The last two years have been an important part of my life passion for running. During this time, I slowly and unhurriedly approached my cherished dream, which I made my main goal - to overcome a full marathon.
Preparations for such an important event began in advance in February. I actively participated in running activities that were interesting to me, but did not neglect training. In 2019, I planned my running schedule so that the peak of running activity was in April and early May. Everything went well and I was lucky to realize my plans. During this period, I successfully completed three half marathons held in the cities Slavutich, Poznan and Bialystok.
It was still overcome race for 30 kilometers in Kharkov, and small trail race in Brovary. Kharkiv race for 30 kilometers became the most important stage of preparation for my first full marathon. It was on it that I tested my body and watched how it reacted to longer distances and increased load.
As my first marathon, I first wanted to choose “Prague Marathon“. However, then already planned to participate in “Białystok Half Marathon”, and the dates of these races coincided. Why did you choose the half marathon in Bialystok after all? The thing is, my goal was to run a Polish running series called "Crowns of Polish Half Marathons". I thought about it for about a month, after which I decided not to deviate from the main plan and run “Białystok Half Marathon“ and then take a look at other marathons held in May.
Of the other May marathons, I was most interested in two Scandinavian marathons - one in Stockholm and the other in Copenhagen. I have long dreamed of visiting Denmark, so I chose it “Copenhagen Marathon”. Additional advantages were the interesting route and the fact that this year's marathon had a jubilee start.
Registration took place on the official website of the event cphmarathon.com. To become a participant in a running event, you had to indicate your personal and contact details, as well as the approximate time for which the participant can run a distance of 42 kilometers (based on the experience of previous races). You could also choose the appropriate size T-shirt with the official logo of the marathon. On the site, the participant's number is assigned automatically after payment of the entry fee.
The marathon has a circular route, which runs through the central and adjacent streets of Copenhagen, close to the most important architectural monuments of the Danish capital. You could pick up your starter pack just before the start of the race from Friday to Sunday.
After paying the entry fee and getting acquainted with the route, I began to plan a trip to Denmark. We had to buy plane tickets and choose and book suitable accommodation. I decided to fly to Copenhagen on Friday night so that Saturday would be free to explore the city. In addition, you had to pick up your starter pack and visit the exhibition "SportExpo".
I flew to Copenhagen on Friday night as planned. From the airport, I had to get to my place of residence. Without wasting a minute, I decided to start exploring the city and enjoyed an evening stroll through the streets of Copenhagen.
On Saturday, the first thing I had to do was get the starter pack, so I woke up earlier and followed him to a sports complex called Sparta Hallen. There were also races for children and a sports exhibition "SportExpo". To receive the starter pack, you must provide the passport and certificate of the marathon participant, which I received by mail a month after registration.
The first half of the day I was receiving the package and getting acquainted with "SportExpo". The sports exhibition was organized very well: here you could see not only sporting goods, but also many stands with information about various marathons from around the world. After preparing for the race, I walked around the city, did a short evening run and went to rest and gather strength for the marathon. Before that, I went to the supermarket to buy enough water and isotonic, because I decided run a marathon only on them, without the use of gels.
Sunday morning woke me up with good enough weather for running. It was especially gratifying that the sky was gloomy and there were all the prerequisites that it might rain. It was very pleasing because I did not want to run in the heat at all.
The starting town was located on the waterfront of the island of Bruges. Changing rooms, lockers, and places for issuing starter packs were arranged for the marathon participants. Runners started to gather early and closer to the start they came more and more. Some runners warmed up before the marathon, others changed into comfortable clothes, and some enjoyed the beauty of the views of Copenhagen, which opened from the waterfront.
The organizers divided the participants' marathons by sectors corresponding to their chosen time of covering the distance of 42 kilometers. What distinguishes this marathon from the half marathons held in Poland, where the runner has to start in the group he chose during registration, in Copenhagen was allowed to change his group before the start. All runners had the same starting numbers - they were not divided into groups by color. Therefore, the participant could choose what time and in which group he would run.
The start of the marathon was at 9:30. At first, everyone started running in a crowd, which made the start of the marathon not very convenient. I chose a pacemaker for 4 hours and 10 minutes and tried to keep up with the pacemaker.
The first half of the marathon was comfortable, so it was easy for me to run. A big plus was in the flat track of the marathon, although there were several climbs. It also helped that the weather was gloomy and the sun only started to appear closer to noon.
As soon as I came across hydration points on my way, I did not neglect to use them. I tried to follow the peacemakers throughout the first half of the marathon, which I managed to overcome in 2 hours and 2 minutes. I moved to the finish line quite confidently. The start of the second half of the marathon took place under a very beautiful arch, which was a signal to runners that half of the race was overcome.
Ahead of me was another psychological mark of 19 miles. You ask, what exactly is this mark? After the run “Easter Run” For 30 kilometers already knew what time I needed to overcome it. Therefore, I hoped that when overcoming this distance I would not have any problems and significant differences in time.
In addition to the 42-kilometer mark itself, the main test for the physical and psychological condition was the ascent, which was encountered by runners on the 15th mile and led to the overpass. Apparently, the psychological load played more here. Experience has also become relevant here Kharkiv half marathon, where when climbing one hill you are already waiting to climb the second. I really didn't want to overcome another such hill on my way.
I managed to overcome the mark of 19 miles in 3:10, which was only a minute more than during “Easter Run“, and I think that's very good. At the planned pace, I continued to run to the finish line. The time to overcome the marathon had to be somewhere between 4:10 - 4:20 because to cover another 7 miles would be enough hours, despite the fact that these are just theoretical calculations, which do not always coincide with reality. As I approached the finish line, I increasingly came across runners who were assisted by paramedics to bring them back to normal. So I ran slower so as not to take risks.
The remaining 7 miles to the finish line turned into a run from one hydration station to the next, where you could regain strength, drink water and isotonics, and be replenished with fruit. This is what distracted me a little from fatigue. During those seven miles, I stuffed everything I could find along the way: from the pizza the Danes used to treat runners to and the Red Bull power men. Somewhere in the distance of 39-40 kilometers, I began to save already exhausted forces for the last jerk, which was waiting for me before the finish.
Before the finish, a surprise awaited the runners in the form of a small climb to the bridge. As soon as I saw him, the thought immediately flashed: "No, it's not that, although the rise is low, I do not want to climb it." While the head remained in thought, the legs walked slowly to the rise. Only this last test remained, after which only the descent and the finish remained.
Fans standing along the side of the road added strength to run. All this lively atmosphere and the feeling that there was very little left before the finish line, surprisingly gave new strength. After overcoming a distance of 42 kilometers in 4:48, my feet still led me to such an expected arch, on which was written "Finish". When I finished, I was finally able to regain my strength and treat myself to pastries, hot chocolate, cola and fruit. And the best part is that you no longer had to run anywhere.
The first marathon, in which I had to take part, met all expectations. “Copenhagen Marathon” gave unforgettable impressions and emotions not only from the running process, but also from the unique atmosphere. It was very nice to run along the Ukrainian embassy in Denmark and hear the native language. The Ukrainian state flag gave new inspiration on the second lap, when you are so exhausted while running that you look at least some inspiring moments to be able to continue on your way.
Pleased with the well-thought-out route - it passed along the interesting architectural monuments of the city. Throughout the route, there was good support from locals and guests of the running holiday. After the finish, runners will have not only the opportunity to refresh and regain strength but also a shower and a relaxing massage. For me, the main goal was to run a marathon without consequences, so that this race would not be the last in my practice.
Of course, at first, I really wanted to invest in the time of 4: 10-4: 20, but in the process of running it recedes into the background and I already want to invest at least 5 hours, but not to get injured. The Copenhagen Marathon was the next step in my running career and a new level of development as a runner. That's why I want to add even more interesting marathons to my running calendar for next year.