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).
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:
“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!”
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)!”
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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