Continuing his acquaintance with interesting Ukrainian trails, I decided to go to Ivano-Frankivsk, in the vicinity of which a rather interesting local event takes place trail race named “GTR Trail”. It attracted my attention last year because it is timed to the creation of the Galician Transversal Railway and the restoration of the railway connection between Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil. But last year, unfortunately, I was not able to visit it. So I decided to do it this year.
Galicia Transversal Railway (GTR) is a 768-kilometer state railway of Austria-Hungary in the crown land of Galicia from Kraków and Čadc to Husiatyn on the border with the Russian Empire. The Austro-Hungarian government had long harbored the idea of building a railway through the whole of Galicia, which would connect the outskirts of Kraków with the Russian border in the Husiatyna district of the Ternopil region. The beginning of the construction of separate sections of the highway began in 1871. It was a state-owned enterprise that connected existing lines (during January 1, 1884 to April 8, 1885) into a continuous route from east to west, along the northern side Carpathian Mountains and ran parallel to the Galician railway of Archduke Carl Louis (CLB). The Galicia Transversal Railway was also connected with Eastern Galicia local railway (OGLB). The railway contributed to the development of the poorly developed mountainous regions of Galicia, and in addition to the economic one, it also had an important military-strategic significance, because it was intended for the rapid transfer of troops in case of war.
The main points on the railway were Khiriv, Sambir, Drohobych, Stryi, Kalush, Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk), Tysmenytsia, Nizhniv, Buchach, Chortkiv and Husyatyn. The largest engineering structure of this railway was the bridge over the Dniester in the village of Nizhniv. Austrian and Italian engineers recognized that it was the second most difficult construction after the Carpathians. Hills, serpentines, relief differences were supplemented by periodic floods of the Dniester and its tributaries, which significantly increased the cost of works. During the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the railway, which then became part of PKP (Polish State Railways), reached its peak. Tourism also developed alongside it. In 1939, eight passenger trains per day ran from Stanislavov (Ivano-Frankivsk) through Tysmenytsa to Husiatyn, four in one direction and four in the opposite direction. A local train from Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk) to Tlumach also passed through a separate branch. Traffic on the Galicia Transversal Railway was finally interrupted after the Second World War with the establishment of the border between the USSR and Poland and the dismantling of part of the track.
Registration on trail race "GTR Trail" took place on the site vseprobegi.org, where participants could choose one of three distances, namely 20, 10 or 3 kilometers. The cost of registration for the main distances of 20 and 10 kilometers was 400 UAH..
Regarding route of the trail race, then the organizers tried to lay it so that it repeated the route of trains that once ran on the Galicia-Transversal Railway. Therefore, the route of the main distance of the trail (20 kilometers) was quite flat as it passed mainly on the embankments that remained after the dismantling of the old railway track. The start of the race took place in the town of Tlumach, and the finish line was on the banks of the Dniester River near the village of Nizhniv.
Having collected my running gear on Saturday evening, I once again set off in search of new ones running adventures. This time the city of Ivano-Frankivsk was waiting for me, because I had to pass in its vicinity trail race dedicated to the railway that once connected Ukraine and Europe.
Since the "GTR Trail" took place in the vicinity of Ivano-Frankivsk, the participants could get to the starting town in several ways by their own transport or by a transfer offered by the organizers. Therefore, upon arriving in Ivano-Frankivsk, I immediately set off in the direction of the college of physical education, where a transfer was waiting for the participants. He was supposed to take us to the starting town of the running event, where it was taking place issue of starting numbers to the participants.
After a short warm-up and an introductory speech from the organizers, the participants of the "GTR Trail" went on another interesting 20-kilometer cross-country trip along the route Tlumach - Nizhniv. There were three hydration stations on the route, where the participants could refresh themselves a little. As for the other distances of the trail race (10 and 3 kilometers), they started separately from each other.
At 9:30 the starting signal sounded and the participants set off on an interesting running journey. The first kilometers seemed quite comfortable. All in all, the first 6 miles flew by in 50 minutes. I decided to overcome the second half of the race a little slower, because a week before that I took part in marathon in Varna and did not fully recover after it. And after 1 hour and 54 minutes he was waiting for me rest on the banks of the Dniester.
The "GTR Trail" trail race itself was well organized. This concerns, first of all, the transfer to and from the starting point (preferably from the information about the running event) for the participants, the starting town and the cool finishing area on the banks of the Dniester, where the participants could rest after the race. Several hydration stations were organized along the runners' path, where participants were met by volunteers, and the route itself was quite well marked.