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).
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!).
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.
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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