Post Race Brazilian Style

By: Cassie Henkiel

Below is the only pic taken at the meet in Porto Alegre.

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This was on the front page of the paper at our hotel. The day before while picking up my number, saw this totally cute old man already sporting his medal. He was walking around like a celebrity; giving hugs, high fives & many wanting a pic with him. Now I know why after seeing this front page….he’s 99 and won his medal for the 100m! Jose Escobar is his name and he’s from Argentina. I’m not sure how many events he ended up running, but I know he ran more than just the 100m. Pretty amazing!!!

Days 4-8:

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We spent time on the Ipanema Beach in Rio. This long stretch connected four different beaches. There was so much going on! People are running, walking, biking, skate boarding, roller blading all along this stretch of beach front road. My first morning there, I woke up and got in a good long run along this street. About 15 mins in, I literally ran into the start of a 5k road race. If I hadn’t of raced my 5,000 on the track the evening before, I would of totally jumped in. I ran along the street until the top 3 men & women finished as I was , of course, curious to see their times. All three men ran under 15 minutes & all three women ran under 18 minutes. Then a little further down on the beach side, there was a boogie board contest just getting under way. I grew up in South Florida, so I felt at home here. I felt like I totally found my people – healthy, fit and active sporty beach people. I’m loving it!! 

I hung out here for several days, beach’n it, relaxing, getting in some sites, & great morning runs. I met some very nice, fun & friendly people at the beach one day & joined them for dinner, drinks & a beautiful sunset.

Days 8-10:

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After my last run off the stretch of Rio’s beaches, I was off to a little coastal colonial port town called Paraty. I took a 4.5 hr bus ride south of Rio (about 1/2 way between Rio & Sao Paolo). Here I got to explore a more raw, even more beautiful area of Brazil. Along this coastal area, there are over 65 islands & I believe over 300 beaches. Most of which are only accessible by boat or hiking. That’s exactly what I did. My first full day I took a 6 hr boat excursion to explore some of those islands & beaches. Got in some good swims off the boat to the beaches. A great day!!

The next day I explored further by busing it 30 mins south to a even tinier town called Trindage. Here I saw some of the most amazing beaches. These beaches were only accessible by hiking! I had such an incredible day! To be honest, I wasn’t quite ready to head back to Austin, I wanted to explore further.

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Overall, my entire trip to Brazil was great!! The people were friendly and fun. Plus, it was pleasure to meet people from all over the world. Ya kinda have to chat with strangers when you travel solo! I would highly recommend adding Brazil to your travel list if you haven’t been!

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