Sunday, April 29, 2007

Run Rabbit Run

Well I am delighted to report that we managed our first formal run of 2007 .. namely the Lausanne 20Km on Saturday April 28th 2007.

Because of Agata's unexpected Achilles injury in 2006 she wisely opted for the 10Km distance leaving me all alone in the 20Km category.

Sort of an issue for me since firstly Agata has much better sports planning, meaning I would have to do some race research on my own, and secondly since she runs a little slower, I now had no excuse not to run at full speed.

Well just before the race I bumped into Dominic and he was a tremendous help. I had done no race planning at all. He explained firstly where the run was going and the profile i.e. significantly is was flat for first 3Km, then climbing for the next 6Km. This was a great help to me so I knew where I needed to put more effort in. So I set off and decided to follow a nice large 1:45 pace man with yellow balloon. Then I saw another far away baloon and decided to catch that up. Guess what, it too had 1:45 written on it. Another 10 minutes later I saw in the far distance a 3rd baloon. So I went to catch that too. Would you believe it, it also had 1:45 on it. So I was rather confused and eventually had to leave the 1:45 baloon trio and run at my own pace.

Well we both finished and today is Sunday and we are resting nicely at home thinking about the great time we had yesterday. As usual for Switzerland the organisation of this sports activity was immaculate. Well thought out directions, ample parking, comprehensive toilet facilities, and a day that was actually focused on childrens runs. The Swiss are great at encouraging sport for all and they start by encouragement at an early age. Next event, running in the Grand Canyon. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, April 09, 2007

WWW Wild Wild Warsaw

Naturally in Warsaw where I am happily spending this Easter 2007 I insist on doing all the driving. You might think this is a naturally charming and Gentlemanly option, so that my partner can happily study the many changes that her home town presents each time we visit.

But dig just a little deeper and the truth will out. Warsaw is a large and sprawling town, connected with pothole ridden 2 and often 3 lane highways. Next you have to factor in the total lack of any speed cameras, the absence of lane control or indicating and the plethora of modern family and higher performance saloons and coupes. Polonez and Fiat Malutki are history. Todays driver is more likely to be seen in the latest Lexus, Mercedes or Porsche Cayenne.

Warsaw then a racetrack, where the average Polish male proves that driving at speeds as high as 120Km per hour within the city centre can really get you from A to B just that little bit quicker than grandma at 60Km/h.

Forget your English track days, here is full on adrenalin seeking excitement. Cross 3 lanes of the highway without indicating take the next exit .. no problem. Keep people guessing by never using your indicators ... well of course. Floor the accelerator at each traffic light ... standard practice.

By adopting this driving style you will be accepted into the Polish capitals driving majority.

Or by not doing all of the above (I always indicate for example) you can claim the moral high ground.

One thing is for sure, London drivers arriving Warsaw are in for a shock, and if the Warsaw local government ever manage to implement speed cameras within the city, well there will probably be a revolution.