his phone of the cartel leader whose territory he’d run through the previous week. They were smiling, their arms around each other.


I think his point is that, as a Latino man at least, he (and I) feel safer in rural Mexico than say, parts of the Southern US.
posted by vacapinta at 8:51 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


My point of reference on the shoe thing is thruhiking backpackers, who tend to get 400 to 500 miles out of their shoes, and it's not unusual for them to be moving at similar speeds. That he cut holes in them would make a difference. Also I think runners have higher standards for what makes a shoe worn out. It's a lot of shoes.

I'm impressed that he had to plan his own route. The whole thing is a huge achievement.


To put that in a perspective my Mercator-distorted Canadian worldview can understand, that's running from Montreal to Vancouver in three months.


If you are looking for your next vacation, there is a trail for that.
posted by surlyben at 9:16 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


To put that in a perspective my Mercator-distorted Canadian worldview can understand, that's running from Montreal to Vancouver in three months.

But the route through Mexico is much, much hillier (even reaching over 5600m).
posted by ssg at 1:24 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Wow, thanks for posting that. My favorite part was when the author described the point in the run he was fading and that was when Silva seemed to be speeding up, running, effortlessly up a 45 degree incline.
posted by bluesky43 at 1:31 PM on February 22


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