Visiting the city of Kovel in the spring of 2017, this town hosts a running event called "Kovel Half Marathon". In those days, it could have been my first half marathon if I had taken part in it. But in 2017, I was just starting my long-distance runner, who only dreamed of being able to cover a distance of 21 kilometers. Then I realized my dream in 5 months, becoming a participant in the race "Silesia Marathon“. And only 2 years later I returned to the city of Kovel to run its streets during the half marathon "Kovel Half Marathon", as I wanted on my first visit to this beautiful city.
Register to participate in the half marathon “Kovel Half Marathon” was possible through the site vseprobegi.org. There were three available distances for participants to choose from: 21 kilometers (main) and two additional 15 kilometers and 7.6 kilometers. I visited the cozy town of Kovel in western Ukraine to run a distance of 21 kilometers. I also really wanted to test my strength after overcoming my own in May the first marathon.
The path to the starting town
I decided to take a bus from Kyiv to get to the town of Kovel, which has a rather rich running history - the road took about 7 hours. Upon arrival in the city, I immediately went to the starting point of the half marathon "Kovel Half Marathon". Walking to it was a very good idea - the Ukrainian provincial city turned out to be very beautiful and picturesque, and a walk through the morning streets filled me with a good mood and cheerfulness. The starting town is located in the very center of Kovel in the building of the Trade Union of Educators, where the start packages were given to the participants of the race.
The organizers placed the launch pad near the park. Arriving at the venue quite early, I was able to observe how the organizers and city utilities are preparing for the start of the running event. Not only Ukrainians took part in the "Kovel Half Marathon" - the half marathon welcomed guests from all over Europe. The largest foreign running community among the participants was represented by Poles.
As for the starting package, it included the number of the participant of the race, a branded T-shirt, a ticket to the pasta party, which was held after the half marathon and information cards with a map and history of the half marathon.
The route of the "Kovel Half Marathon" ran through the central streets of Kovel. It consisted of 3 large and 1 small circle for the main distance of 21 kilometers. The track itself turned out to be very flat, so my expectations were that the half marathon would be quite easy.
All distances started at the same time - at 10:00. I really don't like such starts. When everyone starts together, there is a risk of "sitting on the tail" of a runner who runs the wrong distance as you. Of course, this is always inconvenient - he will finish, and you need to run on.
The start was quite easy - in particular, the first part of the race was very comfortable. Even though at some point I decided to keep up the pace of the runner, who covered a distance of 7.6 kilometers, it was quite easy to run. The second half of the distance was already covered a little slower. It was very hot, which made itself felt, but I still did not want to overload the body once again after the marathon. It was only two weeks after that, so I didn't expect the "Kovel Half Marathon" to run fast enough.
The organizers of the half marathon took care of the runners - to somehow overcome the heat on the track, a frame was installed for spraying water. In addition, did not neglect the opportunity to run to each of the hydration stations to overcome thirst. After the finish, the participants of the half marathon "Kovel Half Marathon" were waiting for a delicious lunch at a local cafe.
The organization of the "Kovel Half Marathon" was at a very good level for a small town. It was very nice to see guests from Poland who wanted to take part in the Ukrainian half marathon, despite the fact that they are full of their no less large-scale running events.
The route was completely blocked - the Kovel police were responsible for it and they coped very well with it. The support of the locals was good and active. I thought that during the run I would have some trouble - for example, I get lost somewhere in the city, or the half marathon will be shorter than normal. But everything went well, for which we must thank the organizers. If we talk about the shortcomings, I can only remember the simultaneous start of all distances. In other respects, everything was quite well organized, as for a provincial one half marathon of Ukraine.