#4M DHL Marathon – The Carpathian Relay 2015

Since my running schedule is quite calm at the moment, mostly training for the IronMan, I find this a good moment to continue writing about some of the marathons I ran in 2015.

Sun, clouds, rain, and repeat. This has been happening on a daily basis in the last couple of weeks which makes training outside quite annoying sometimes. But what can we do about it?  It may happen to rain during the events as well. If you are lucky enough, that rain will come as a blessing, right when you need it most. Which brings us to my topic:

The DHL Marathon – Carpathians Relay 2015. 

20th June 2015. The fourth marathon I was running, and it was only one week after the Telekom Marathon in Brasov. I was concerned that I might not finish, so I tried to focus on something else, other than the moment I will cross the finish line if I was able to do that.

If you love running on uphills and downhills, while observing a great mountain landscape, then this is a marathon for you.

The start was near Predeal and the course was a 1-way ticket to Poiana Brasov, or somewhere close to Poiana Brasov.

Just look at this altitude chart.

DHL Marathon Carpathians Relay Altitude Chart


That downhill that starts after the first 5k is just beautiful. You feel like flying. I forgot about everything and I went full speed, as much as my knees were able to handle, without thinking about the rest of the track.

All went smooth in the first 20 km. After the city of Rasnov, the course started to climb and the weather to change.

10km before the finish line and it started raining. A long and cold rain. It took just a couple of seconds until I was soaked. Running uphill on asphalt was hard. Downhill was fun, even with the rain, I had good speed, and I was pumped. But running uphill, on a muddy trail, while shivering, for about 6 km was not quite as fun.

And, the worst idea ever, was to take out my soaked T-shirt while running in the forest. For sure I was too tired to think it through. I was cold, wet, and tired. Without the T-shirt, it got even worst. I felt that forest wind directly on the wet skin. I had to put back the T-shirt, which was even colder now. I was already running for a while in the rain, and it was hard to warm up back again. I had to run faster, but it was hard.


It was then when I remembered that I had some chocolate bars with me. It felt so good eating them. I kept them in the waist bag and they were warmer than my hands.

The trail was muddy, the forest started to be foggy, and I didn’t want to take a wrong path. I knew that I was getting closer the finish line, but no runners were in sight, yet. On the last 1-2 km, a couple of runners were coming strong from the forest trail. It was almost over. Soon I got to the last 50m uphill that went to the finish line, and after I got my medal, I went straight to the wardrobe tent to change into something dry.

It seemed that I underestimated the weather forecast, since wearing everything I had in my backpack was not enough to warm me up. But I was happy. I finished this marathon as well. Crossing that finish line made me feel like a small hero. A third long run in a row for June ’15, along with the Telekom Marathon and Tusnad Half-Marathon. And, against the odds, my time was better. After a 4h 33min in Brasov, on a flat asphalt course, I finished the DHL Marathon in 4h 04min, on a trail with some altitude difference. Honestly, I think it had to do with the weather and the fast downhill, but it doesn’t matter that much anyway.

The weather pushed me to my limits. I had moments when I was seriously thinking to give up, but on that trail part towards the end, there was no other way than just covering all the distance to the finish. The muscle soreness scared me less than the idea of stopping in the middle of the forest, cold, and wet. That scenario had hypothermia written all over it.  

It’s an awesome track and it would be awesome to run it again. Since it’s scheduled on 19th June, just a week before the IronMan competition in Romania, I’ll have to pass. If you want to read more about the DHL Maraton, you can check their homepage at this link

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Have fun on your next run and thank you!

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