Run for the Man of the Noses

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Running out the old year in Barna.

Just because we like our activities after hours and our sport underground doesn’t mean we shy away from a little competition. Like most of our teammates in Barcelona, we love our city, and love the chance to run its streets—ignoring red lights and traffic patterns. Too bad most runs are scheduled for weekend mornings. When our nights last until dawn, there’s no chance we’re strapping on our spandex and trainers for an early jog.

Once a year, however, we’re in luck. Here, the last night of the year is la Cursa dels Nassos, the Race of the Noses. Starting at dusk on 31 December, this 10K jaunt winds through the seaside neighbourhood of Poblenou. An added bonus? The route is pleasantly flat (who wants to run uphill in the dark?).

We know what you’re wondering: What’s the deal with the name? It’s an old Catalan tradition to tell children that, on New Year’s Eve, you can see a man with as many noses as days left in the year running the streets of Barna. (We’ll let you stew on that for a second. Got it? Good.)

Honouring the name, many runners don rubber noses and other costumes. Coming at the tail end of the Christmas season, you’ll see rejected holiday-office-party decorations, plenty of Santa hats, and other assorted wearable bad decisions, natch.

OK, technically this is a competitive race, but less importance is put on winning than on everyone making it across the finish line in time to go home, shower, and make it out to dinner. It turns out, the entire race is just a warm up to a long night of partying. Talk about incentive to exercise.

Photo courtesy of Marta Armengol Royo.