What You And Your Friends Actually Look Like in Formentera: A Photo Story

Last weekend, three of my friends and I went to Formentera to run the Mitja Marato Popular de Formentera 2015.

mitja marato popular de formentera
Two runners: Erin, and Allison Brooke Yats
Photo: Allison Yates

On the 30-minute Trasmapi fast ferry, they have a hilariously ridiculous commercial playing on repeat on the screens. It’s a bit difficult to watch moving things and not feel sea sick, but we couldn’t resist.

I failed to find the commercial online, so I will describe it to you instead:

Two friends go to Formentera in their white off-roading SUV, and send selfies and other pictures to their friend, who we can assume lives in Madrid or Barcelona. Receiving the constant videos and annoying texts from his two girlfriends (who, not surprisingly, are tall skinny, tan, have long hair, wear white cropped tops and jean shorts, laugh a lot and look perfect during golden hour), he decides he better book a Ryanair flight – STAT- to see them! He arrives in style- in a white jeep, and they all gallivant around the beautiful Formentera scenery throwing their hands out the window, their silky, straight hair blowing perfectly in the wind, having drinks on cliffs and cuddling at sunset.

I did however, come across this Estrella commercial, which is oddly similar to that of Trasmapi.

After watching this video, which was just too damn perfect and cringe-worthy, it inspired me to document what real people actually look like when they go to Formentera. Two problems?

  1. People who go to Formentera actually do resemble those girls in the video. I swear, people are literally perfect here
  2. We slightly forgot about the photo project, but ended up with great photos to show how dumb we actually look anyway

The first item that would have been beyond my wildest dreams perfect for the “what you actually look like” was when I ran the 8k. First, it’s important to note, that while yes, I run frequently in Ibiza for exercise, I am not a runner. I have never really enjoyed running (although now, I realize, it’s quite nice), and most of the time, I begin to run and immediately question my life choices.

I began the race fine. I followed my friend Erin, who has a dramatically faster running pace than I do. We were doing fine, weaving in and out of runners and at that point, the music on my ipod was keeping me inspired. However, around kilometer four, I couldn’t keep up with Erin’s pace. I really wanted to stop and walk, but I kept telling myself, just get it over with, you’ll be fine, it’s just a few more kilometers.

It was hot. It was around 6:50pm by that point, and the sun was still slapping me in the face. The air was hot and sticky. I was still running, but very slowly. Every step somehow felt like I had weights on my feet. A girl even passed out in front of me.

There was a water station after kilometer six, where local junior high boys in bright neon green shirts were forced to volunteer, and their nervous, shaking hands threw us water. I didn’t want to stop, and the water didn’t taste as satisfying as I had hoped. Not to mention, a little difficult to drink while you’re bouncing up and down.

Then, a bit after kilometer 6, I started to shiver (which I later realized is a sign of dehydration). My body felt cold, and the dampness of my sweaty skin had a morning dew-like feel to it.

Again, I was trying to push myself. I kept going, even though it just dragged on and on…but the unpleasant smell of the salt flats kept me moving quickly.

When we reached La Savina, the end of the race, there was a 300-meter straight shoot to the finish line. At this point really ready to get it over with, I sprinted the whole thing, zooming past the audience and doing my best to think about anything else than the pain I was feeling.

I passed four other girls and at number 290 reached the finish line at 47:26. As I slowed down to a walk, I saw my friend who had finished a few minutes before me. I waved to her. Suddenly, felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I started to heave.

Oh no.

Then the gagging began. Around two feet from the finish line, where everyone walks through when they finish the race, I barfed up everything I had eaten that day. Bananas, avocado beef sandwich, and Eroski-brand cookies.

Once I caught my breath and wiped the unintentional tears from my eyes, I felt slightly better, and began to walk a few more feet.

Then, I erupted once more.

I still had my ipod in and couldn’t hear anything, but I made hand gestures to one of the employees and made a barfing hand motion. She ushered me past my unfortunate spill and directed me to get my congratulations pack. I ran into my friend, who, between waving to me the first time and seeing me then, had missed the entire explosion.

Beyond that unpleasant episode, we had a lovely weekend. After renting mopeds, we tried our best to see as much of the island as we could. While the weather wasn’t great for running, it was spectacular for the beach.

We may not have looked like the girls in the Estrella or Trasmapi commericals, but, that’s life. That’s reality. And it’s who we are. LOUD AND PROUD.

formentera
Those artistic pics don’t always end up as you imagine they will. But you’re still beautiful to me.
formentera 2015
Those “sexy beach pictures” only seem to work for super humans. And Spanish girls.
formentera
When you rent mopeds, and you dream of those romantic looking shots. Only to be ruined by holding up a big, white bus.
Formentera
Not quite what we imagined.
formentera
Yet, we still couldn’t seem to figure it out.
Photo: Erin Morris
Forget those itty-bitty, hairless, lengthy thighs. These are ours! Photo: Allison Yates
Forget those itty-bitty, hairless, lengthy thighs. These are ours!
Photo: Allison Yates
Snot rockets are real, and alive. Especially since it's spring and the various blossoming trees drive us crazy.
Snot rockets are real, and alive. Especially since it’s spring and the various blossoming trees drive us crazy.
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