WITC at the Warsaw Half Marathon, 24th March 2013
The end of March in Poland is usually the time to finally forget about winter and warm up those heat deprived bodies after the long Polish winter. Just not this year … whereas last year the sun was shining and many of us were in shorts and t-shirts for the Half Marathon, this year the winter has been stubbornly clinging on and with temperatures forecast to drop to around minus 7 some people were wondering whether it’d be better to bring along XC skis!
Luckily the weather didn’t put too many people off. The race was still a record-breaking one for Poland, Warsaw and WITC. It was the first half marathon with over 10,000 participants in Poland, putting the Warsaw Half Marathon up there with the leading European races, and for WITC it was also a huge event with over 20 members finishing the race.
Club member Erdal Halil, from Romania (in the bottom left of the picture), epitomised the WITC spirit in his pre-race comments “I got the chills when checking the weather forecast for Sunday, but then I realized it is appropriate. After all that’s the weather most of you have trained in over the winter, so don’t let it make you miss the event.”
As the WITC’ers gathered outside popular club haunt PKP Powisle before the race, it was clear that the weather had failed to dampen people’s spirits as the group made its way en masse to the start of the race.
The huge popularity of this year’s race meant that a lot more organisation was needed that previously, and this in particular concerned the start. The race had pacemakers at every interval from 1.20 to 2.20, and with people starting in waves on both sides of Most Poniatowskiego this helped the start go smoothly.
The route itself was similar to the previous year, taking runners around the centre of Warsaw, although the main talking point after the race was the killer Belwerderska hill at kilometre 15. It was also amazing to see so many supporters and bands out braving the cold conditions to give runners some much needed motivation, including some club members who weren’t running.
This year’s Half Marathon was also the first time WITC had entered the team competition and the top three men (speed-merchant Andy Mossop, Dariusz Dros and Dan Miller) as well as the fastest women (Lizzy Shackelford) gave the team a very respectable 38th position in the team standings.
Despite the freezing temperatures it was also amazing to see so many people set pb’s such as Cristina (who’s excellent blog of the race you can read here), Antione, Tristan, Dominika, Julia, Olgierd and many more.
And after the race we all went for a well-earned curry
Congratulations to everyone who took part and a big thanks to all our supporters!!
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