After I managed to take part in the mountain race in 2019 “Goverla Race”, I always wanted to repeat the run through the Ukrainian Carpathians. But, unfortunately, such mountain starts did not happen to me. in general, there are not many such competitions and most of them have a long distance - more than 40 kilometers. But in 2020, I was still lucky. On the map trail races of Ukraine a new mountain race appeared “Runa Run Trail”. I immediately turned my attention to him. And I decided for myself that I would definitely take part in it. Especially since these competitions suited me perfectly. After all, the main distance of the "Runa Run Trail" was not 40 kilometers, but 25 kilometers with an ascent of 1120 meters. It was perfect for me.
Everyone wishing to take part in this race had to submit their application on the official website of the event runarun.com.ua. Here, each participant had to choose one of two distances, 25 or 10 kilometers, respectively.
Route for the distance 25 kilometers consisted of one circle with an elevation gain of 1120 meters. During the trail, the participants were expected to climb rapidly to the highest point of the Perechyn Oblast - Polonyna Runa (1479 meters) and to the top of Vysokyi Verkh (1413 meters). At the beginning of the trail, participants had the opportunity to admire the beautiful Solovei, Davir, Perestupene and Krutylo waterfalls, which make up the group of Lumshor waterfalls. In the middle of the trail, a wonderful panorama of polony opened in front of the participants, and at the end, the Great Trusnya lake awaited them. In addition to admiring the beauty of the Ukrainian Carpathians, various goodies and isotonic water were waiting for the athletes at the hydration points.
Start “Runa Run Trail” was located near the city of Perechyn in the village of Lumshory. There were two ways to get to this picturesque corner from Kyiv: by train to Uzhgorod or Perechyn. And then already in the morning on the day of the start, the organizers offered the athletes a transfer to the starting town. For myself, I decided to go to Uzhhorod, which is already familiar to me “Uzhhorod Half Marathon”. I will have another chance to visit Perechina, because it is held there every year “Perechyn Half Marathon”.
Thursday evening began for me at the Kyiv railway station, waiting for the train that would take me to meet a new running adventures. Friday was also quite traditional for pre-start days: it was a walk around the city, an evening run and getting a starting number for participating in the trail. But the most interesting thing awaited me ahead, the next morning at 9:45.
Saturday began at the parking lot of the "Zakarpattia" hotel, from where the participants of the "Runa Run Trail" trail were to be picked up by a shuttle and delivered to the starting town of the race. It was possible to take a nap on the way, as the morning fog made it impossible to admire the surrounding scenery. Having reached the starting town, where the running atmosphere was already felt, I immediately started preparing for the race: I changed clothes and handed over my things to the storage room.
We did not have to wait long for the start of the "Runa Run Trail". Immediately after a short warm-up, all participants of the 25-kilometer race (for the 25-kilometer and 10-kilometer races, the starts were separate) began to take their places in the running corridor and listened to the last instructions from the organizers before the start of the running adventure.
The start of the "Runa Run Trail" trail race was on a paved road, which after 1-2 miles changed to a dirt road (off-road) and accordingly began the most difficult part of the route, namely the climb. It passed mainly through a beech forest, past a group of Lumshor waterfalls (Nightingale, Davir, Perestupen and Krutylo), and then to the polony and the top - Polonyna Runa. Conquering the climb was even more interesting for the participants due to the large number of muddy sections of the route. The first food point was located somewhere 4-5 miles away. Here you could quench your thirst with water.
Overcoming the first half of the route - a climb that seemed endless at the time, memories of two months ago from the trail began to pop up from time to time in my memory - “Risnjak Trail”. During the "endless" climb, one thing was pleasing, that this time you had to run along a wide road, and not along a narrow path. Around mile 6, I found a new pastime: encountering large areas of swamp and water on the road, I decided not to run around them, but to run through them.
About somewhere between mile 8 and 9, the forest strip ended and a meadow began, from which a beautiful panorama opened up all around. And already at 10 miles, the participants were waiting for the second food point, where I lingered a little, restoring my strength after the climb with delicious cookies, cola and lard.
After the second meal, the participants were already on their way to the finish through the meadow. Here I had to warm up a little, because it started to rain and a cool wind was blowing. And then again the forest, the third food point, which was located near the Velika Trusnya lake, and then the serpentine to the finish line. Overcoming the serpentine, memories of two months ago came back to me about Croatia, where the final section of the trail also consisted of a serpentine. Going down it and catching up with another runner, I suddenly noticed his wonderful four-legged partner next to him. He happily accompanied his owner throughout the entire distance. Therefore, having overcome the serpentine, I decided that my finish must be, without fail, after this little fur and his master. So, before starting the asphalt section, I waited for them a little and ran the last kilometers of the trail in the company of a cheerful West Highland White Terrier (I am not very sure about the correctness of the name of the breed).
I managed to cross the finish line 4 hours 28 minutes after the start. It was a wonderful route with elements of a kind of déjà vu, and most importantly in the wonderful company of a West Highland White Terrier.
Participation in mountain race "Runa Run Trail" gave me many unforgettable emotions. But apart from them, I would like to note the excellent organization of the running event, the interesting route of the trail race, and also thank the organizers for the absence of marking tape on the route. Paint with plates was used instead. Although at some turns, additional signs would not be superfluous. And, of course, a big thank you to the volunteers who constantly helped the participants at the food stations, supported them in every way, etc.