Having spent nearly all of his time since arriving to Peru in Cusco, Frenchman Baptiste Aubry got a taste of the nation’s capital when he made the travel up north to compete in the Adida’s Lima21K.
How does the City of Kings compare to what was once the home to the Inca Empire?
First, a little background about Baptiste…
_How did you become interested in running? When did you realize it was something you were interested in?_
When I was 18, I ran my first race in a small town near my home just for pleasure. At that time, I played soccer on a team. It was my sport during 14 years in France but it was not possible for me to be part of great events. Moreover, at the end there was a bad atmosphere on the field and I preferred to practice another sport.
That’s how I discovered the running world. I stopped playing soccer and began to train with my friends. Two years after I signed onto a club near my home and it was a way for me to train hard with good athletes and a coach. Moreover, in 2015 I was part of the French Championship and it was a really good experience.
I love to practice this activity because you have to train hard with your team if you want to have good results. Above all, I totally agree with the human value of this sport: team spirit, humility, solidarity and performance.
_What is the hardest part during a race?_
The hardest part is when you have run approximately 70% of the distance because you begin to feel tired. As well, your general running rhythm increases in order to obtain a good result at the end.
In this part of the race it’s important to be fit in your head because; you won’t have a good result if you feel bad from a psychological aspect.
_What kind of training will you follow to train for the next run? Will you train differently for the next race than you did for the Lima 42K?_
My next run will be in Lima, on August 28, for the Toyota 10K. My main goal is to have a good finishing time in order to prepare for races in France (I want to go to the 10K French Championship in 2017). In order to have my ticket for this national event I must run 10K in 34 minutes and 15 seconds.
That is the reason why I began to train hard with a group of athletes from the Cusco Sports Institute because we run in high altitude (3400 meters) and it’s a way for me to increase my lung capacity.
For the 21K in Lima, the objective was just to maintain a rythm of 15km/h approximately and I worked my stride when there was any incline.
Consequently, this event was just a base for my next objectives. I will work on high speed because I have to run 10K with an average speed of 17.5km/h. I will work hard on two parts: on the track in the Cusco Sports Institute with Peruvian athletes, as well as in Gold’s Gym center with my coach for muscular reinforcement and spinning sessions.
_What was your experience like at the recent Lima21K?_
This experience was really good because I finished with a good placement and result. Moreover it was a way for me to discover a little bit of Lima. Anytime that you can run without cars on the street is really pleasant.
I ran this half marathon in 1 hour 23 minutes 50 seconds and consequently. In addition, I finished in the 34 position out of 3100 runners, and I was the first European finisher of the race.
To conclude, I really liked this event and moreover I can run and meet athletes from all around the world.
_What did you think of Lima? Do you prefer Cusco to Lima?_
After my race, I had two days to tour the city of Lima with Peruvian friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t like this city because its really noisy, with a high traffic density and pollution. In addition, the cost of living is more expensive than the rest of the country and there are a lot of tourists. As far as I’m concerned Lima isn’t a real Peruvian place but a very occidental city.
However, we can discover beautiful places as ‘Miraflores neighborhoods and the view of the Pacific Ocean from the _malecon_. Moreover, If you have time, it’s really good to stop by a typical restaurant in order to eat a ceviche and seafood plates.
All in all, I prefer the city of Cusco to Lima because I can live near the mountains and nature, visit Incan sanctuary, and learn about the real Peruvian way of life. In the Sacred Valley, it’s common to meet with native Quechua speakers when you go on treks and discover the local craft.
_What do you think about the level of competition in Peru?_
I think it’s really good because a large part of athletes train hard in high altitude and when they go back near the ocean, they run very fast.
_In order to take part in upcoming competitions [June 12: 15th Merrell Challenge in Pachacamac; August 28: Toyota 10K in Lima], Baptiste needs partners to help with costs and transport. To contact Baptiste directly, email him at email@example.com_ Lima isn’t a real Peruvian place, but a very occidental city,’ says the first European finisher of the recent Lima21K.