Having run his the first marathon in Copenhagen, it's time for me to take a closer look marathon races, held in Ukraine. Fortunately, in different parts of our country there are enough such races - you could choose from about ten marathons to your liking. First of all, my attention was drawn to the autumn marathons held in such cities as Bila Tserkva, Kyiv, Dnipro, Energodar, Izmail and Kramatorsk - quite a rich choice, agree.
This time I did not consider and eliminated the top marathons, which are held in Kyiv or Bila Tserkva. I did not want to take part in the "Wizz Air Kyiv City Marathon" this year, because I plan to run the entire running series next year. “Ukrainian Majors Running League”, which includes. I also did not want to be the first of the Ukrainian marathons to run the Bila Tserkva Marathon. In the end, my choice settled on the city of Kramatorsk. The main advantage of the local marathon is free participation. In addition, I wanted to start getting acquainted with the marathons of Ukraine from a not very loud and large-scale race.
Unlike preparing for my first marathon, which I approached systematically, this time I did not plan any special training. In addition, since August he has already run three half marathons, and another 10-kilometer race, not counting the morning runs in the park.
Participate in marathon "Our Kramatorsk" free. The race got a simple circular track without steep climbs. Because of this, I decided to test my body and watch how it will react to the marathon without prior preparation and training. In addition, I'm just trying to run a marathon, so I do not want to rush and set some high goals for the 42-kilometer race.
There was nothing unusual in the process of registering for the marathon in Kramatorsk - you had to go to the website athletic-events.com and fill in the form with your data. T-shirts with the marathon logo were also sold here, which could be purchased at will.
Getting to know the city
I visited Kramatorsk on the eve of the marathon to get acquainted with the city and have time to issue starter packs to participants. He started his walk right from the train station and the station square. At first, the first impression of the city was quite pleasant - Kramatorsk is neat and quite clean. But that was only a first impression. Going further into the city, the landscapes began to change for the worse.
But what pleased me was the central part of the city, where the situation was much better. The central square, where the Nash Kramatorsk marathon was to start the next day, turned out to be quite large and beautiful. As in most Ukrainian cities, there is a palace of culture in the middle of the square, and opposite - two quite interesting houses with beautiful architecture.
After a walk in the square, I went to the place where at 10:00 was supposed to begin issuing starter packs to marathon participants. To receive the starter pack, I had to pay for insurance, fill out an application, provide my number and provide personal documents.
After that I went to the hostel to gather strength before participating in the marathon. It was here that I was met by an old friend, Volodymyr Kovbasyuk, who also came to take part in the race, but for a distance of 5 kilometers.
Waking up the next morning, we went to the launch pad together. At this time, runners began to gather in the central square of the city, each of whom was preparing to run for the selected distance. About a hundred participants gathered to take part in the full marathon. But the largest number of runners gathered to cover the distance of 5 kilometers - in this race took part as many as 1,010 people. The participants of the 21, 30 and 42 kilometers races started at 10 o'clock at the same time.
Despite the fact that the route of the marathon was circular, she overcame it quite easily. The first half of the circle had a gentle descent, and the second had to run on a gentle ascent. The beginning of the marathon turned out to be quite lively and the first half of it passed quickly for me. There were several hydration points along the entire route - two directly on the route and another after the start. Runners were treated to water, apples and bananas.
After overcoming the 25th kilometer, I felt that I could not run on the water, so I decided to get a stake. What made me happy was the support of the fans - several platforms were organized on the track, where spectators had the opportunity to watch the marathon and motivate runners with their energy. This time I was lucky, because I started each round with the support of my own fan - Volodymyr Kovbasyuk. Every time I ran past him, his support gave me motivation and strength to run on.
I covered the first 30 kilometers of the marathon in 3 hours and 1 minute - it was quite easy for me, considering that I managed to run half of it in 1 hour and 58 minutes. After the 30th kilometer, his left knee began to make itself felt. For another 5 kilometers I managed to keep at least some pace, but then I had to take a step, because my knee began to bother more and more. The body was very exhausted and no longer wanted to run on the same water and fruit. He seemed to be begging me for an isotonic.
In the last lap, any desire to keep running completely disappeared. I was already running for 4 hours in a row, when on my last lap the track started to turn, which usually disoriented all the mood and motivation. I began to ask myself, do I need to run to the finish line at all? But I still continued my persistent run, but somewhere else on the sections of the route cars were speeding past me, because traffic was already open for them. I finished in 4 hours and 40 minutes.
Both the city of Kramatorsk and the local marathon directly left me with quite mixed impressions.
I think we should start with the city itself. It seems quite clean and beautiful, if you walk through the central and station squares. But it is only necessary to delve into the streets, the picture changes significantly. For example, roads - they are new and repaired, but not marked as required by traffic rules. The sidewalks are in a terrible state, and there are no bike paths at all, despite the fact that many cyclists ride around the city.
This situation seemed strange to me. Why were only drivers taken care of when laying new roads, and pedestrians and cyclists not thought about at all? Do they think the city council should follow the highway? Here's another interesting thing: when you walk on the sidewalk, it can suddenly break off and instead you have to follow a well-trodden path, when there is a brand new road nearby.
But there were also positive moments, in particular the police. I noticed how they fined smokers near the station who smoked in places not intended for this purpose. Such responsibility on the part of the police can be found not at every railway station in Ukraine. Why I paid attention to this is because I could easily get such a fine due to carelessness.
The same ambiguous opinions about the marathon itself. You can start with good moments. The organization was generally at a good level: there was a lot of water and fruit at the hydration points, there were comfortable areas for fans, the route and the route were also good for running. The professional support and assistance of volunteers deserves special attention.
And there were also many disadvantages. First of all, I didn't like that the biggest distances started last. Although in my opinion it was more logical to do the opposite, so as to first start for the longest distances. This would have allowed the race to end earlier if the street closure had proved so critical for the townspeople.
What completely depressed me was that after the fourth hour of running, the track was not only turned down, but also opened to public transport, which was not enough for complete satisfaction.
What can be added here? I got the impression that the race was organized only for the first ten marathoners, because the rules of the event did not state that the track will be collected after 4 o'clock. There was a clear limit of the route - 6 hours, so it had to be closed much later. Even if most of the participants would have managed in 3-5 hours, it is necessary to collect the track only when the last runner overcomes specific points. I could still understand if the last runners simply did not meet the planned time limit, but when the marathon is rolled up in front of your nose, the desire to run further disappears completely.
Summing up all that has been said, I have two impressions of the "Our Kramatorsk" marathon. But this happens in small-scale Ukrainian races. I would not say that I am used to this, but you need to be prepared for all the original "highlights".