Mazatlán: Pulsating Center of Atleticísmo

malecón aerial view

You already know how much we love living in Mazatlán, and that one of our favorite delights is living in the center of the world’s largest and most beautiful gymnasium — the malecón.

For a couple of weeks now, during our morning walks, we have been accompanied by runners we don’t see the rest of the year. We know they are people who have come to acclimate and train for the marathon. They are also loads of locals, often accompanied by their children and friends, who decide to heighten their training this time of year in order to be prepared to participate in the shorter runs or the marathon itself.

42k marathon routeToday as Danny and I were out walking I was reminded how this, the day before El Gran Maratón del Pacífico, is so incredibly delightful. The space between the Bosque de la Ciudad/City Park and the baseball stadium pulsates with music, dancing and tents filled with running gear, as busloads of runners and their families and friends arrive from every corner of Mexico and beyond. They register, take a look around, and then fan out across the city. Nearly every restaurant, coffee house or juice stand we see is filled with healthy, excited, friendly people, eager to run and test their skills along Latin America’s largest bay. It is, truly, delightful.

marathon runners ocean viewTomorrow, non-runners that we are, we will awake to the sounds of that same music, plus the sounds of cheering, as the first runners glide by the front of our home. We will make coffee, get dressed, and go out to the street to join in the cheering. People compete in the 5k, 10k, 21k half-marathon, and 42k full marathon. Festivities will continue on the malecón until about 1:00 tomorrow afternoon.


Then, tomorrow (Saturday) night, our bay lights up with fireworks launched from FOURTEEN different, coordinated locations around our beautiful bay. And, poor us, we are, again, right in the center. Gotta love it! On our beach the fireworks have been set up and ready to go since this morning. That’s different than in prior years, when they set up on Saturday morning during the run itself.

So, athletically speaking, we’ve got:

And, of course we have the normal daily, weekly and monthly athletic events of our good city, such as

I often imagine how it feels to live in the city that hosts the Olympics. Obviously it’s not a fair comparison to these events, but I can imagine the energy, the buena vibra, the buena onda, is very similar. And here, we get to experience it at least several times each year, rather than once in a lifetime (hosting the Olympics).

Mazatlán, a working port, center of tuna and shrimp industries, famous for its beaches, banda music and sport fishing, is becoming quite the hotbed of healthy, athletic living! And we are loving every moment of it!

NBA Exhibition Game in Mazatlán/Baloncesto NBA

The NBA exhibition game held on October 6, 2011 at the Lobodome – University of Durango was a great experience. The three of us went along with Danny’s good friend, Raúl.

The all-day investment to get tickets paid off as we ended up with floor level seats three rows back and just about under the basket.

If you look closely at this picture, I have circled our seats – left side of the far side basket, at the top of the picture.

Najera, an NBA player who we believe is from Chihuahua, seemed to have a joy-filled evening welcoming his buddies to his home country. He shot both the first and the last baskets of the evening. I tried to talk to him, but I think he looked right over my head – damn I’m short compared to these guys.

The players were really nice to the kids in the crowd. Here is a video of a slam dunk!

Video of a dunk:

Tip Off!

This drum troop was standing outside getting people excited as we entered the school. I don’t think they were official.

In the central courtyard of University of Durango they had a big-screen set up, so that those without tickets could still watch the game.

The event was MUCH better organized (at least upon entry) than the last LoboDome event we attended.

Third row, courtside, under the basket = happy jovenes.

Small venue, clear view, happy night.

The guys tried out the floor for themselves prior to the game. It met with their approval. 🙂

Balls are ready to go for warm up.

And the first player out for warm up is Najera.

“Sure, kid, nice to meet you. Your English is really good!” If we brought a ball or a shirt or something, the players were signing everything.

Come on, come on! 🙂

Playing with a boy from the audience. This kid had game.

The crowd in the upper deck.

Governor Malova greeting the crowd.

Video of the pre-game excitement, leading up to the players coming in:

Players enter the gym:

Free-throw sequence:

Sequence of four: Look




We were definitely right in the midst of the action

“Astros,” a local school dance and cheer team, performed at half time.

Sequence of 4: Get the ball

Float in the air with the ball

Decide to slam it

And score

The boys got all the freebies. Now what do they do with them?

The bench. Marion was definitely Dianne’s personal fave.

The Lobo mascot, and some clam?

The Coppel stork? A CULTURA mascot? I thought the stork was from Mega – who knows!

Oh yeah!

Danny’s friend Iván told him they are working on some public camping areas! Awesome news! He also said the state wants to do this event again next year with better players – bring it on!

“I’ve got it! I’ve got it!”

“I told you I had it!!!”

With less than one minute to go, there is suddenly a very dramatic push and fall. Which of course resulted in a tied score and overtime. How coincidentally lucky for all of us. 😀 Good showmanship.

And, the final shots of the game:

Final score – think about it – four 10 minute periods and one three minute overtime. You got it. No defense – it was a terrific offensive exhibition – these guys got real talent and it was a lot of fun to watch 334 points get scored in 43 minutes (almost 8 per minute).
The exit from an event at the LoboDome is never easy… Huge crowd for such a narrow exit, don’t you think?

Other stuff: A video of the warm-up

And a video of the cheerleaders lifting El Lobo.

Playing around and having fun!
Dianne was really excited to see the big boys play
Good friends going on four years – nice to see two nice young men.
For a video news report of this event, click here.
This is the second part of a two part blog entry – for the first part, click here.