This past Sunday was the seventh edition of the Muza5k, the really bizarre event that combines eating pizza and walking nearly 70 blocks down Avenida Corrientes, and somehow makes it work. This year, it was massive, with over 1,500 people taking part, filling up the more seven kilometers that separated the starting point from the finish line.
Seven pizzerias were on the roster, and Chacarita’s Santa María took home the people’s choice for Best Muza, with powerhouse Pin Pun from Almagro winning both the Best Service *and* the Best Place to Go with Friends. La Americana came out on top as the Best Place to Take the Family.
The event had two starting points, one at El Imperio in Chacarita and the other one all the way downtown at El Pétalo.There were also three different starting times, which was great for crowds to be spread out throughout the day. The celebration of endurance and cheese was sponsored by Cinzano and Quilmes in collaboration with the Buenos Aires City Government’s #BACapitalGastronómica initiative, which meant there were plenty of drinks to go around and help the pizza go down (thank God).
We at The Bubble take pizza very seriously so we were obviously there with our running shoes and our massive appetites, and we’re proud to say that we completed the course with no casualties or victims, a monumental achievement if you really think about it. Although come to think of it, we did start to question our life choices at several points along the route, so there’s that.
Paige: I’m not sure I’m emotionally ready to talk about my experience with Muza 5K but I guess there’s no time like the present, right? My brain feels like it’s filled with melty cheese still.
Pedro: I still haven’t eaten anything since our last pizza bite yesterday, But I feel like we should do this while the garlic breath is still kind of there in the background somewhere.
Paige: Also I think my cholesterol has reached record-shattering levels. I definitely smelled like oregano until this morning, no doubt about that. Can we talk about how hungover half of our team was when we arrived at El Imperio in Chacarita?
Pedro: Sunday mornings are tough, without a doubt. But as soon as the first pizza appeared, everything was good and well, right?
Paige: That first slice literally returned the life to my body. I mean, I left the house at 10:30 AM after sleeping for just four hours. The struggle was REAL.
Pedro: It was great that the organizers seemed to be aware of all of this and did their best to just make things as festive and upbeat as they could. The music fest vibes were so contagious.
Paige: I felt like a total slacker since we didn’t have any costumes or accessories – that would have really upped the jazz factor. Next year! We need to plan better. Do you think the guy dressed up as the cow is still wearing his costume?
Pedro: That guy needs a prize of some sort. Every time he took that head off he was dripping sweat. Poor thing. He must have felt he was in some delirious feverish dream… I mean, there was a guy with a Mexican wrestling mask and a giant inflatable pizza going around.
Paige: AND THE DOG!
Pedro: And the dog with the pizza shirt… my god, the dog with the pizza shirt.
Paige: Honorable mention for the pizza pupper. She was like my guardian angel through those 64 long blocks. OK, so we started things off on a very high note at El Imperio – the Cinzano was flowing, the pizza was hot, we were on top of the world. Then we headed into Santa María and felt invincible, like we could conquer anything.
PedroL: Everything felt so promising at that point. I hadn’t bothered to look at the map to check how long the walk would actually last. Ignorance was bliss.
Paige: They don’t call it a “maratón” for nothing.
Pedro: Nevertheless, besides the huge amount of people, I was immediately struck by how organized everything was.
Paige: Yeah, for Argentina (sorry about it), things were running really smoothly – as the 7th edition you could tell they had worked out a lot of the kinks.
Pedro: Doing it in three time frames probably helped right?
Paige: Yeah, and having starting points at both ends was brilliant. I also felt responsible for the fates of Tilly and Georgia, our little blonde angel interns.
Pedro: Yep. One of the greatest things was having to lie to them about how far away the distance from Santa Maria and the next stop was. That was the longest distance by far and we had to constantly tell them it was five blocks away. Again, ignorance is bliss.
Paige: I finally understood what my parents did to my sister and me on our long drives to the beach during childhood summers.
Pedro: It hurt us more than it hurt them… I think.
Paige: Yes we are old and decrepit. When we finally made it to Pin Pun, my expectations were high. I thought it was going to be kick-ass ‘za. But it was TOO DAMN SALTY I almost had a spontaneous heart attack. Even the beer I had to wash it down didn’t help. It was also here that the two groups started to cross paths, which was fun and chaotic. There was even a guy tossing pizza dough INTO THE AIR outside the entrance.
Pedro: Pin Pun was probably the most disappointing one for me for sure. Georgia, our pizza resident pizza foodie, was not impressed at all. She did still crush the slice completely. But she was not impressed.
Paige: She was not having it. This was when morale started to dip.
Pedro: Shout out to Georgia, though. What a warrior. She was the only one that managed to eat all seven slices of the #Muza5k. She almost surrendered at some point, but she came back with a bang and just beat the pizza gods into submission. I’m writing about this as if it were some sort of heroic ordeal… But in a way, it was.
Paige: I honestly thought we were going to lose her. I have to admit I was naive. I was like, “this is not going to be that hard” and then 2 hours later I was like “this will be the end of me.” We had to get strategic to survive. So, sorry Kentucky, but we only used you for your bathrooms and seating area.
Pedro: The walk to Kentucky was also kind of intense. But it was also nice to take the time to just sight see these barrios in which I hadn’t been in for a long time. Almagro has a bunch of amazing buildings! Sorry for stopping every two blocks to take picture btw. Must’ve been kind of annoying.
Paige: Omg I loved our architecture tour, it was fantastic. There are so many incredible buildings here, all crumbly and magical in their strange glory. Thankfully we had your umbrella so you could point them out in more detail. It helped distract me from my mortal hangover and shame spiral.
Pedro: The queen of the pics was by far our Tilly. She went snap crazy with her camera!
Paige: I love having a future photojournalist on our side. Once we made it to La Americana, our luck turned around. I felt like we were soldiers in battle stopping by the mess hall for much-needed sustenance. And they were so organized!
Pedro: My favorite place of the event by far. I think it also had to do with the fact that it was the largest one, but still… The pizza was great, the beer station was fast, there were seats all over. By that moment, we really needed something like that. Thank You La Americana (this text reads like a Yelp review, doesn’t it? My bad)
Paige: Maybe I’m biased because I’m also Americana myself (ba dum chhhhhh) but yeah it was the most special of the spots at that point. ALSO we got to keep our beer glasses which made everyone curious to see what would be waiting for us at the finish line (spoiler alert: nothing but a stomachache and greasy hands).
Pedro: I must say however that the best attention might have just been at Génova. The pizza guys seemed genuinely happy to see us and serve us their stuff. The picture Tilly took of them should be framed and hung at the Bubble’s HQ. Can you arrange that?
Paige: Yes it’s already happening as we speak… way to ruin your Christmas present, Pepe. I loved them. I think they could tell people arrived at their spot in such a horrible state that it was just like… carte blanche.
Paige: The cups of Cinzano at Génova were all on a table just like “serve yourself, take as many as you need, we don’t care” … it was like a grown-up version of a birthday party when you were in elementary school.
Pedro: Where I come from, such a birthday party would have required some salsa music in the background but I do understand that vibe.
Paige: I tried to dance. I blame the cheese overdose. It was bad.
Pedro: From then on, the finish line was within our reach, Paigey. It was quite a glorious moment. Like reaching the top of a mountain… MADE OF DOUGH AND CHEESE.
Paige: Glory was to be ours, if we could stomach it. Arrival at El Pétalo was unceremonious though, and it wasn’t like the other old-school pizzerías, BUT they were super nice and even let us drown our slices in ají molido.
Pedro: All in all it was a great event, really enjoyable. Do we really have to wait one whole year to do this again? Tell me it ain’t true, Paigey, please.
Paige: I mean honestly, if it were any sooner than 365 days I would explode and die. BUT it was so fun, a really cool experience – it was a great way to combine that porteño tradition of really weird pizza (sorry not sorry) with collective insanity and walking nearly 7km for no reason except to eat. Next year we need to have costumes or at least something to keep our spirits high as we cross the “desert” of Once/Abasto.
Pedro: I’ve got your back.
Paige: I actually cannot wait to wear this. although I wonder how I will fit in the bathrooms at Kentucky with that thing on. Also, I would bring some UvaSal for when the spectacle is over, to ease transition back into real life digestion.
Pedro: Here’s my biggest take on the whole thing: porteños are pretty crazy about their pizza. And none of that thin crust, horno de leña thing either. I’m talking about the traditional thick, cheese on top of cheese thing. I’m not sure in how many cities a 5K pizzathon like yesterday’s could actually work, to be honest.
Paige: Yeah, this is definitely a BA-only kind of event, and I am 100 percent on board with that. Also, the swag was really good, so I would say 10/10 would suffer through again (but the good kind of suffering, the Argentine kind). If anything, it took my mind off the exchange rate for about 4 hours.
Pedro: It was a necessary moment of muza-covered relief. The trip back home, though, was kind of filled with shame. I don’t think I’ll eat pizza for a long time. I could go until, I don’t know, Thursday maybe…
Paige: I walked into my apartment a broken woman and told myself I wasn’t going to eat anything until breakfast the next day. But five hours later I was eating a taco with extra guacamole.
Pedro: Ok, I’m just gonna throw this out there now that you mention it: Taco10K….?
Paige: Done and done. Where do I sign? On that note…what’s for lunch?