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Sonntag, 8. April 2012

EXCELENT! Semi-maratonul Cetatea Braşovului

I finished my first mountain half marathon having one word in my mind: EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT!  EXCELLENT!
A big 10 for the trail, a normal 10 for organization and a small minus  in front of the 3rd 10 for hydration points on the trail. But still a 10 :-) I give a 10 for the weather too. It was just perfect everything.
The first 8 km were a long ascent which terrorized our limits. Not very steep, but persistent like the small Chinese dwarf :-). And the descent was like a dancing race.
Am terminat acest prim semi-maraton montan repetând printre gâfâieli: EXCELENT! EXCELENT! EXCELENT!
Nota +10 la traseu, nota 10 la organizare, punctualitate, comunicare şi atitudine, nota -10 la punctele de alimentare. Starea vremii capătă şi ea un 10! A fost perfect. 8 km de urcare d-aia teroristă (grad mic, dar insistentă precum piticul chinezesc). după care dansul coborîrii.

I left Bucharest after work hours, on Friday, the 6th of April, Easter Friday (Catholic Easter). I was lucky to find an opportunity for transportation by car before buying a train ticket. 
The accommodation
And I was also very lucky to be conducted until the front of Kismet Dao Hostel, where I had my reservation (48 RON per night in a 6 pax dorm, cereals breakfast, free coffee during the day, internet access and wireless everywhere in house and 2 drinks - all included). I am used to the hostels from my trips and I just like the style, even if sleeping in the same dorm with several strangers is not always very pleasant. There are certain rules which have to be respected and generally speaking the system is going very well. If I could, I would certainly open my own hostel with 3 up to 5 rooms. For Kismet Dao Hostel (click here for pictures) I offer ten points from a maximum of 10. Quiet area, nice small garden, almost no cars traffic, very clean, colorful, nice beds, enough space in the dorms, locked closet for every person. I missed maybe the book corner and a not so harsh style of the lady at the reception. But I suppose she has to be a little bit harsh in order to keep everything organized and clean.
We were 5 in a dorm of 6 persons. As I went to sleep, the others weren't in the room, so I didn't meet them. In the night it was much to warm for me and we had two who have snoring for a while, so I couldn't enjoy a very peaceful sleep, but it wasn't terrible bad.
The race morning
I woke up after 8.30 a.m., I had a rich cereals breakfast in the kitchen, I prepared for the race and I left the hostel shortly after 9.45. I intended to be in Piata Unirii by 10, but I reached the start place after about 2 km walking, at about 10.20.
It was still raining. Difficult to decide what I keep with me on the trail: two or three layers? CamelBack? For my first mountain half marathon I felt unsure about some things.
Everything was organized in Piata Unirii (close to the first Romanian School - http://ro.wikipedia.org/), the start and finish place. Sponsors tents, registration points: left could register the people on the sport and right could get the race kit the people who already registered on-line and paid in advance. Here, everything was classified due to the names alphabetical order. Very efficient and thinking about the raining outside, this efficiency helped a lot, well done! So, no stress, nu discussions, everything smoothy and clear for everybody. Toilets were organized in the public toilets behind the tents, free of charge. Calm and enjoyable atmosphere, really. Under a separate tent cover it was a big table and pencils where you could fulfill your registration formular.
Registration time was closed at 11 o'clock, as announced.
The trail and some detailes were communicated, also the total number of the runners: 398 runners both genres and all ages and conditions were present at the start. 
At my category - women 40+ - I knew we were at least 10 ladies.
Few minutes before the punctual start at 12 o'clock the rain stopped and the sun came with a big generosity, it was great! I decided 3 minutes before the start to let my 3rd layer and the backpack away and it was a very good decision. I had only a long sleeves skin shirt and an exceptional  onion type running jacket, long running pants and Asics off road running shoes (bought from men store in February).
The race
itself was .... long! 

The start was moderate. Here is probably your first chance to make the first mistake: following the others rhythm! Which is wrong, if you ask me. I was in the first 5-6 lines probably, but while the first kilometer almost everybody exceeded me. The best thing I could do now it was not to get demotivated. First 8 km were only ascent. For such of segments it is clear you should be trained. Ascending on long term kills you and not only the legs are affected, but also the arms and the lungs. After only two km I already was tired as I never have had run a long distance. Something is not working for me, I know this. I realize now that I concentrated on the body, not on the trail or landscape, which I normally avoid. Being the first longer mountain race I suppose I had a little bit of fear in my mind as I would have hated to give up the race. Being exceeded by so many runners, I was sure after a short while that I belong to the last group from all 400 runners and the idea was not quite happy in my mind, even if everything is done just for fun. 
Fun-fun, but after a while you want more. 
Terrible long, not steep, but long, persistent, awful muddyyyyyy - see here the pictures made by Alex .... I haven't taken into account the mud anymore, I just run through it. I had new gaiters, so I wasn't so worry about the mud, I just wanted to avoid a slide. To fail into that horrible mud isn't a must at all, doesn't matter how spectacular it looks like (!) - marketing issue, you know?
The first and only  one fully nourishment check-point was exceptional and I remember about a lot of stuff there: glucose (very important), water, cut apples, bananas, oranges, lemons, some other sweet things. I took water and lemon, 3 pieces of glucose, one piece of banana and 2 slices of apple. So, for the next km I had some preoccupation along running: to carefully swallow the stuff. And it was a good choice indeed.
After that point we started the descent crossing a snow trail segment. But it was a short one.
The descent was mostly very steep, but also quite dry. Some segments were very narrow and muddy, but generally speaking the main focus was on the steep descent. It was through the forest, so normally you had to pay attention to the dead leaves carpets, stones, scree parts, trees roots, holes, grooves, bumps and so on. 
I enjoyed the trail a lot, really. The ascent not very much, as lack of training in that segment, but I enjoyed the forest, the narrow long path, the tourists on the way who stopped and looked at us so amazed and applauded (!). I knew I probably have about 300 runners in front of me, but it wasn't so important as far as I saw at least 30 behind me :-)
We formed a constantly group of runners, about 3-4 girls and maybe 10 men who all were passing one another and in that manner we run almost the entire race, close to each other but in a quite competitive way. This stopped suddenly at one point after the 2nd hydration check-point - here by the way I found only 2 glasses of water at our disposal. I took one, I drank 2 sips only and I said to the volunteer boy: "take care, here is still a half of the glass water". This is the reason I pointed -10 for the hydration points because the runners behind me didn't find any drop of water and we still had to run about 5 km after all -.
So, from here I thought it will be almost the end, but .... a cherry on the cake appeared in front of us. Detaching it from the narrow path through the forest, a high hill for about 30 up to 40 meters killed our crazy speed. It was a big surprise for all of us who didn't know the trail in advance. I couldn't run on it, only a few steps. 
But then it came the long descent, entering the Brasov city again and I rose the speed avoiding to be exceeded from other runners. It is not so nice to be exceeded when you have 100 meters up to the race finish, you know? 
So I passed two runners who apparently were out of their air and I reached the finish point after 2h23' (but I remembered to stop my race watch some good minutes after that!). 
I've got the beautiful finisher medal, I look for water and some fruits .... and I stayed in the Unirii Square in the shiny sun until all runners reached the finish, at 4 p.m. I've enjoyed the pasta we've got, I met also some friends, had a chat and ... I just enjoyed the weather, the feeling, the atmosphere, the City of Brasov.
As I delayed so late on the spot I decided to see the awards ceremony. I knew about 10 ladies on my age category, I heard that at least 4 of them are "heavy runners" in this business, so no further thoughts about getting a prize.
A small nice detail:
The awards ceremony started with the open ranking WOMEN (ladies first). This is a matter of sensibility, I would say.
1st place: 1h45' (waiting for the official information on the race site, but so far I remember this was the best time women).
For men it was 1h20'.
After awarding open categories, women and men, they started to award the women categories by ages, starting with the youngest. 
As I heard first my name on the 40+ category women, also the 3rd place .... what a surprise!
I have to admit that I enjoy this place a lot! Because it is like ... an unexpected gift from the Easter Bunny!! After finishing Half Ironman, Half Ironbike - no podium, but just finishing it -, this is my most valuable medal and the nicest 3rd place in a sort of competition where I have very little experience. I found me on 216th place by open ranking (men and women all ages).
I like a lot the ceramic tile and everything I've got in the bag. The ceramic tile show a lot of passion and love for details from the side of organizers. Good taste too. As value, I have a voucher of 100 RON from INTERSPORT, the main sponsor. I hope to find something useful for this amount, otherwise I have no extra money to spend and the products palette of Intersport seems to be not very large.
Congrats for Asociatia Cetatea Brasovului, for every single person who helped to this race being so almost perfect! 
Click here for the story in pictures
Desfasurare concurs:
  • Ora limita de inscriere: 10:30
  • Ora de start a concursului: 12:00
  • Ora final concurs: 16:00
  • Ora festivitate premiere: 16:30

Kituri inscriere si premiere:

  • Fondul de premiere se ridica la 10 000 RON (vouchere, produse si cash).
  • Numarul de kituri s-a suplimentat cu 100. Asadar garantam pentru primii 300 de concurenti kitul de participare complet.

Cazare si locuri de parcare

Alte informatii

Am adaugat un punct de hidratare la kilometrul 15, la bariera de pe Racadau. Puteti vedea punctul pe pagina Traseu.
Vom oferi un spatiu de depozitare al bagajelor dar nu vom putea garanta securitatea bunurilor. (?!)
Traseul prezinta portiuni cu noroi, zapada si crengi; va rugam sa va echipati corespunzator si sa acordati atentie sporita pe traseu.

Combina-te la transport!

Daca aveti nevoie de transport pana la concurs sau daca aveti un loc liber in masina si doriti sa ajutati pe cineva puteti lasa un comentariu aici.

6 Kommentare:

  1. bravo.
    Ma bucur mult ca exista asa ceva in Romania.
    In lausanne este duminica asta.
    Aici maratonul este sport national.
    Felicitari inca o data.

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