WITC at the 2014 Warsaw Marathon

WITC at the Warsaw Marathon, 28th September 2014 – featuring Alex Hobley

This year’s Warsaw marathon was another record-breaking event for this city, with WITC was once again well represented. Amongst the competitors was Alex Hobley, a popular WITC’er who used to live in Warsaw and had come back, just one week after helping WITC win the Club Challenge, to take on the Warsaw marathon.

He explained to us why he travelled halfway across Europe to run here:

“Having attempted the Warsaw marathon once in 2011 and been very much humbled, I had wanted to come back and do it again, and it so happened that 2014 was the year I was ready to go. The long run training (which I previously ignored) was brutal. To fit in with other commitments once a week I would finish work around 5pm, take a 30 minute train ride to London’s biggest park and then do 3 large laps covering up to 20 miles on my own. This was followed by staggering back to the train station, eating 3 Mcdonald’s cheeseburgers for lack of other options – and taking 2 ibuprofen before going to bed. This wasn’t fun Saturday morning group training WITC style. After executing a 5 month training plan I got on the start line nervous as hell yet very excited! 

Of course everyone I told in the UK that I was doing Warsaw marathon thought I was crazy. Why of all the marathons in the world would you go and do Warsaw again (?) they asked. I explained that Warsaw has an amazing running club that I spent some time being a part of, with epic supporters, vibes, and aspiring athletes chasing their dreams and inspiring each other in the process. I knew there were immeasurable benefits for choosing to face the marathon challenge in the city I know so well.

WITC support crew

The WITC support crew

The first half I took cautiously. After 8km or so I saw the WITC support team. Out in force, cheering and doing what this club does best supporting one another. It was a great boost to see familiar, yet many new, faces all under the same WITC umbrella. At around the half-way mark I came across Marta Kazmierczak, we shared some words of encouragement and powered on.

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At the 30km my main man Alan Parsons joined me to pace me through my final 12km. Alan – having taken on the marathon himself – knew I would be struggling big time and offered to help me. The last 12km are a bit of a blur but he paced me like a trooper encouraging me and challenging me to work hard. It was like full circle as I first met Alan exactly 3 years before whilst I hobbled to the line.

As I approached the stadium I was so tired that I didn’t even register the women in scantily clad clothes in monster trucks. It was an incredible feeling to cross the line, register a pb and take in the phenomenal atmosphere that is the Warsaw marathon. A day I won’t ever forget.

 

Yes you Ken! Especially with this support :)

Yes you Ken! Especially with this support :)

Thanks for sharing that Alex, it was an honour to run with you! And well done to everyone who completed the race :)

You can view the full photo gallery of this amazing event here.

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