Running in Buenos Aires

running ShoesThe first time I arrived in BsAs I’d run a round trip in the ayem from Belgrano to el Centro (15 mi.). A trip more scenic than if I had forked over $$$ pesos ($US) and boarded a double-decker. Now that I’m a bit fatter more plump I run not quite as far (8mi RT), but enjoy the vistas nonetheless.

A bit like an 80s 8-bit NES game, running in Buenos Aires (or any large city) has its own soundtrack, levels, obstacles, points, and characters.

Soundtrack
Anything on your music machine be it MP3, CD, or cassette.

Levels
Every mile or kilometer (depending on your country of origin) you level up. Add’l levels are earned every 50 points.

Obstacles

  • Le Poo. Urban warfare tactic often called “Sidewalk IEDs”, Le Poo can hinder your ability to move briskly through the street. Step on one, and you’re likely to slip, fall, or seriously injure yourself. Avoiding Le Poo will earn you 3 points, but stepping in it will set you back 10.
  • Motos. Big city drivers could care less about other drivers and don’t even consider the general “pedestrian first” rule. In foreign lands where Pare really means “eh, the other guy’ll stop” you’ve got to be on guard. Crossing a street, 2 points. Crossing major avenue, 4 points. Stiff-arming a vehicle and getting tossed in the air/on the hood, 5 points. Getting run over, game over.

Characters

  • Red Rover. Three people take up the sidewalk as you approach. The wall moves left and right. Pass them for 5 points.
  • Old Timer. A common henchman, the Old Timer can often be seen outside of kioskos or restos drinking booze and smoking. When more than one Old Timer gathers, this type of group can be quite a challenge. Get them to wave and earn 5 points each.
  • La Vieja. A nuisance even for the casual walker, La Vieja is usually carrying 5+ bags of groceries or pushing a 20# cart. Her battle moves include the impromptu crossing, sporadic shouting, or the aloof walk/cart push. Pass La Vieja without tripping (or helping her) for 5 points.
  • The Richard. Every city has the guy that wants to impress friends, girlfriends, whoever. When approaching the Richard, taunts, gestures, and even thrown objects may come your way. Smile, wave, and make it passed the Richard for 4 points.

The game has a lot to offer and has been featured in no magazines to date. To add to the awesomeness, there are a host of Easter Eggs peppered throughout. Ask directions from a stranger in a foreign language (earn a map); talk to a police officer (get a free foto); stop at a gas station to take a dump and you could possibly witness a murder or the news frenzy that follows (get on TV). ¡Y mucho mas!

I enjoy running in big cities. I enjoy getting lost, nearly dying, and sight-seeing on foot. It’s all part of the adventure.