Lucky #7 – Râșnov Snow Marathon

Lucky no. 7 – Isostar Râșnov Snow Marathon 2016

Sunday. Chilling time.

Just got back from Râșnov, where yesterday the Râșnov Snow Marathon took place. 5th edition of this event, my first time here, and my 7th marathon so far.

Since last week I had to return my laptop and phone to my former job, I had to wait until I got back to my desktop in order to write a post…and I was looking forward to this.

Drums roll please….3h 42min (still waiting for the official times, not that it matters that much). Thank you, thank you. I know for most of the athletes this is nothing to cheer at, but for a noob like me, who is still trying to figure out what buttons to push, when and how, it’s quite exciting to go under the 4h.

As for every race I had so far, even now, there’s a small story attached to that shiny medal and number that will go in my souvenirs collection.

I was very nervous about this marathon, for a bunch of different reasons.

The name.

Taking into account its name, and the location as well, I was concerned that a marathon, in the mountain, at the end of the cold season, will be a hard task. Fortunately, it wasn’t that cold, but unfortunately, there wasn’t any snow at all, as the name suggested. Just to be safe I put in my luggage almost all the layers I had around. On the previous editions of this marathon there was actually snow everywhere.

My training

Usually, I know that you should plan wisely a long distance run, around 30 km or more, with enough time to recover before the marathon. I couldn’t do that. I started this month with a half-marathon, then another 21km on the 14th, then it was the sprint triathlon and in between just some short runs and more swimming. Add to this the fact that the last marathon I ran was on 1st December.

Knee injury

Last Monday, just 5 days before the Snow Marathon, I had one last training, 10km, just to end the day. Initially, I wanted to take it slow, but after all that swimming in the morning, I was still pumped up and feeling great, and without thinking that I had no warm-up, I speeded up more than I usually do on training. I don’t know exactly the figures of that run because my runtastic app went  crazy. It showed me in another spot, the distance was off by more than one mile, and my time for the first 2 km was 3 min…something out of this world. After a while, I cooled down and I ended with what I think it was 10-11 km in 52 min. It was fine, but right after I switched from running to walking, my right knee started to shout trouble. It was the same knee that caused me pain in the first marathon. This panicked me the most. No more running before the marathon, just some swimming, a lot of magnesium&sodium, building up carbs, a knee strap, and lots of hopes.

But I’ve got lucky this time. Very lucky.

The track

The track was mixed, street with trail, and it started from the Ski Jump Ramp in Râșnov, went through, literally through, the Rasnov Fortress ( see more about it here https://romanianexperience.wordpress.com/ ), then again in the city, uphill towards the Himalaya Caban, pass it, make a loop, back to the city and finally ended back at the cabin. A portion of its flat track I ran before, during the DHL Marathon in 2015.

 

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Rasnov Fortress at the Isostar Snow Marathon Rasnov 2016

Credits for the picture goes here: http://36fit.com/

 

 

After the first kilometers, my knee was perfectly fine, even after the downhill from the fortress, on wet cubic stones. The weather was alright, just at the start line it was quite cold and, for a small period of time, we had some rain.

A new friend

At one point I was keeping the pace with this other runner who I started talking with. David is a better runner, about the same age, last year he did a 100km race, he was better prepared, we both recently did the Izvorani Triathlon, and some other events, and we had a similar target for this marathon, about 4 hours.

I warned him that I will company for a while, so for the following 30km we were trying to keep the pace. He is much more familiar with trail runs, on the uphills it was hard to keep it up, but at the waterpoints I was able to catch some breath.

We were passing the cabin again, which meant that we completed about 30km. Like I’ve said, I had no running app, David forgot to start his, so I looked at the “not-smartphone” I had with me. The time was 11:42, the start was at 09:10, which meant that we did 30km in about 2h 32min and we had only 12km left, after muddy trails, 2 loops on uphills and downhills, now just 12km of flat street track to cover in less than 88 minutes to achieve our target. Exactly what we did.

This segment here was the toughest. Flat, quite boring, even with great landscapes in distance, while my knee started to send me notifications that he was way too bored of all this running. I was mentally mapping the track with my own locations now, here a dead dog, there a nice gate, here a waterpoint, there a tree, just to have some anchors on my way back, on the last 6km and to forget for a while that I was still running.

David was still around, but for a while we didn’t chat as much, and at the last waterpoint, 2-3km before the finish line, I started to fall behind, while he went ahead with the same pace. He crossed the finish line in 3h 40 min, and 2 minutes after that I also crossed it, both beating the target of 4 hours.

It was a great run. My best time so far and  my first marathon under 4 hours, and hopefully just the first.

 

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My 3h 42min shiny souvenir and my tired looking face

 

I would also add some pictures to this post, but I forgot the camera in a car, so I will have to wait until I recover it. Instead, I asked Robert, from 36fit for that nice picture of Râșnov Fortress. You may also want to check his post about Râșnov Snow Marathon here, he finished in 3h 03min.

In my schedule, the next planned running event is the Aiud Marathon in 19th March. Until then I will probably write one or two more running stories. In the meantime see what I am doing on at one these links:

Fb Page  |  500px Gallery  |  Tryingtodoart Photo Blog  |  Instagram

And thank you for dropping by 😉 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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