Inspired by the good successes of overcoming first in my life of the "Silesia Marathon" half marathon in Katowice in 2017, I decided that such events should be a good and rewarding tradition in my life. In search of what to open the 2018 cross-country adventure season, I chose one of the half marathons held in Warsaw.
It just took place after the end of winter - a great event to meet such a long-awaited spring bloom of nature. I was preparing not so much responsibly so that my feet did not forget that such a long-distance run, several times in Kyiv overcame a distance of about 6 kilometers.
“Warsaw Half Marathon" - it is a historic event in Warsaw, as more than 14,000 people take part in this half marathon, and this number is only increasing every year due to the increasing popularity of this half marathon. Polish races are also very popular among Ukrainians - for many years, our compatriots have participated in races and even won.
In 2014, athletes from Ukraine who participated in the “Warsaw Half Marathon” half marathon dedicated their race in honor of the runners who suffered or died as a result of the sad events on Independence Square in Kyiv.
In order not to try my luck again, I went to Poland by train. Many friends said that it was possible to get stuck at the border for a very long time. Upon arrival, I handed over all the basic things to the locker at the station, leaving only everything required for a half marathon. Of course, I didn't do without the halepa - I forgot the towel and slippers. So, in practice, I found that these things are not on my list of essentials.
The capital of Poland - Warsaw met me with open arms - the snow was almost completely melted and the streets were calm, warm and sunny. I had to get the starter packs on “PGE Narodowym”, so I killed that address in the navigator and followed it. Everything was very beautiful - good weather, wonderful views of Warsaw and the soothing current of the Vistula were very inspiring and pleasing to the eyes.
And here's the first surprise - you could only get a starter by going through the red carpet. I went into the stadium and got to the exhibition of specialized sports equipment for running - everywhere you can see information stands of all kinds of marathons held in different countries of the world. I was very pleased to see the stand Ukrainian marathons - I am very glad to be able to communicate with the same running enthusiasts as me.
Moving on, I met representatives from cities such as New York, Berlin, Bialystok, Krakow - my eyes just widened. I collected a lot of brochures because it was very interesting to learn about all these marathons. Trying to avoid the demonstration areas of treadmills, all kinds of tools and T-shirts, I finally got to the place where starting kits were issued half marathonWarsaw Half Marathon“.
Upon receipt, I went to my hotel, to be more precise, a hostel called “Chillout Hostel”, which I had chosen in advance after problems with transport in Katowice. The main criterion was that the hostel was near the start of the half marathon. Very pleased with the state of the hostel and upscale service - for just 71 zlotys (around 420 hryvnias) I spent two wonderful nights in a wonderfully cozy atmosphere.
In order not to be bored, after settling in, I decided to arrange a cultural program for myself - somewhere tasty to dine and visit some interesting museum. The Chinese fast food restaurant attracted my attention. I probably never tasted such delicious meatball meat and cheese dumplings. And here's the weird soup that resembled some brew of leaves or seaweed and water, I never understood. And I was especially pleased with the service - very professional and courteous service left pleasant memories of this restaurant.
For cultural enrichment, I visited the "Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie". The museum exhibit is worth the attention of art connoisseurs, but I was not impressed. A large number of ancient landscapes depicting hunts, portraits of magnificent kings and nobles of past centuries adorned the halls of the museum. You could also see church statues and altars there, but it made me all kind of bored.
Day holding a half marathon was marked with an asterisk in my calendar. The event was scheduled for ten o'clock in the morning on Konwiktorska Street. I woke up earlier at seven o'clock to calmly and slowly prepare for the half marathon. It was not far to go to the start - only 3.5 km. After the obligatory warm-up, I went to take my place at the starting line. Not far from the rules of the half marathon were told by very nice stewardesses from "LOT" - it was a sin not to admire such beauties.
Participation in the half marathon took more than 14,000 people - because of this, the first 8 kilometers of the route was not easy, because the large crowds of people significantly complicated the race. Sometimes I even had to overtake some participants along the roadside. The next 10 kilometers of people decreased, but still there were a lot of them. From time to time, this caused inconvenience to me and other marathoners. When I reached the second point with water, I quenched my thirst with isotonic energy and continued to run.
After running about sixteen kilometers, I felt that my rare workouts made me feel so stopped for a little rest. But I was pleased that even this forced stop did not knock me off the schedule - I was still quite fit in the time that I made my goal after the half marathon in Katowice. I really wanted to invest in less than 1 hour 50 minutes or 2 hours But you will not fool the body - the forces began to gradually leave me. At the last point of dispensing water with high appetite ate a banana and washed it with isotonic. It gave me the strength to reach the finish line, but crossing the line, I realized - all the power was exhausted.
But like I said last time, it was a million times worth it. I especially remembered how I was running in the tunnel. What cannot be deducted is that the half marathon route was well thought out. The half marathon route ran across bridges across the Vistula, and there were ascents and descents. The support of the residents of Warsaw, who came to cheer for the participants and even ordinary passers-by, inspired and encouraged. I even met bands on the way - all this made the half marathon atmosphere unique.
Afterward, participants were traditionally presented with medals, protein shakes, water and even beer, albeit non-alcoholic. After the rest, I took a breath for a cup of hot scented tea, a bowl of tea, and slowly began to pick up my applause.
That's how the second real half marathon in my life took place. That day I set a new record of my own, and gained an inspiring invaluable experience in the 21-kilometer race.
I enjoyed the "Warsaw Half Marathon" half marathon, so I encourage you all to take part in it and to feel those unforgettable emotions that I felt.
In addition, the "Warsaw Half Marathon" half marathon is one of the top certified half marathons in Poland IAAF: Silver Label Road Races and is part of the Polish running series "Crown of Polish Half Marathons” which I wrote about in my blog.