There were two reasons at once that prompted me to run half marathon in Gdynia. The first is that the running event “Gdynia Half Marathon” is one of two half marathons in Polandwith the "IAAF Road Race Label". Half marathon “Warsaw Half Marathon” has a Silver Road Race and the "Gdynia Half Marathon" has a Bronze Road Race. The second reason was that the "Gdynia Half Marathon" was included in the list of half marathons to run to complete the running series. "Crown of Polish Half Marathons". Three half marathons from this running series were held in Poland in March, namely the half marathon in Warsaw (which I ran last year), Gdynia, and Sobotka.
He arrived in Gdynia on Friday night. The city greeted me with not clear weather at all - it was going to rain and it was very gloomy. That's why I hurried to get to my hostel as soon as possible. The next morning, right after breakfast, I went to the Gdynia Sports Arena to pick up my starting number. In the arena, in addition to the issuance of starting numbers, was also held exhibition of sporting goods Sport Expo, which featured sporting goods from the Polish market. Therefore, after receiving his starting number, he decided to take a walk around the exhibition to get acquainted with them in detail.
Since the pasta party started at 16:00, I still had plenty of time to get acquainted with the streets of Gdynia. The city turned out to be very picturesque - I liked the local port the most, where I spent a lot of time enjoying its beauty. After getting to know the city a bit, it was time to return to "Gdynia Sports Arena", where I had a delicious pasta dinner. I have never been able to attend such gastronomic events during running events, although I have often heard that they are quite cool. That's why it was very interesting for me to get to such a running feast. It turned out that a pasta party is an ordinary dinner, where you are treated to delicious pasta and non-alcoholic beer. After the pasta party, my next stop was the hostel where I stayed. In the evening it became quite crowded, as it stopped quite a lot of runners from all over Poland, so before going to bed was a pretty good opportunity to talk a little with local runners.
Registration for the half marathon “Gdynia Half Marathon” was held on the official website gdyniapolmaraton.pl. The participant must indicate his personal data - name, date of birth, his contact mobile phone number and contact details of the person in case of emergencies. You could also buy a ticket for a pasta party, choose a T-shirt in size, and donate money to support young athletes. Registration for the "Gdynia Half Marathon" cost me about PLN 170 (about UAH 1,100).
After Sunday morning breakfast, packing up, I headed towards the starting town. The walk took about 40 minutes. The start of the half marathon in Gdynia was scheduled for 11:00. Participants had to start gradually - for this runners were divided into groups, depending on their planned time to cover the distance of 21 kilometers. If the participant did not start in his group, he was fined - an additional 3 minutes were added to the finish time.
Storage chambers opened at 9:00 and closed half an hour before the start of the half marathon. All half marathon route - one circle that ran through the streets of Gdynia and the area adjacent to the local port. There were small descents and ascents on the asphalt road. There were three hydration stations on the way, where you could quench your thirst.
In the morning the weather was quite gloomy, but soon the sun appeared and it became clear. The half marathon passed quite quickly. Running was quite easy and comfortable. We can thank the guests and residents of the city for this, who very actively encouraged the participants.
My start zone was zone B2 - at the head of this zone was a pacemaker for 1 hour. 50 min, Therefore, from the very beginning of the half marathon I decided to follow the pace of the pacemaker, but after 10 kilometers I began to slowly lag behind him. Running the 8th mile, I already had thoughts in my head that I would not be able to cover the distance in less than 2 hours. So I decided to set another goal - to finish in 2 hours and 5 or 10 minutes. As a result, I overcame the “Gdynia Half Marathon” in 2 hours and 4 minutes.
In previous years of the "Gdynia Half Marathon", the finish was located at the berth. But this year the organizers moved it to the beach to give participants even more unforgettable experiences. It was a so-called dress rehearsal because in 2020 the "Gdynia Half Marathon" half marathon will host the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships. In front of the finish line was a small descent followed by a straight line - about 500 meters along the beach. There were a lot of spectators who greeted the finishing runners.
At the finish, participants received their medals, as well as a package of water, fruit, and beer. After the rest, the road home was waiting for me. The "Gdynia Half Marathon" left only pleasant impressions. This half marathon was the first where I decided to run, focusing on the pacemaker. This experience became quite interesting and not bad for me.
You should definitely take part in the Gdynia Half Marathon if you want to get an unforgettable experience and experience the unsurpassed hospitality of the city. To participate in this half marathon in 2020, a big bonus will be that the event will host the "IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships". In total, about 20,000 participants are expected, so you will have the opportunity to see real world stars at a distance of 21 kilometers.