Yesterday was a good day in Brasov.
I did the same mistake again and I didn’t think about checking the profile of the race until the day before. I guess that the Aiud Marathon from two weeks ago was not only a tough marathon but also a pretty good training for yesterday.
Last year, when I first found out about this event (and having participated in the Telekom Marathon in Brasov) I imagined that the route would be slightly similar. Thankfully it wasn’t the case. The surprise was Friday afternoon when I was checking their website to locate the start area when I saw that the track had an altitude difference of about 600m and it was, again, mostly a trail run.
So far, in 2016, most of the races where trail. In fact, 4 out of 5, if I count the 5k run in the Sprint Triathlon at Izvorani.
I convinced myself that I’m ready, I can do a better time than my best 1:44:20 in a half marathon, but this was when I still thought that this would be a street, mostly flat, race.
Start in the Union Square, 2 km street, 6 km forest road, all uphill so far, then the downhill started, with very short uphills, on a narrow trail, an obstacle race where you had to be careful with the rocks, tree roots, slipping on dirt or leaves, from time to time to jump over a tree, and remember to breath.
Before the start, I heard some people talking about this event in 2015. Last year, it started snowing, on the track there was snow/ice, and other parts were very muddy. But not today. Slightly cold in the morning when I went to pick up the race kit, but at noon, when it started, the temperature was perfect.
No time for sightseeing, as I found myself in a group that was speeding towards the finish and we were just passing by the 10th km board. There was no other way…I had to keep the pace, and I did. On the last two km, the track got tricky, as you had to go on a short steep uphill after going downhill for about 10 km, and then we got out of the forest, rushed on the street, and with the energy I had left I forced one last sprint towards the gate.
That rush throughout the downhill, after a tough, not steep, but 8m long, uphill, was amazing. Another rollercoaster race.
Ranked 76th out of 835 half marathoners, and 46th in my age category, with my time of 1:45:33.
It was a good day.
Perfect weather for running, I managed to focus most of the way, and I got lucky to find that group that pushed my pace on those downhills. And apparently this thing where somebody else is keeping the pace, let you run faster, for longer, and more comfortable, as I just read in a Runners World article (link here).
Looking forward to the next couple of weekends. Cluj, Chisinau, and Madrid. Marathon after marathon. April will be an awesome month. Lots of running, lots of training & lots and lots of writing. I hope that at this pace I will check most of the important marathons and half marathons around Romania, then focus on the ones I liked best.
To be continued…