La Melonera y LNEB

Yesterday I participated in two madrileño events for the first time. At 18.30 there was the race of La Melonera. “La Melonera” is the name for the fiestas in one of Madrid’s southern neighborhoods (Arganzuela, basically south of Embajadores) and every year they hold a race in celebration of said fiestas. The race is sponsored by Hipercor and the Corte Inglés, and there were several things I really liked about it. Sign-up is completely free and they don’t limit the number of runners (the latter can be good or bad), and at the end we were given a really nice t-shirt depicting people running with melons AND, most importantly, a big hunk of sweet, juicy Spanish piel de sapo melon. What a treat! The course, just over 10 km, was pleasant, and at nearly all points there were crowds of people cheering us on. As with nearly all Spanish races I’ve run, I was disappointed that when we finished we had to wait quite a while to get water, something completely unheard of in the NYRR races I used to run where the finish was lined with tables full of cups of water.

After the race we all headed home to shower and then reconvened for La Noche en Blanco, Madrid’s night of free art and spectacles. To be honest, we didn’t see much (there were lines for many things), but we were not impressed. The real highlight for me was seeing the center of Madrid (C/ Alcalá and the Paseo del Prado) completely without automobile traffic. The low point was certainly waiting a good long time (in what was quite a chilly night for September!) for a tight-rope walker who was supposed to cross Calle Alcalá between the Círculo de Bellas Artes and the Instituto Cervantes. But the wind prevented the completion of this act. And so, legs weary from running and standing, we retired to the bars.

Thanks to Noelia for shooting the photo of the race.

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2 Responses to “La Melonera y LNEB”


  1. 1 miamired Tuesday, 16 September, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    I went to Córdoba’s Noche Blanca de Flamenco in June and was also sort of unimpressed. There was a free concert by Chambao, which was absurdly crowded but good, but then everything else was either closed off by the police (having reached capacity, whatever that was) or happening at the same time as the concert. From about midnight to 5 a.m., there was almost nothing going on. A lot of the singers were in tiny peñas with room for about 50 people in countries where people actually squeeze in or for about 30 in Spain, where people obliviously stand by the door and refuse to let people by.

    Cool in theory, not so great in practice.

    The race t-shirt sounds fun though!

  2. 2 Katie Tuesday, 16 September, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    That seems the case with these things, doesn’t it? I think I have more fun on a normal Saturday night!


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