Following on from her experience at the Warsaw Half marathon in March (did she mention it was cold ;)), Cristina Moldoveanu this time reports from another great event – the 2013 Bieg Niepodleglosci
I have yet another beautiful running story to tell…This one has an abrupt start: here I am, having a peaceful breakfast somewhere in Romania, with what I thought would be plenty of time until I need to get going and start another day at the office, meaning walk into another furniture factory. “Oh, what’s that sound?”… I drop the fork and rush back to my hotel room, good thing I’ve set a reminder to sign up for Bieg Niepodległości!
Now, while signing up for races is one of the very few things I do manage to do in Polish (besides ordering taxis to the airport) this time there were some additional questions which in the end caused me to be late for the meeting that day. I felt a bit embarrassed to have to explain the reason I’m late and I was at that point thinking maybe I’ve exaggerated a bit and the registration could’ve waited.
Hell no!…I knew running is getting more and more popular but to have more than 12,000 people signing up in 22 hours, that’s just crazy!
And while on one hand I’m glad I got a spot I can’t help feeling slightly worried about running again a crowded race, criss-crossing people and fight for space.
And here comes the race day….God must be either a runner or a big fan of runners: after a few days of rain and mist he painted this day with beautiful blue skies and the temperature is just perfect for running, can’t wait to get going!
Ela is kind as always to offer her car as cloakroom and then, as I’m making my way to the starting line I get to listen Olgierd’s interesting perspective on this Independence day, in the sense that while remembrance is good, this day could do with a more joyful celebration. Hope the next coming years will incorporate more of that, this run today is definitely a good place to start!
We have a staggered start today and as the people in the front started running, I’m almost impatiently waiting for my turn to come!
Finally we get going and I have to admit that was actually a very good idea with this staggered start: I right away notice I have space around me and realize this is going to be a beautiful race… And how could it not be? The mild autumn sun is nicely warming up my face, supporters watching the race are giving us admiring looks and as I settle into the rhythm I feel comfortable and hopeful to manage a good time today.
Setting a goal is good and while I’d be pleased to do better than my last race what I really want is to enjoy the race! To me that’s equally important and keeps me going back to running with a smile on my face.
Km 5 is, as always, the only time I check my watch. I generally do a good half of the race and use that moment to boost my confidence. I’m going to need that, as my last half of the race is normally not as good
This is the turning point, and as I run back I can see the 55min pace makers and set myself the target to finish ahead of them!
2km before the finishing line I start saying to myself there are only 10 minutes of this race left and pushing myself a bit for as little as 10 min can’t be too hard. Well… it is, a bit, to be honest… but it seems to be working, I actually think I’m not slowing down this time!
The last kilometre is again a test: you can see the finishing line …but can you put up with a finishing sprint that’s about 500m long?
Might as well try…aaand that was not too bad, for a change.
Since I’ve not seen the pace makers overtaking me I figure that’s good: a 53’38” – PB this season – only confirms!As I’m marching to get my medal and smile a guy sticks a microphone into my face. I hope what he asked was how the race went, or else my “Świetnie!” short answer might have sounded out of place
And as I’m making my way back to meet my dear club runners friends – so glad to see that almost everyone had again a good race – there’s no other better conclusion of the day than just SHOW UP and DO IT!
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