After a struggled start in the field of long distance running, with a trail half-marathon followed by two marathons in Bucharest, all in a span of four months, I ended the year of 2014 with another half. This time in Pitesti, not very far, the city where I graduated high-school.
When and where
I had no intention to miss this race, especially due to its location. The 21km race was about to take place in Pitesti, ~110 km from Bucharest, the city where I graduated high-school, and 20 minutes drive distance from my hometown. It was near Christmas, 21st December, so from my point of view, it was the perfect deal. Going home, visiting my parents, stay there for a couple of days, and run a half-marathon.
Since between this race and the marathon before there were only 20 days, I took it easy with the training, some recovery runs, and short distances, <10km. I was pretty confident that there won’t be any problems, and everything will go smoothly.
The 21km distance has been split into 3 laps of 7km each. I was familiar with the place, where the start/finish line was, The Summer Theater in Strand Park, the park, the Argeș Riverfront, right across The Euromall, all the way to the bridge located at the city entrance, but knew nothing about what was next, a lap around a new park which was completed just a couple of months before the race, and all the way back to the Summer Theater and the same lap two more time to complete the race. I must say that the riverfront part was the best part of the scenery. Maybe the scenery would’ve been better with some snow, but I cannot complain about it. I prefer running on dry surfaces.
129 runners finished this event, 39 the 7km race, 29 the 14km and 61 the half marathon. A younger cousin ran here as well, in the 7km race. According to the results table there were also a few who didn’t finish the race, but hey, this may happen to anyone.
Even though the number of runners was not that big (but it was a first edition event, in winter, in a medium sized city) in the first minutes of the race was quite difficult to find a place due to the narrow paths and not so much space to slalom between runners.
Don’t underestimate the stairs! They may get you.
Everything went smooth, for most of the race at least.
To go from the Strand Park to the riverfront, we had to climb a pack of stairs. At first, that seemed a cute piece of cake element on the track, but with my previous right knee problem, after two laps of no problem running on clouds, I slowly switched to a running through hell feeling in the third lap, losing a lot of time. My pace got close to a walking pace; my knee was quite damaged, but with only 2-3 km to go, I managed to pass the finish line again, where my father and Ana Chioc were waiting for me.
Ana ran as well, but the 14km race, as part of her marathon training.
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