WITC at Biegnij Warszawo

Every year in Warsaw there’s a 10km race at the end of September / start of October.  Each year it’s been growing in popularity and 2011 was another record year with over 10,000 participants.

The 2011 Biegnij Warszawo was also an important milestone for WITC.  It was our biggest turnout at an official event (around 20 members) and the first race where we got the chance to show off our new kits and break our own records after the hard work we all put in throughout the summer (it was hard work, although we never forgot to treat ourselves to cake/beer/grilled meat on the beach at La Playa at the end of our long runs).

Biegnij Warszawo 2012

All smiles after the run

Despite the huge crowds most of us managed to meet up for a short photo shoot before making our way to the start. I was keen that this was going to be the race where I completed 10km in under 40 minutes so I dragged Alan Parsons as close as possible to the front before the crowds got there, but not before he could grab a Pawel Lech flyer and pin it to his shirt imposing as the local minister for sports.

The run itself was fun as usual.  The start was crowded and slow but this is always good to stop us from running off to fast to begin with, especially as the killer hill of Belwederska was waiting for us just after 4km.  I think the organisers were hoping that by sending us down Gagarin Street before we’d be inspired into a speedy ascent.  I might not have quite “rocketed” up the hill but I was quite chuffed that I passed a few people on the way up, including the real Pawel Lech who was looking pretty strong (and I know is also interested in training for the triathlon!).

Ken starts Biegnij Warszawo 2011

Ken starts Biegnij Warszawo 2011

After the hill I expected the going to get easier and it would have if I hadn’t decided to speed up and jump around with a little too much bravado as we passed the DJ pumping danceable tunes at Rondo De Gaulle (at around 7km).  As soon as I was around the corner and out of sight of the cheering crowds, I slowed to a jog and tried to catch my breath.  Luckily for me from 8km downwards it was literally all downhill and in the end I managed to complete it in 39:23 which I was delighted with!

I didn’t have to wait long to cheer on other members of the club either.  Karol Ziemiński finished not long after me and the others came in waves after that.

WITC satisfaction

WITC group photo

We all managed to find each other at the end, including Ken who’d just managed to make the start on time and must have had one of the best net vs gross times of the whole race!  Once we were all together, he had a heated but friendly discussion with security about where we could pose for our photo and we managed to get a great picture in front of the Warsaw skyline.

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WITC at the Warsaw Marathon

On a warm day in late September, more than 4,000 runners stood alongside Łazienki Park for the anticipated start of the 33rd Annual Warsaw Marathon.  Warsaw International Triathlon Club featured almost 10 runners in the event, including a handful of first-time marathoners.

Sunny start to Warsaw Marathon

Sunny start to Warsaw Marathon

The course first takes runners around the center of Warsaw, then through Łazienki Park, south along Soboskiego to Kabaty, and finally back towards the center along Czarneskiego.  The 42.2km route was quite flat, making it a fast course for all competitors.  John Sammy of Kenya was the overall winner with a time of 2:08:17 while Svetlana Stanko of Ukraine was the top female in a time of 2:31:28.

Our club members had a great showing. US-born Tom Flanagan finished in a competitive 3:43:58 with Grzegorz Bobrownicki-Libchen right behind him with a net time of 3:44:47. First time marathoners Mark Mulrainey, Margo Salamon, and Laurent Uhres, finished in 3:54, 3:57, and 4:25 respectively.  Ken Globerman paced Mark most of the way, while training for the New York City Marathon – which was six weeks later.  The race also featured first time marathoners Alex Hobley, Kasia Nosal from the club.  Finally, Glen Gregory, Alan Parsons and Cristina Moldoveau each jumped in and ran a portion of the route.

After the race, about 10 other WITC’ers came to support the finishers over beer and well-deserved kielbasa near the finish line. We wrapped up the day with a celebratory dinner at a great Chmielna Italian eatery. All in all, a great day for the club!

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WITC at the Borowno Ironman

WITC’s Grzegorz Bobrownicki-Libchen completes an Ironman Distance Triathlon

In a small town northeast of Bydgoszcz, Poland on a lovely day in early September, the Borówno Triathlon was about to become a reality. One of the few Ironman distances in Poland, the race featured the grueling 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run circuit. It also featured the half-ironman distance on the same day.

As the sun rose over a crystal clear lake, Warsaw International Triathlon Club’s Grzegorz Bobrownicki-Libchen stood at the edge of the waterfront along with about 50 other competitors. WITC’s own Ken Globerman and Mark Mulrainey were there to see him off. It was his first attempt at an Ironman, but he looked up to the task.

Starting the swim

Starting the swim

He entered the water in style and transitioned out in great form, swiftly moving onto his bike for the long ride ahead. Borówno featured a 30km biking circuit that competitors completed 6 times. And while Grzegorz was on the bike, Ken and Mark were joined by fellow club member Cristina Moldoveanu, taking the opportunity to use the cycling route as a training opportunity for the upcoming Warsaw Marathon – which was just 4 weeks later.

Grzegorz transitioned off of the bike in the late afternoon, leading into the 42.2km run that lie ahead. While Ken, Mark and Cristina were grabbing lunch, our teammate continued to meet his personal Ironman challenge!

As the sun was about to set over Borówno, Grzegorz and many other Ironman competitors still had a long way to go! There to provide support, Cristina even ran a few kilometers alongside our team member in the final stages of the race.

Borowno GBL Running

Cristina supporting Grzegorz on the run

By about 9pm, Grzegorz was approaching us for his final 100 meters, which he sprinted in fashion! On this day, he became the first to complete an Ironman as a WITC club member, finishing in 28th place in a time of 13 hours and 3 minutes.

Congrats to him!

Grzegorz vows to cut at least an hour off his time in 2012. WITC will be there to support him and all other club members who plan to participate!

 

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