Today a short summary about the latest run in Lodz, Poland. This run was held on the 30th of June 2018 in the evening and there were three different distances. Szymon and I both participated in a different distance. And today a recap about the experiences.
For this run, we traveled towards Szymon’s hometown Huta Dlutowska. The run itself was thankfully held in Park Zdrowie in Lodz. I do not even think we would be able to run a half marathon in his village. I do not believe it is that big…
For the run, three different distances were organized, but four different races in the evening.
The following races were held:
2. 5km for wheelchairs
4. Half marathon
Szymon participated in the half marathon and I signed up for the 10k. I did not feel ready at the time to run a half marathon and he said that he will just do it. During the day we picked up our starters package, which consisted of a chip, starting number, towel, scarf/bandana and some local advertisements. All items were gathers in a linen bag, which is always handy for shopping. Early on the day, we read on the webpage that it might be handy to bring a headlight, so we asked if it was really a necessity. They told it that it is better to have one.
After picking up our stuff we drove to the nearest shopping mall, which contained a Decathlon – Yes, this is my favorite sports store here. We checked out some headgear and we bought the cheapest headlights we could find. Because normally we would not run in the dark. After this successful shopping, we went to the supermarket to buy some extra water, bars, and food for dinner. Once all the shopping was completed we went back on our way home to rest and have a cup of tea.
Around 8 in the evening we made our way back to Lodz to head to the start line. We arrived just in time to drop of out bag at the deposit and started to warm up. Szymon was as well a bit nervous simply because he did not train for 21k. We got ready with the headlights and waited before the races would start. In the meantime, fluorescent bracelets were given to all the participants which would glow up when you would break them.
The race start got delayed and Szymon started around 21.15. The 5km race for wheelchairs was up next and after it was my turn. Luckily that gave me some more time to go to the toilet still – this is something I always have to do: a nervous pee. Around 21.30 the 10k started and I was running, crawling or was it flying? It felt good and there were no difficulties, except it was a bit dark and there were tree roots over the trails. At this point, I was really happy with my headlight. At some parts it was pitch black, that I could not even see if I would step in a pile of dog poop – and I really hate cleaning my shoes, let’s not even talk about the smell. On the other hand, I had the amazing bracelets which were showing me where my hands were. So at least I would not have to panic that I lost those – because I can easily lose some things even when I was holding it 10 seconds before.
The first half of my race went good and all of a sudden the 5k group joined the 10k and we came to a split. the 10k had to go left, the 5k right. This was a bit confusing and it made it not very clear who I needed to follow to finish a 10k. I did not study the map at all – yes I am aware that was stupid, but I would not have been able to remember every turn. I was looking for the person that I was following for the past 5 km and I found her again. Where 5k had to turn left, she turned right so I also turned right. In the end, she started to run slower or I started to run faster. I do not know exactly what happened, but the person I was following started to follow me. I had to jump over some roots on the track and continued my search for another person I could follow, or was I already chasing?
After another round, I came back to the same split as I was before, here I was one of the lucky ones only due to my smartwatch (Garmin Vivosmart HR+). It told me that I already completed 9.2km which indicated I could run back to the finish line. Even though I had only 800 meters left to the finish line, I was still chasing others. Normally I never had this feeling with races, but I just wanted to be faster than that one person and that one person. It did not matter to me if they had started a lot later then me and might have a better netto time. As long as I crossed the line earlier. At the last straight I still had energy left for a sprint and I felt like I was high on my run and flying over the finish. I finished my 10km in 58minutes and 17 seconds, which is now my personal best on the 10k. Other people were less fortunate and they ran another round and would finish after running 15km.
Something similar happened on the 21k. Some people finished after 13km, some after 18km and maybe a few finished after 21km. There were a lot of complaints and Szymon told me he had run the same round 3 times. Even though on the racetrack there were no overlaps. I sam him when I was about to finish my 10k. After my finish, I waited at the split to cheer for him and when he went on his way to the finish line I joined him.
He collected his medal and while we were waiting, we saw people finishing the race from three different sides.
Overal the 10k was organized kind of okay, but unfortunately the half marathon was a complete mess. On both routes, there was only one water point, which you would pass only once. Which means that when you were running the 21k you only got some water around 5k and the leftover 16 you had to do without water. And trust me running makes you thirsty. After a 12km run with some water, I can already drink a liter of water. Imagine after 21…
A day later when Szymon checked the reviews of the run a lot of people were complaining. Most of them signed up for the 21K and did not run the full race due to the volunteers, which pointed them in the wrong direction.
Luckily Szymon and I cannot complain too much, I completed the full 10k with a PR and Szymon almost did the full 21k. He was already happy that he ran for more than 2hours straight.
Let’s hope that the next race will be better.