WITC at Bieg na Szczyt 2014

WITC at Bieg na Szczyt, 15th March 2014

On Saturday 15th March WITC reached new heights as it took on a somewhat unusual event – the Bieg na Szczyt tower run at Rondo 1, Warsaw. Participants had to run up the 37 (yes THIRTY-SEVEN!) floors of the building. Spaces are limited in this event but 7 WITC’ers were eager (or naive) enough to sign up before registration closed after just half an hour.

It's a long way up...

It’s a long way up…

And so, on Saturday morning, Andy Mossop, Maciek Szymanski, Alan Parsons, Juan Murphy, Tristan Sakura, Xiaopeng Shen & Jorge Del Rio arrived at the bottom of this huge building to take on the 37 floors. There had been much talk of tactics in the run up to the event, whether to use both railings, both hands or just one side and one hand. Andy and Maciek had done the event the previous year but for the rest of the competitors this was completely new territory. There was a great atmosphere on the day with lots of TV crews and photographers, there was also an event for firemen & women (running up the steps in full gear!) while furthermore the race was part of the Towerrunning World Cup, with the cream of the world tower running elite also coming to Warsaw to take on WITC, um I mean the tower 😉

Juan was the first WITC’er to start while Jorge was the last to attack the steps around 2 hours later. In between the others all made their way up the crazy course: Alan, Kasia, Tristan, who even slowed Maciek up on the stairs just enough so that he wasn’t the fastest WITC’er, Andy and Shen. Every one of them admitted it was one of the toughest events they’d ever done! But that just made the feeling of reaching the top all the more rewarding :)

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“…there’s a lot of crazy people out there who enjoy a horrendous challenge…”

Andy Mossop: “I lied to some others from WITC and told them that this is a really fun event that you have to try. It’s so much fun that the places go within under an hour. It’s not fun at all, it’s just that there’s a lot of crazy people out there who enjoy a horrendous challenge. So I guess I deserved to get my ass kicked this time. My heart rate was up to 200 bpm in record time and averaged at 193, so I can’t say I wasn’t trying, it’s just really tough! Despite all that, even though I coughed for hours at the end, even though it doesn’t feel like my beloved running, I’ll probably do it again next year and hopefully with a group of unsuspecting friends or nutters.”

 

 

Photo courtesy of Szymon Starnawski

Jorge full of concentration before the start. Photo courtesy of Szymon Starnawski

Jorge Del Rio: My vision of the Rondo ONZ 1 race is that it’s a challenge. One of the problems I’ve had since starting running, one year ago, has been the ‘what-else’ syndrome. Once you run 10 km, 21 km and even a marathon it’s not easy to find new motivation. In this regard, this tower event is a totally different race. For me it was the most explosive activity I’ve ever done. I think my heart rate was through the roof the whole time. But it was over soon, and the feeling of being at the top of the building saying – I climbed it in this time! – is priceless. I will do it again, at least once, and then I look for another challenge. Perhaps a higher building… 😉

It was actually quite hard not to sprint the first few floors with the adrenaline going and the desire to finish as quickly as possible

Tristan Sakura: “I basically speed-walked the whole way, using the 2-hands on the same railing technique, trying to keep a constant pace the whole way. I knew that running up stairs makes me tired after 4 or 5 flights, so I didn’t want to go too fast at the start. However, it was actually quite hard not to sprint the first few floors with the adrenaline going and the desire to finish as quickly as possible. Plus I wanted to look good for the camera on the 10th floor. I was able to keep a pretty good pace the whole time to finish at 5:33, kicking Andy’s ass in the process (although Maciek passed me around the 20th floor). Luckily i didn’t feel like puking at all, but 7 hours after the race, I’m still coughing! Overall it was a fun “run”, a very intense few minutes!”

 

While finishing in itself was a very impressive feat, WITC also put in some incredible times, with both Alan and Maciek finishing in the top 50 (which includes the elite athletes!) – you can view the full results here.

View the full club photo album of the event here

 

Three coughs for WITC

Three coughs for WITC!

 

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The mental and physical battle of running a marathon – By Mark Mulrainey

In the latest of WITC’s special member articles, our very own party animal and regular marathon runner Mark Mulrainey gives us an insight into just what goes through his head on marathon day:

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The emotional and physical journey you go through while pushing your body and mind to the limits – by Mark Mulrainey

MarkrunningWhile training for or actually running a marathon, I have a couple of companions on the trip, my brain and my body. Usually at around 30km my body (knee) starts to moan that it has had enough, it hurts and eventually it will tell me its broken and can’t go any further, I keep telling it that it is fine and nothing is wrong, we’ve managed to do this distance many times, so shut up and run. This is when my brain joins in, brain tends to agree with the knee, so now I have developed a limp and it actually hurts, both knee and brain are telling me that the knee is broken it couldn’t possibly keep going, now we are at 32km, 10km to go, this can be done in 40-60 minutes I try to explain this to them both. Suddenly we hit a wave of people supporting all the runners, lots of cheering and music, this is meant to lift the spirits of the athletes, by god does it work, suddenly my limp has disappeared, my brain is saying we can go faster, my knee is responding, I just picked up 5km per hour in speed. We get to km 38, 4 to go and guess what?? Knee starts to tell me it is broken again, I explain it is full of shit and we only have 4km left to go, if needed I will do it without it. And on I push…

The moment you pass over that line, you feel the sheer delight that it is all over, the physical pain and emotional turmoil you just put yourself through is all over. You feel like laughing, crying, lying down, anything but running.

Next day somebody suggests you sign up for another marathon, guess what the answer is?

crossing the line

The moment you pass over that line, you feel the sheer delight that it is over …” Mark on the final straight of the Warsaw marathon

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Are you running a marathon this year? Is it your first or hundred and first? If you would like to write about your marathon experiences for the club please contact us on facebook :)

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WITC Holidays Party – December 2013

WITC Holidays Party – December 2013 at Znajomi znajomych

2013 has been an amazing year for WITC, with the club successfully building on last year’s efforts and taking this community to the next level. WITC founder Ken Globerman took some time out to reflect on the year:

PAT_9393Looking back, 2013 was another terrific year for WITC. Our community continues to grow organically – now approaching 500 persons from more than 20 different countries. And we continue to help introduce people to a new perceptive on life; one which helps them realize they can make a real difference through sports. In 2014, WITC will continue to develop runners, swimmers, cyclists and triathletes in a friendly, international environment. We invite all self-doubters to give us a try.

The holidays party returned to Znajomi znajomych after last year’s great party with a packed show including live renditions of WITC State of Mind and the YMCA, the end-of-year awards and much, much more…

Olga collecting her award

Olga collecting her award

After an introduction from Ken and a short presentation by Jay, it was time for the first award of the evening – the Most Improved Runner of the Year, which went to Olga Kulyna for her impressive performances in 2013 including a fantastic time in the Warsaw Marathon.

 

Next up was Maciej Brzezinski, who won the Most Improved Triathlete of the Year after stepping up to the full (yep you read that right, full!) Ironman distance in 2013!! The Runners of the year awards were deservedly won by our very own super midget Andy Mossop and Farrah Madanay (who is sadly leaving Warsaw to return to the States :().

The Female Multi-Sport Athletes of the Year

The Female Multi-Sport Athletes of the Year

Then came the biggest awards of the night – the Multi-sport Athletes of the Year. The voting for the female award was fiercely competitive, and in the end there was absolutely nothing to separate Cristina Moldoveanu and Dominika Piasecka – so the award had to be split between the two of them! And with Cristina’s announcement that she had just signed up for the 1/2 Ironman distance in Poznan next year the standard looks like it is being raised another notch in 2014 – go girls!!

 

 

Just before the Male Multi-sport Athlete of the Year was announced, it was time for a special surprise for WITC’s one and only Ken Globerman. While Alan gave Ken an award for “Services to Triathlon and Crimes against the English Language” Tristan (Trizzy Triz)  & Mark (the Aussie Chihuahua) performed this incredible song:

 

After that all that was left was the final award. Every one of the nominees for the Male Multi-Sport Athlete of the Year had an impressive 2013, and every single one would have been a worthy winner, but there could only be one winner and Tristan Sakura was invited back on stage to collect the much-deserved award. You can read his humble views about the night and the award on his blog.

Beware, winning an award may mean that everyone wants a photo with you! :)

Thanks to everyone who helped make the event so special & congratulations to all award winners and nominees. Here’s to a great 2014 :)

You can view the full photo gallery here (thanks to Martins & Patrizia for the fantastic photos)

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WITC at Bieg Niepodleglosci 2013

Bieg Niepodległości – Independence Day run – 11.11.2013

This year’s traditional independence day run saw WITC participating in this event for the third time in a row (you can read about the 2011 edition here).

Runners form a moving Polish flag on the course

Runners form a moving Polish flag on the course

In sunny November conditions around 12,000 runners packed the streets of Warsaw for this popular event, which once again comprised an out-and-back course down ul. Jana Pawla II to ul. Niepodleglosci (independence) and back again. The race organisers requested that runners wear red or white shirts to symbolise the Polish flag as the public holiday itself celebrates the country’s rebirth after the end of World War I.

WITC had a great showing with around 20 runners and many of them set personal bests (PBs) at this late season race. The staggered start of the race meant that the route was not too crowded and it really didn’t feel like 12,000 people were running.

Cristina wrote an amazing article about her experience of the race which you can read here, while here are the thoughts of a few other WITC’ers:

OlgierdNPOlgierd Swida, who smashed his 10km PB in the race, called for a peaceful celebration of this important national day, involving running of course:

How can we celebrate 11/11? Let’s not let nationalists and other extremists violate its meaning. Let’s enjoy this free, independent and ever more affluent Poland … by running 10km in the Independence Day run along with 11,999 other runners. Let’s forget about wars, martyrdom, suffering and remembering lost battles and come together to celebrate Poland’s rebirth. The choice is ours. I call on everyone to celebrate in a friendly and merry way with their friends and family. Happy holidays!

Great hi-fiving Angelique!

Great hi-fiving Angelique!

Anqelique Maige had a great race and was kind enough to share her thoughts of the day with us:

With the packed crowd starting, I can’t see the pace maker but I go off with my legs all warmed-up and my well-fed belly. I start quite fast, feeling grasshoppingly great. Too fast maybe? When I get to around 4.5K I believe so; yet I see the pace maker and pass him easily, and it gives me a push to keep on going, and the 5K turn seems easier. Then comes the up-hill/down-hill bridge over Aleje Jerozolimskie. I love up-hills and down-hills as for the first one I shorten my stride and feel my leg and bottom muscles working, and the down-hill I use to lengthen my strides and relax my back and shoulders. So I’m feeling motivated coming down the bridge, but yet somehow wondering if I will be able to keep up with the pace and not be passed by the 50’ pace maker. I feel like I need some encouragement and at that very moment I see Martin standing on the right side of the road, taking pictures. So in no time to think about it I feel myself crossing over to his side (because of course I was running on the left side), and getting myself a proper hi-five which gives me some courage to keep it up!  And up to the end of the race all I do is cheer myself up with different methods that all worked wonderfully: from yelling “Allez la France!” to this guy I’m passing and who is wearing a t-shirt with “FRANCE” lettered on the back, to smiling at the people cheering on the side of the road, to talking to myself (won’t share here what I was telling myself but yes it worked!), to cheering at Ken while he was passing me (don’t think he heard me though but still felt good to shout once more), to believing in the strength of ill people in my family, to thinking about the WITC friends who were also running and to the smiles we were all going to share a few moments later, while having a well-deserved beer!

Crossing the line was one of those moments where you don’t know what you just did and why, and how, but you’re just so incredibly happy you did it. I’m still having a hard time describing the feeling of the combination of my short breathing, my tired legs, and my happy heart. Yet sometimes a feeling simply doesn’t need to be described, right? And so I guess this is one of those moments I’ll keep imprinted in myself for quite a while. Or maybe only up until I do even better and beat this incredible feeling with another even higher one (then I’m afraid I might actually get high)!

post-race piwo

Was this what Angelique was going through about during the race? “… thinking about the WITC friends who were also running and to the smiles we were all going to share a few moments later, while having a well-deserved beer

Wow, well said guys. And well done to everyone who took part and supported the runners! You can view the club’s picture gallery here

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Cristina at the Independence Day run

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

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Cristina1

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

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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WITC at Biegnij Warszawo 2013

WITC at Biegnij Warszawo, October 2013

This year’s Biegnij Warszawo, the flag-ship running event for Warsaw and Poland, filled the streets of Warsaw with runners as over 11,000 people took on the 10km race. It also marked the 3rd year of WITC actively participating in Biegnij Warszawo. As was the case at last year’s event, WITC once again supported the Spartans initiative, and set a new club participation record with 50 WITC’ers turning out for the run.

Like the Warsaw marathon before, the weather again cooperated as the runners headed off on the route through the centre of Warsaw. While runners had the challenge of taking on the hill on Spacerowa around half-way through the race, what goes up must come down and the last kilometre was virtually all downhill which led to a fast finish!

Congratulations to everyone who took part, whether for the 8th time or for the 1st :)

WITC out in force at the 2013 edition of Biegnij Warszawo

WITC out in force at the 2013 edition of Biegnij Warszawo

 

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Out of exile – Alex Hobley

Out of exile – by Alex Hobley

Alex Hobley writes from England on on how he got involved with WITC, triathlon and coming back for the Club Challenge event in September. We hope to see you again soon Alex!!

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Alex (in the green headband) back in WITC colours for the 2013 Club Challenge

Alex (in the green headband) back in WITC colours for the 2013 Club Challenge

On 22nd September, 2013 I was back in Warsaw for the WITC Club Challenge event. I had been eagerly waiting for this race for a while, although my involvement with the club goes back much further. How I first found out about WITC still remains a mystery to me. I first heard of it, I think, through Facebook and received a number of messages about a group meeting to go on Saturday morning bike rides in the spring of 2011.

ridiculously photogenicI didn’t think much of it until one day when I was showing my parents around Warsaw I saw a bunch of sweaty guys in lycra cycling at pace through Powisle and realised that those Facebook messages weren’t based on a fictitious group of athletes but that actually something exciting was forming in Warsaw. Earlier that year I had rekindled my passion for running by taking part in the March 2011 Warsaw half marathon with a few friends. Between the age of 10-17 I was obsessed with running and would travel all-round the UK competing with my club. After a few years of frustrating injuries, aged 18, I decided to hang up my running shoes. The injuries were really getting me down, I had become sick of athletics club politics and was spending far too much time on my physio’s table. With a heavy heart I put to bed all my crazy ambitions of being a top runner and filled that hole in my life with a variety of other interests for a good number of years. My friends and I took part in the Warsaw half that year just to give us a reason to stay fit that winter. After running a surprisingly fast time off not much training I was pleased that I finished the race injury-free and my running ambitions started to come back again.

My friend and I then thought we’d step it up a gear and do the Warsaw marathon that autumn. Then in steps WITC. By this point there were a steady number of WITC runners meeting each Saturday morning for long runs. It was exactly what I needed – people to do long runs with and a good social vibe making the training actually good fun. So that summer I did a number of long runs with the club running distances I had never done before and had a good laugh in the process. On marathon day however I was to learn a hard lesson – don’t underestimate marathon training and don’t you fool your body (haha!) I didn’t train properly for it; too many holidays and not enough running. After cruising through the first 20km I suddenly could feel this pain building up the in the tendons behind my left knee. The next few hours were some of my most humbling ever as I literally hobbled to the finish line with a leg that wouldn’t bend at the knee. Ask Alan Parsons for a demonstration of how I looked – it’s pretty funny. The next 7 months were a wipe out again as I couldn’t do any kind of strenuous activity on my left leg.

Alex in a league of his own at the Zalew Cup

Alex in a league of his own at the Zalew Cup

My best memories with the club are all about summer 2012. Ken Globerman thought everyone needed a good laugh at the club swimming coaching sessions so he got me down to show everyone how not to swim. The Zalew cup was another hilarious highlight – as Tristan’s camera skills managed to capture – with me clutching onto an inflatable buoy midrace as I caught my breath. I learnt the importance that day of warming up before doing a swimming race. Jokes aside the club literally inspired and prepared me to take up triathlon as a sport – something I’d never done before.

Alex taking on Susz, 2012

Taking on Susz, 2012

My time in Warsaw came to a close at the end of the summer as I was moving back to the UK. It was really sad to leave the club behind with its well-organised training sessions and wonderful club members who are a pleasure to be around. Having spent a lot of time within sports clubs I always think it’s so important to have the right mix of good quality training mixed with a thriving social scene where athletes actually want to spend time with each other. The time and energy put into something is all the more worth it when you are doing it around great like-minded people. As with most things I think it’s often not about the end result but the actual process you go through to get there. The social element to WITC, for me, is what sets it apart from other athletics groups and makes it unique.

Think you're getting away from us that easily?

Think you’re getting away from us that easily?!

Once I returned to the UK my training was very up and down. Injuries returned, my motivation waned as I was focused on finding a job and settling back here. Thankfully things sorted themselves out and I completed a half-ironman at the beginning of the summer which I was delighted about. Again it was another milestone reached that would never have happened without being involved with WITC.

It was a fantastic feeling getting back on the start line with WITC last week at the club challenge with ERGO. We were all disappointed to not win but glad we gave it our all. I am definitely looking forward to doing another event in the future and I expect the club to keep continually growing.

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WITC at the Warsaw Marathon 2013

WITC at the 35th Warsaw Marathon, September 2013

At the end of Sept, the recording-breaking 2o13 Warsaw Marathon was held. It was the biggest race by far in the event’s 35 year history with over 8500 finishers. WITC once again had a great showing both in terms of competitors and supporters. Although the weather wasn’t quite as good as last year, the cold weather at the start failed to discourage the competitors.

Lining up at the start of the race were over 15 WITC’ers including first time marathon runners like Olgierd Swida, Agata Borkowska, Kasia Kulik and Martin Stagitis, Alan Parsons who was running his first marathon in nearly 10 years as well as marathon veterans like Mark Mulrainey, Andy Mossop, Dan Millar and Mark Gaspersich.

WITC welcomes people of all nations :)

WITC welcomes people of all nations, even Vikings :)

The route took runners through the centre of the city, down to Wilanow, Ursynow and back to finish inside the impressive national stadium. There was a huge amount of spectators and too many bands to count along the whole of the route. The club supporters also were out in full force, with some even travelling around the city to cheer on the runners at different points :)

Cristina offers some encouragement to Alan ...

Cristina offers some encouragement to Alan

... and Mark

… and Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super-speedy Andy Mossop was the first WITC’er to cross the line, setting a new PB in the process and leading the WITC A team (which comprised Andy, Farrah, Dan, Pawel Ptak and Alan) to an impressive 20th place in the team standings (Klasyfikacja druzynowa). Lots of WITC’ers set new PBs, proving that the hard hours of training over the summer had been worthwhile.

Three of the club’s marathon first-timers had the following to say after the event:

Picture 566Olgierd Swida
First Marathon ever – Done! YES!
Mission accomplished!
Time of 4:50 was within the forecasted range (4:30-5:00), could have been better however … it will be an easy PB to beat :-).
Special thanks to all of your support during my long preparation time: to Teresa for her patience and on-site support. To my running buddies on the long runs Agatita and Philippe and to the the WITC crowd for the ongoing support, encouragement and great advice: Ken, Alan, Andrew, Mark, Olga and many others. I wouldn’t have done this without you! Thanks!

Picture 492Olga Kulyna: “So THE DAY finally arrived and has almost finished. Half a year of anticipation, blood, sweat and tears. Now a great sense of completion but some emptiness as well… And the most important: I wouldn’t have done it without you, my dear friends and WITC. Thanks a lot for your support and advice, for listening to my constantly talking about running, for your likes on my boring workout posts. It meant a lot to me! :-)”

 

Picture 554Martin Stagitis: “Completed my first marathon! I walked partially, got some chilling spray [due to a knee problem Martin has been suffering with] from med support, in the last 10km my calf muscles felt so heavy and I noticed cramps coming. It was daunting to see 4:00, 4:10, 4:20 and 4:30 pace makers passing me one by one and my friend Alan waving me on the bridge on his way home. I had energy but the legs :( … Just before stadium I saw almost 71 year old Barbara she was unsatisfied with her result after the finish line she told that she usually does marathon in 4:10, 4:15. My result was miserable 04:40:16 for a 30 something young one, but I finished with stylish white hat at least. Thank you all supporters especially the WITC, you were my painkillers.”

Well done to EVERYONE who took part and thanks again to the amazing WITC support team.

You can view the photo gallery here.

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WITC vs ERGO 2nd Annual Club Challenge

WITC 2nd Annual Club Challenge, Team WITC vs Team ERGO, 22nd September 2013, Kepa Potocka

After last year’s nail-bitingly close inaugural club challenge, WITC and ERGO went head-to-head again this year in a rematch. WITC was keen to get revenge for last year while ERGO went all out to hold on to their title.

Thankfully the weather was much better this year (something to do with it not being December in Poland!) and both teams came out in numbers to see who would take the prestigious Club Champion cup home.

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After registration and pre-race announcements, it was time for the long-awaited event to start. This time the girls race went out first, with WITC’s Farrah (Mo) Madanay storming off into an early lead ahead of the rest of the field.

 

The leading men's group

The leading men’s group

Five minutes later the guys set off to catch the girls in what was an incredibly competitive race. The early pace-setters included WITC’s Andy Mossop and Alex Hobley (who had returned especially for this race), as well as Marcin Krysik and Jan Kasieja from ERGO.

The route took the runners round two laps of the picturesque Kepa Potocka park, although at the speed some of the competitors were running it’s hard to say whether they got a chance to even enjoy the scenery!

Farrah absolutely dominated the women’s race and crossed the line in an impressive time of 41.02m, alongside the leading man, Marcin Krysik who ran an incredible 36.02m.

The winners!!

The winners!!

The conditions were indeed great for running with 6 guys running under 40 minutes and lots of people setting PBs. ERGO again dominated the men’s race while WITC blitzed the women’s race. So while the runners were recovering and rehydrating, the organisers sat down to work out which team had won…

The winning girls

The winning girls

The top three men were (in reverse order) Aleksander Tittenbrun, Andy Mossop and Marcin Krysik, while in women’s race it was Elwira Sochacka, Olga Kulyna and Farrah Madanay. But of course there could be only winner and the cup went to … ERGO for the second year running.

 

And the fastest 3 guys

And the fastest 3 guys

WITC captain Andy was gracious-ish in defeat: “It was a really competitive race on Sunday and was amazing to see so many PBs and so many of the guys ran under 40 minutes. I feel like we were faster than last year, but still not fast enough to beat ERGO. We were missing a few key runners, but ERGO were just better on the day. I’ve got some work to do to catch Marcin next year, but I think I’m getting closer and we’ll look forward to getting the trophy from them next time. Well done to everyone and a big thanks to all the volunteers who organised the race!

ergowitccup2013-173ERGO’s team captain Bartek GrzeszczykThis year’s 10k Club Challenge was a sporting competition held at a high level. WITC clearly wanted revenge from last year’s event in December. The race was extremely competitive with 6 men running under 40 min, and the best woman finished in just over 41 mins. This year the weather conditions were good, and from the organisational side everything ran smoothly. Klub Biegacza ERGO once again won by a very small margin. We are looking forward to the next event in 2014, with the race probably expanded to include some other running clubs.

ergowitccup2013-175

You can view the WITC photo gallery here, the ERGO photo gallery here, and the full results here: 2013 Club Challenge Race Results

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WITC at the Siedlce triathlon 2013

WITC at the Siedlce Super-Sprint Triathlon, 18 August 2013

This year’s edition of “Triathlon Siedlecki” was a blast! The weather this time could not have been more different to last year (which you can read about here) with clear skies and warm weather awaiting the competitors.

A group of no less than 10 WITC’ers finished the race comprising a 400m swim and 10km offroad bike ride (along narrow paths through dense forest and deep sand dunes) followed by a picturesque 3km run along the lake.

WITC at the Siedlce Triathlon 2013

WITC at the Siedlce Triathlon 2013 – just before start

Anticipation was in the air when around 150 contestants entered the water. Having followed the junior races we knew where to swim and the layout of the transition zone, so first-timers Joanna, Shen, Angelika, Marta and Vegard (and probably also the rest) didn’t have to be nervous about not finding their way.

Swimming was pleasant, starting in the water with a very wide starting line and a good distance to the first buoy reduced the usual “water rugby” and allowed us to focus more on actual swimming. The water was warm, and the quality was better than in Susz. Also, the swim was in a different part of the lake than the public beach where the Zalew Cup was held, so the water was less muddy compared to our previous experiences in Siedlce this summer.

The bike ride was “something else” compared to almost all other triathlons where you ride on paved roads with road bikes. It is unusual with an offroad track, but WITC handled the challenge very well. Here’s what the bike ride looked like from a rider’s perspective (by the time of the actual race, they had marked the trail properly, otherwise we’d never have been able to find our way): http://youtu.be/bYnmf5ZH1Jo

As the run consisted of a 1.5km out-and-back route, the runners had plenty opportunity to watch for opponents and teammates – so I am not sure how many focused on the picturesque landscape. A few were even running with headphones, which made it look like they were out jogging, if it hadn’t been for the starting numbers…

WITC members make their mark

WITC at the Siedlce triathlon 2013

Tristan is prepared for the Siedlce triathlon 2013

The first WITC member to appear on the beach after a 400m loop was Vegard (since Arek wasn’t around), followed by Cristina, Tristan, Shen, Angelika, Martins, Dominika, Alan, Joanna and Marta.

The bike trail was composed of two 5km laps, and the technical challenges both separated riders and kept them going at approximately the same speed due to limited opportunities for overtaking others on the mostly narrow trail. Jumping off the bike and heading into the transition zone before the final 3km run, Vegard was surprisingly still in the lead (probably helped by the previously mentioned difficulty in overtaking), closely followed by Martins, Tristan and Alan.

With a still-not-fully-healed heel injury from a freak waterslide accident several weeks earlier that stopped him from participating in the Gdynia aquathlon, Vegard would have been happy to end the race after the bike ride. Carefully putting on various plasters and (running) shoes for the first time since the accident took its time, and literally dozens raced past him in the transition zone. Limping along after the others, he was heard grinding out the words “I’ll finish this even if I have to walk!” between his teeth.

Martins started his run first, with Tristan chasing behind. Alan put his long legs to work, overtook both of them and went on to secure the fastest run and the best finishing time of the WITC members, followed by Tristan, Martins, Vegard, Shen, Cristina, Joanna, Angelika, Marta and Dominika.

Our supporters included Ken, Ela (who was planning to participate, but unfortunately was injured by a piece of glass on the beach at the Gdynia aquathlon), Emil, Joanna, Vega the dog and several more.

Congratulations to everyone who took part!

Congratulations to everyone who took part!

Read all about it…

The coverage in the local newspaper features some WITC’ers: http://podlasie24.pl/wiadomosci/siedlce/fotoreportaz–z-iv-triathlonu-siedleckiego–f5e8.html

…and even more WITC’ers found their way into this Google+ photo collection by Martyna Rembelak: https://plus.google.com/photos/107887821536518267453/albums/5913757389836227297

This PDF contains more than 1200 photos of which only a few contain WITC members, but you can really see all aspects of the event (please note this file is 130 MB, so it is not recommended for mobile download): http://www.siedlce-zwiedzanie.pl/pdf/2013-08-18_4_triatlon_siedlecki.pdf

Finally, you can view the club’s photo gallery here!

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