Sunday, September 29, 2013

Warsaw Marathon 2013

To paraphrase Robert de Niro  (who in Heat remarked about always being ready to leave at any time)  we can re-affirm our modern day mantra:

Always be fit enough to be able to run a marathon at an hours notice

And so I am happy to report that Marcus and Agata, this Sunday September 29, 2013 ran the Warsaw Marathon. The 35th edition but the first time for us.

Limited Preparation

Until things change in our lives we have insufficient time to follow our exercise and racing passions. So with this excuse firmly in hand and in CAPITAL letters we can say that neither of us did any marathon race preparation.  In fact we were both a little exhausted by the running, cycling, swimming and gym classes we attended last week.  And back at a home in Warsaw we have been busy doing all the usual activities, so no time to put our feet up and rest we are afraid.

Race Report

We did some planning on Saturday night and thought we could get to the race start in the National stadium by Public transport.  So after a 06.00 wake up call we drove then metroed then trained to the start.

As you can see the course is a loop, coming out wst, then going clockwise north, all the way south on the east side then back up north on the west side of Warsaw.   Warsaw itself is of course a lot larger, but we especially like that it covers the area we know well Ursynow.

After a 4 minute delay we got past the starting line.  The start was immensely casual, a large spread out set of runners, not a tightly packed anxious band.  Plus there was no starting gun, we just sort of started!

Marcus strategy: Without a watch  (note to self, I must get a running watch) it was difficult to understand the pace.  Given that Marcus's legs were actually tired at start time I did not know how hard to push it.  I figured that I must not go speeding before 20Km so tried to run slowly but recognised an increasing speed so at Km 12 I had to mentally decide to slow down.   It took about Km 12 to get past all the slower runners in this 10,000 people race, I had started from almost the pack and not in my time category.

I managed to keep calm until Km 32, and then with only 10Km left I managed to sprint the last 10Km.  It was quite exciting to meet the runners who had broken away from me earlier, most seemed now to be slowing down.

I think in the future a running watch would allow me to pace a race better.

Because the course is flat it means you can really concentrate on speed and even the official website promotes this as an ideal place to run a personal best.

And speaking of that:  Agata's Strategy: Wore her new Saucony Kinvara 4 ultra lightweight shoes and had a negative split (get faster at the end) strategy.   It worked.  She ended up with a personal best 03:52, she is now a consistently sub 4 hour marathon runner.   That is impressive to me.

Refreshments and Toilets!
There were plentiful water stops though Marcus was expected each to have both water and Powerade which turned out not to be the case.   Marcus drank only Powerade and Agata only water.

Meanwhile Marcus had to make multiple toilet stops due to tummy/ flu issues, but thankfully there were port-a-loos before all refreshment stops.  Better than any Swiss race we have run!

Weather Conditions & Terrrain
Just perfect.  About 12 degrees, so: nice and cool for a easy time.    The course is also a fast one.  Over 90% tarmac with a few sections of cobbled streets and sandy paths through the parks. And flat.

No bumps, scrapes, injuries.  Moderately sore legs but they were sore before the race too!

Agata 03:52 (Personal Best!), Marcus 03:28

We Ate
Marcus ate 4xSIS Gels and then some GU Chomps after he remembered he was carrying them.
Agata ate 4 SIS and 1 Squeezy gel

Warsaw marathon official
Pre marathon diary

Post marathon diary