The last half marathon I had to run to win "Crown of Polish Half Marathons" became the half marathon of Krakow - "Cracovia Półmaraton". For a long time, I hesitated whether I should take part in this event because there were both pros and cons.
The main reason for my hesitation was that this half marathon is part of two running series, namely the “Crown of Polish Half Marathons” and the “Krolewska Triada Biegowa”. There was also a desire to run the "Krolewska Triada Biegowa" series completely, but there was also a strong desire to finish the "Crown of Polish Half Marathons" running series effectively.
In the end, the good ending of the Crown of the Polish Half Marathons series turned out to be stronger, although I later regretted it a bit. Of course, for the final "Crown of Polish Half Marathons" could be chosen half marathon in Gniezno. As for the Krakow triad, it will now have to run partially (marathon and trail race).
If we talk about registration, we can note that it did not differ in anything special. To register, you had to go to the official website of the half marathon pzucracoviapolmaraton.pl and go to the Dla biegaczy - Zapisy tab. The registration form is standard - you need to fill in your contact details and then pay the entry fee. At the end of registration you will be assigned the starting number of the half marathon participant “Cracovia Półmaraton”.
The way to Krakow
I got to Krakow by train from Warsaw. This time I flew to Chopin Airport and decided to take the train. It should be noted that Chopin Airport is very convenient compared to other Warsaw Modlin Airport. Traveling by train from Modlin to Warsaw costs PLN 14, while from Chopin it costs PLN 3.
The journey from Chopin Airport to the center of Warsaw by train takes no more than 10 minutes, while from Modlin it takes about an hour. Another plus - no transplants. From Modlin Airport, you must first take a bus to Modlin Station and only then change to the train.
The journey to Krakow took me about 13 hours. I arrived on Friday, then settled in a hostel and went to explore the city. On Saturday, I planned to visit an already familiar sports exhibition "SportExpo".
Saturday morning started with a scheduled visit to SportExpo, where I wanted to find new interesting information. Here you had to pick up the starter pack, after which you could walk through the exhibition itself. It was organized at a high level: many sporting goods were waiting for visitors, but I was more interested in something else. I was looking for information about new interesting running events.
Unfortunately, there were few half marathons at the exhibition that would interest me. I found information about a local running club “Obozy Bieganie” and a half marathon “Białystok Half Marathon”. The running club attracted my attention primarily by the diversity and organization of training camps in countries such as Bolivia, Peru, the USA, Spain, Portugal, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Cyprus, Poland.
Leaving SportExpo, I came across an interesting surprise that upset me a little - information about the "Krolewska Triada Biegowa" running series. Due to the fact that I am participating in the Krakow half marathon, as I will not be able to run all three races included in this series in one season. A little upset, I went for a walk through the old town. First of all, he decided to visit Wawel, the residence of Polish kings, and take a walk through the central streets of Krakow.
The starting point of the Krakow Half Marathon was located near the "Tauron Arena Kraków". The start of the race was scheduled for 11:00. The route was mostly flat and consisted of one loop through the central streets of Krakow and along the banks of the Vistula River. The main disadvantage of the route is the sections with cobblestones that came across on the way. The finish was installed inside the "Tauron Arena Kraków".
The participants of the half marathon were divided into groups according to their running pace. Each group had its own pacemaker. I started again with my friend Serhiy, because we were in the same group with a time of 1: 40-1: 49 hours.
The first half of the race seemed quite lively. He felt very comfortable, despite the heat that made itself felt. Talks with Sergei, with whom we tried to run next to each other at the same pace, also helped. But I couldn't keep up with the same pace for a long time - so far I'm trying to run after a pulse of 180, and this time the scorching heat has been added.
Somewhere after the twelfth kilometer I slowed down a bit to allow the pulse to stabilize. At this time, Sergei rushed forward. The remaining distance to the finish line was run at a slow pace, replenishing forces at the hydration stations.
I really liked the route of the Krakow half marathon - “Cracovia Półmaraton”. It ran along the two banks of the Vistula, the center of the old town, and also captured a little of Schindler's factory and the Wawel Royal Castle. Most of the route was flat, only occasionally there were small descents and ascents. In the old part of the city there were sometimes areas with cobblestones.
The participants finished at the "Tauron Arena Kraków", where they were already waiting for a well-organized recreation area and treats with pasta, lasagna, salad, and beer or tea.
My expectations from the "Cracovia Półmaraton" half marathon were a bit high. The organization of the sports exhibition and the race itself will be at a high level. SportExpo is upset by the lack of information about interesting running events in the region, although there will be a lot of sports goods there. I liked the route of the race and the weather turned out to be good. Good support on the track, especially near the finish line, motivated me to keep running and not stop.
Despite the fact that the finish was designed very interestingly and effectively, I did not "come in". The stretch to the finish line was a dark and brightly lit corridor, where no fans could be seen. Only the voice of the presenter and the music were heard. The atmosphere of the stadium was not felt, and the spectators could be seen only when you almost left the arena.
When you run in the bright sun for almost two hours and then suddenly find yourself in a dark room, you lose concentration. In my opinion, such a finish would be more suitable for a night half marathon, rather than for what is held in the middle of the day.
In general, the organizers did their best - the half marathon "Cracovia Półmaraton" was very cool. Pleased with the good support on the track. There were plenty of hydration and food points along the way, as well as washcloths, which saved a lot in the heat.