Consider informația foarte utilă amatorilor de triatloane. I-am propus lui Peter să încerce să ne creeze o posibilitate de a achita totul dintr-o plată unică. Un alt participant la circuitul din 2011, Ianosz, a propus ca cei care s-au clasat pe locul 1 la finalul ediției din 2011 nici să nu achite taxele de participare.
Așteptăm vești. Update 21 septembrie 2012: Eroarea mea este întotdeauna că am așteptări. Dacă așteptările sunt mari, dezamăgirile sunt și mai mari. Trebuie să recunosc că a doua ediție a acestui eveniment a fost o deziluzie fantastică. Regret cel mai mult că am achitat suma integrală paușală de la început, 420 ron. Din motive descrise pe parcursul anului în diverse materiale publicate pe acest blog, până la urmă am participat la doar 3 etape din cele 7: Vama Veche, Lacul Sf. Ana și Mediaș. Etapa de la Reci a fost, ca și anul trecut pare-se, cea mai slabă din toate punctele de vedere, am auzit doar plângeri, căci eu nici nu m-am mai obosit să mă deplasez, despre Tg. Mureș am auzit că a fost la un nivel mult inferior față de 2011, de Sf. Gheorghe nu știu decât că s-a organizat la altă dată și nu în Sf. Gheorge, ci la Reci (!). TriChallenge București are o istorie fantastic de agitată și am decis să nu mai particip (startul se dă abia mâine, 22 septembrie, în Mamaia!). Grand Prix, ca și eveniment unitar (doar teoretic), a ”beneficiat”, ca și anul trecut, de aceeași acută: 1. lipsă de comunicare 2. lipsă de management 3. prezență oficială, puncte de vedere, persoane de contact - TOTUL ZERO! 4. lipsă de reglementări 5. lipsă de regulamente unice pentru organizatori și participanți. Da, s-a mers mai mult pe cantitate, s-au colectat 7 organizatori, nu s-a comunicat spre public, nu s-a simțit o coloană vertebrală, s-a schimbat date de desfășurare fără să fie anunțate într-o manieră decentă și elementar vizibilă. La final, sentimentul meu este că motto-ul a rămas incredibil de fidel abordării ”lasă că merge oricum, e mulți, dar e proști!”.
Și iată-mă cum, pe negândite, particip deja la al doilea semi-maraton al meu! Primul mi se-ntâmplă (:-) nocturn, undeva pe un tărâm de vis al Terrei (Polar Night Half Maraton 2012). Nu am alergat niciodată în echipă la un concurs, mai mult decât atât, particip cu două fete dintre care pe una nu o cunosc, iar cu cealaltă m-am intersectat de puține ori, în anii trecuți. Deci e și asta o premieră, pentru că de regulă evit situațiile de acest gen, din motive lesne de înțeles. Să fii condiționat să poți participa doar în echipă la un semi-maraton nu mi se pare o idee interesantă și nu pot spune că dau LIKE la acest concept, dar am fost întrebată dacă doresc să mă alătur și, după ce am depășit complexele de inferioritate prin comunicare, am zis ”OK, dar să nu zici că nu ți-am zis :-)! (adică că momentan, din motivul X, am timp foarte slab pe orice distanță de alergare). Plec de la convingerea că ambele fete sunt mai bune decât mine și că eu, așa cum mă cunosc, mă voi putea mobiliza chiar și peste limitele mele. Nu suport ideea de a fi ”frâna” echipei. Așa că hai la alergare-n parc!
Deci, eu sper să ningă și să fie frig, sincer. Pe 28 am un examen la facultate și pe 29 ianuarie, duminică, voi fi la start împreună cu R. și I., în Parcul Politehnicii din București. Să vedem ce iese, cu aproape inexistentul antrenament pe care-l avem. De nu aveam sesiunea acum, jur că ieșeam la ture, mai ales că piciorul meu cu probleme dă semne de revenire (ah, tot materialul despre pregătirea pentru semi-maratonul din Norvegia a dispărut în mod miraculos de pe blog, acolo descriam cu lux de amănunte problemele medicale pe care le am cu un picior, începând de la finalul lui octombrie 2011).
Vor fi 80 de echipe a câte 3 alergători la proba de 21 de km, restul vor participa la crosul de 3,6 km. Din ce am citit pe www.gerar.ro, la momentul de față se anunță aproximativ 500 de participanți per total. Va fi fun, cu siguranță :-)) Ah, și noi nu vom alerga 3, ci ... 4! Ghici ghicitoarea mea?! www.gerar.ro
Pasiunea mea nr. 1 rămâne totuși trekking-ul de anduranță.
Ninge cam de 40 de ore în București. În restul țării este nu doar haos, ci nenorocire, deja cu victime. Deci ..... deși incredibil, dorința mea ca Semi-maratonul Gerar să-și merite numele și-l va merita cu vârf și îndesat la această a doua ediție. Traseul va fi acoperit de zăpadă înghețată și duminică se anunță -17°C. Dacă va fi și vânt, atunci ce ne putem dori mai mult?! Va fi extrem. Probabil. După lipsa totală a iernii, avem acum, comasat și cumulat, tot ce se poate numi iarnă: nămeți, ger, viscol. Unii mor, alții aleargă...... Asta este legea vieții și a supraviețuirii. Na, că o dau în bălării. Am mustrări de conștiință probabil.
M-am trezit la 05:10, să mai apuc să mai citesc pentru examen, că doar sunt în sesiune, nu? Aseară nu am mai rezistat și nu terminasem să parcurg toată materia. Până la 8,30 când plecam de-acasă spre Universitate era să adorm de două ori!
Foarte frig afară, un ger uscat. Orașul era aproape paralizat, foarte puține mașini. Maidanezi zgribuliți, mă uitam la ei și-mi venea să plâng .... Am coborât la Izvor, ca să am ocazia să înfrung gerul. Îmi place gerul, scârțâitul zăpezii și imaginea unui oraș - precum Bucureștiul - blocat este aproape fascinantă. Pot românii să reziste sâmbăta dimineața fără să gonească către mall-uri și supermarketuri?! Eh, asta da noutate! Am intrat prin Cișmigiu și apoi am urcat spre Piața Universității. În fața Teatrului Național, la kilometrul zero, erau 2 oameni care fluturau fiecare câte un drapel. Erau doi reprezentanți ai protestatarilor care se odihneau, după 15 zile de proteste. În mijlocul bulevardului, o mașină a poliției staționa. Pe platforma din părculeț era o colecție de oameni de zăpadă, fiecare purtând câte un slogan protestatar. Era ora 09:35.
Am intrat la examen, profesorul și vreo zece studenți din 36 erau deja în sală la 09:45. Mă simțeam doar 30% pregătită, dar nu aveam emoții. Eram curioasă de subiecte. Ne-a împărțit pe două rânduri și am avut chiar noroc să-mi pice niște subiecte de sinteză despre care mai aveam ceva habar. În sensul că puteai scrie ceva doar în baza unei priviri de ansamblu asupra materialului de curs. Subiectele de la celălalt număr erau mai mult teorie pură, chestie de toceală, așa că ... eu zic că am avut un pic de noroc și că voi scoate măcar un 7. Am părăsit amfiteatrul după o oră și m-am dus la km 0 să stau oleacă, să contemplu, să fac fotografii, să simt. N-am mai văzut de ceva vreme locul acela fără mulțimi de oameni, la lumina zilei. Erau adunați cam zece oameni mai în vârstă, discutau între ei, era ca un sfat al bătrânilor. Un cățel apărut nu știu de unde se plimba printre omuleții de zăpadă protestatari. Un loc care transmite ceva. Un loc care te face să te gândești la 21 decembrie 1989 - nu voi uita niciodată imaginile, mirosurile, culorile și sângele de atunci, tunurile de apă și efectul gazelor lacrimogene, fuga, tancurile, disperarea, lumânările -, la cultură - grupul statuar din față mi se pare de-a dreptul miraculos, să trăiască Caragiale, din a cărui operă este inspirat și să trăiască cei care au muncit la el! -, sacrificiu, crimă, sânge, suferință, durere, extraz, bucurie, revoltă, protest, tristețe, disperare, dorință, lacrimi, speranță, putere, slăbiciune.
(....) Am ajuns acasă, am schimbat ținuta, mi-am luat bicicleta de off road și m-am aventurat în trafic pe Iuliu Maniu. Era aproape trei. O idee deloc inspirată cu bicicleta în trafic, cei care aveți pornirea asta, mai bine nu! Dar am vrut neapărat să probez. Am ajuns la Politehnică, am predat declarația semnată, am cunoscut-o personal și pe Diana Gal, am luat chitul de participare și m-am aventurat din nou spre casă. Frig, nene, frig!
Și acum să vedem ce înseamnă chitul de participare: chipul per echipă, un deo-roll woman și un deo-roll man și câte 3 mostre de creme diverse, plus un buffer cu design de sezon. Avem numărul 81.
29.ianuarie 2012, 15:30
Cum a fost? Departe de a fi extrem, asta e sigur.
Frig - parcă mușcau minus 15 grade pe la ora 11, dar apoi s-a înmuiat, cred că am avut minus 5 -, mult soare cald, traseul acoperit cu zăpadă înghețată în mare parte, traficul de mașini oprit pe durata concursului, ceai, apă, suc (nu știu de care, nu știu dacă a fost energizant), glucoză, lămâi, portocale, banane - toate frumos tăiate și pregătite. Înainte de start, pe timpul cursei și după finish. Nimic de reproșat, a fost chiar prea mult, prea multe. Eu am servit două pahare de ceai, două bucățele de banană și una de glucoză.
Cursa în echipă a fost (mult) prea lentă pentru mine. De la tura a patra - aprox. km 12 - am început să obosesc din cauza ritmului chinuit, mi se părea că staționăm. Să bat pasul pe loc era o solicitare istovitoare și pentru piciorul meu drept, cel cu probleme. Dar echipa a terminat cursa, și eu, dar mai ales R. am încurajat-o aproape permanent pe I., am mai tras de ea, am mai staționat, am mai împins. Însă eu de la tura a cincea mă simțeam un pic depășită de situație și mă concentram pe ideea de a nu mă depărta cei 5 m, pentru a nu fi echipa descalificată. Probabil că I. ar fi abandonat după primele patru ture, cred că i-a fost extrem, extrem de greu și știu exact ce implică să te forțezi și să tragi de tine. 21 de km nu este o distanță scurtă și să o parcurgi prima oară într-un concurs, și ăla pe echipe, nu e un lucru ușor, ba chiar dimpotrivă. Din punctul meu de vedere a greșit că nu a ascultat sugestia mea insistentă legată de protejarea respirației, și respirația a fost cea care a terminat-o. În 2h34min am atins și noi linia de finish, sper să mai fi fost câteva echipe în urma noastră, deși am mai văzut doar una. Pentru începători, e un timp la limita decenței, aș spune, având în vedere și condițiile (temperatura scăzută și terenul un pic accidentat). Nu am înțeles încă de ce un astfel de concurs trebuie condiționat de participarea în echipă. De ce nu s-ar permite ambele categorii, echipe și individuali? Ar fi foarte fein, în loc să blochezi participarea unora care fie nu vor, fie nu pot, fie nu găsesc echipă, dar ei de fapt aleargă, fac maratoane, trag, trăiesc prin asta. Dacă și la alergare suntem condiționați să participăm, deși obiectivul declarat este ”pentru încurajarea unui stil de viață sănătos”, atunci eu nu mai înțeleg lumea și declarațiile. Nu ne naștem cu obligația de a fi co-echipieri la absolut orice activitate din viața asta, tocmai de aceea există sporturi individuale și sporturi de echipă, proiecte individuale și proiecte de echipă. Există oameni care au rezultate mai bune pe individual și alții care nu pot realiza ceva decât în echipă și mi se pare normal să fie așa. Nu există bine sau rău aici, este diversitatea ființei umane. Să fii condiționat pentru echipă, într-un sport care de regulă este un sport pentru individualiști .... mă mai gândesc, poate îmi mai schimb percepția pe viitor, nu știu. Cu siguranță acum sunt foarte subiectivă și explicația se regăsește în culisele mult mai vechi ale autobiografiei mele (pe care nu o pot schimba, asta e clar). Dar e păcat pentru cineva care aleargă, să se lovească de o condiționare de acest gen, pentru că există puțin semi-maratoane organizate. Dacă pierzi Gerar-ul, pierzi destul de mult, ca atlet. Eu așa simt acum. Pentru mine personal, a fost mai puțin o provocare fizică, a fost însă un exercițiu mental de toleranță, răbdare și înțelegere. Probabil că are un sens, totul are un anumit sens în viața asta.
This is the short story which doesn't includes the journey, the arrival or the deep emotions. Just about the time one day before the race, in the day of the race and after the race.
Polar Night Halfmarathon is a winter race in The City of Tromso. The race take part in the polar night period, which goes from 21 November to 21 January.
The polar night occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This only occurs inside the polar circles. The opposite phenomenon, when the sun stays above the horizon for a long time is called the polar day, or midnight sun.
The first race took part in 2004 and has been more and more polpular for both exercise and competition runners. A unique running experience in the light of the Arctic.
Start the new year with the Polar Night Halfmarathon. You can choose between two distances, 21km or Troms Kraft-mila (10km). If the weather allows it, the course will be marked with torchlights.
More information about idea, preparations, communication are available on this material:
So, the Polar Night Half Marathon it runs on Tromso Island, north of Norway, about 1.000 km from Svalbard and 2.000 km from the North Pole itself.
Date and time: 7th of January 2012, 2012.
Race o\ptions: 21 k, 10k 5k.
Services options: Pasta Dinner one evening before the race, including pasta and salat buffet inside Polaria Arctic Centre and After Race Dinner inside Students House DRIV, 250 kr each (about 32 Euro).
The partner hotels of the race are from the most expensive one, so try to find a decent solution for accommodation and here I have 3 options to give you, just ask me.
06.01.2012 - race previous day
The Pasta Party started at 7 p.m., in Polaria Arctic Center. 1,200 km away from my Skansen Hotel. This is my 3rd day in Tromso, in the first day I hiked on the local higher mountain here, as a sort of training and fun, the best opportunity to have some awsome panorama pictures above the entire Island. In the second day I tried even to run and I went outside the island again, but from about 10 km I probably did not run more than 1,5 km. Too cold, too preocupied to take pictures around, to lazy. So, today was the highest chance to see how and IF I can run, how it is doing my leg. I took my training equipment, I started my Garmin and left the hotel to Polaria at 5,30 p.m. I crossed the centre, entire long Storgata, I reached Polaria in about 9 minutes, then I stopped running. Very cold outside, clear dark sky, perfect for doing some spectacular shoots.
After Polaria I run&walked for about 2 km longer. It was 6,30 as I saw a large group of people coming out from the darkness of a street. About 8 up to 10 persons. I looked at them, I had the feeling they could be race competitors, and after 5 minutes I decided to return. I didn't want to be at sharp 7 at Polaria, as I am always to early when I go somewhere. I wanted to be late 10 minutes, so no rush.
And I reached Polaria indeed about 5 minutes after seven, behind the large group of people. We were expected in a very friendly manner, checked on a list, having free access in the entire Centre. We could take pictures, even visit the seals pool, where there are 2 adults brought from Svalbard and their 2 small kids :-) - they were supposing to sleep that hour-, we watched the extraordinary film "Spitsbergen - Arctic Wilderness" on five screens. The film in the panoramic cinema is short, but sensational. A little auk takes you on an airborne trip with you in a helicopter, along the west coast of Spitsbergen - the largest island in the group known as Svalbard.
After the film visitors are taken along the "Arctic Walkway" where you can experience first hand some elements of Arctic nature - a snowstorm, a dozing polar bear, the tundra and the Aurora (Northern Lights). In the aquarium the main attraction are the bearded seals. The bearded seal is an arctic species, and they are very popular among children and adults alike, due to their quiet disposition and intelligent nature. The aquarium has interesting exhibits of the most common species of fish in the Barents Sea.
The Polaria shop is an original gift and souvenir shop with a wide variety of local crafts, seal products, books, toys and other souvenirs related to our theme. A probably richer material with pictures I took inside Polaria will follow, it is all I can promise.
I met here Luigi (Italy) and met again Claudia Wagner (Brazil), very nice persons indeed. I first met Claudia a day ago as I was in that shoes shop, just had bought my yaktrax pairs and was ready to go outside to test the products. She explained to the sales man that she came for the marathon and needs some spikes, but which one? So I showed her what I've bought, we went together outside to see how are they on the ice and so we've got met. As I also went upstairs in the cafeteria for the Pasta Buffet, I was invited to seat together and then I met Ksenia (she is from Siberia, living in Norway). So, we were 3 ladies and a guy. Ksenia the only one having her own family, a daughter 2 y.o. The rest of us being a sort of globe trotter throgh the world, life and mentalities, but each from us with very different styles. The common element: running. All of us subscribed for the half marathon and as we present ourselves in few words, we already knew the time from each other. So, definitely I was the last one, but also the oldest one. Ksenia, the youngest, wanted 1h50 and she succeded to reach one minute under 2 hours. She wasn't happy, just satisfied. OK, when you train for something and the results are not as hoped, you may be sad :-( But me .... as I do not trained before, no reason to be unhappy.
Pasta and salat buffet were served. Nice and very international atmosphere, people were talking to each other, very easily you could ask somebody from the other table to take pictures, jokes were told. A very, very nice evening indeed. After about 2 hours and half everybody was living, so we too. As we went outside, in the deep dark of the Polar Night, the most expected surprise was on the sky:
All four of us walked peaceful together to the hotels. None of us shared the same hotel. Ksenia splited the first, me the second. I reached the hotel about 11 p.m. think and I started to select the complete race equipment for the big evening of tomorrow. It took me a lot to decide.
see at the bottom how it looks the equipment after the race, as I had to change my clothes, take a shower and go to the prize ceremony in only one hour :-))
And now, after the race, I can say that I was very well equipped, so that I did not suffered because of too cold or too warm during the race. Just very well, even if not perfect. I went to sleep very late, at about 2 a.m.
07.01.2012 - the race day
Today I did a big mistake, if I can say so: I didn't sleep enough and I ate only a summar breakfast and 2 sandwiches over the day.
The intention was to wake up at 7, have a BIG breakfast and then go back to sleep. The race kit could be picked up between 10 and 14, so I had a plenty of time.
At 8 in the morning I started my breakfast. I couldn't eat much, even I planed so.
We - me and the both German families - left the hotel at 10 for going to pick up our race kit. So I postponed my session of sleep.
Outside: relevant cloudy and cold. Fairy tale scenery.
We had to reach the City Hall, just above the start/finish place and main city square, so about 7 minutes ice walk from Skansen Hotell. It is very important to be close to the event area, this gives you a lot of flexibility. I felt lucky because I canceled my reservations on those hostels, as I realized that after such a long race, having an injuried leg, to walk 2 km longer could be to much. Good choice indeed.
I checked out my name on the lists, I found also my race number - which I already knew it from the web site o the event -, I told my number and I've got my race kit. No other formality, no signature, nobody asked for identity card. I was ready in 2 minutes actually, but I watched around for a while, just enjoying every moment. Unfortunately, this year no T-Shirts were offered for runners. You only could buy them for about 25 or 30 euro, I do not remember the exactly price. Much too expensive and I also I didn't find the design of being something exceptional. But I spent 12 euro for a neck buff.
As I had to better observe later, it was branded with .... The Midnight SUN Marathon (which take place in the summer, so a total different event), while we run the POLAR NIGHT Marathon .... so I really felt cheated in this way and I regret I spend those money for a symbol of a race I did not attended!! So, a big dislike here for the organizers who allowed these products to be sold now. Yes, I assume the error of mine by not being particular carefully about such of details, but it never would had crossed my mind the idea that at the Polar Night event a Midnight Sun event product could be on table near the Polar Night Half Marathon T-Shirts (these were much too expensive 25 euro if I remember right. And ... to black for my taste. A dark blue with a yellow/orange sun on it and an Aurora on the back, like on the medals .... would be more appealing even for me :-) But taste is not subject to be discussed, never.)
We took a last group picture with our numbers, before the start in the evening, as we had different start hours: me at 15:00, they at 15:30 (10 k).
As the spectacular building of the city Bibliotek was just next door, I couldn't say not for a visit. Books, newspapers, internet, toilets, peace, a special atmosphere - all for free! The interior space is very interesting designed by lightening. I felt very well inside, I could stay there days and nights, reading, drinking tea and socializing.
I left the Germans there - we lost in such a big space - and I went out. Just such an interesting day today, somehow .... a sort of "love is in the air", but it was a mixture of fascination, nervosity, emotions. Because of the race? I started to worry about being able to finish the race at all.
Instead going to sleep in my warm, cosy hotel room, I couldn't stand it and walked further, looking or the statue of the great explorer, Roald Amundsen! I found him in a high place looking over the Norwegian Sea ....
I stayed for a while with him, wondering the peaceful place in a frozen polar Saturday of January and admiring how the dark covered us in his quiet and decided manner.
To the next corner I entered the Tourist Information Centre and I stayed there much longer as expected. I could not decide if I should spend 300 euro for 2 days of adventure: you are brought to an isolated place in the middle of the polar winter and polar night, have a meal, a sleeping bag and a communication station in case you need help. You are let on yourself to spend the night in a Sami tent. You can sleep, you can stay awake all hours to hunt the polar lights and shoot some amazing pictures - if the polar lights want to show up -, you can go for a walk .... everything you want to do in those circumstances. An outdoor jacuzzi is also included. But I hadn't the money, so I had to accept this and I finally went to the hotel.
Are you kidding? I just forgot to watch to the clock, so I said it is no harm if I do some steps further to the sea, to look at the enormous Hurtigruten. But it wasn't on deck, busy with stuff on the way over the frozen sea waters ....
Even so I could watch and catch some wonderful pictures.
The final thing who could convice me to take the hotel direction was the fact I needed to pi. First I thought I am just stopping at the Bibliotek, but I met the Brasilian lady, Claudia, in front of Radisson Hotel, where she was staying. She went in her room for a rest before the race and so I realized that I am a little bit late and I have to, I must go to the hotel.
It was 1 p.m. already, so I rushed throgh the city to Skansen Hotell. I saw the organizers working at the start/finish place and I run further. I was much to late, at 2 p.m. I was supposed to drop the small backpack with some warm clothes in the City Hall, then to warm up and to be punctual for the race start!
And I didn't even read the instructions from the race kit! Me, the mother of punctuality, I was almost late!!!
I reached the hotel with tired legs, afterwards I was on the way through the city for 4 and half hours. 40 minutes still, to leave the hotel in time at 2 p.m. Don't ask how I did it. I put some muscles oil on my legs, I put all those many clothes on me - but almost all of then skin type -, I needed about 6-7 minutes to fix the chip on the right running shoe, I took my camera, my small back pack, I did not find a yellow skin glove (WTF?!?!?!), I drank some water, while putting the clothes on I succeded to eat a sandwich, I took the mouse, I downloaded all the pictures I took over the day, I checked batteries and memory cards, I even recharge my GoPro video camera, I took some extra batteries in the treasures pocket behind, I took also my rendeer horns (!!!!), the mp3-player (so goooood to have it with me during the race!!!!) and go!!!
I actually run the 500 m to the City Hall, I was there at 14:10. I took some pictures, I met Ksenia and Claudia and we went outside at 14:35 for warming up.
That sporty atmosphere, a lot of people inside, but somehow no hectic, many runners on the floor with their legs streched, all seemed to be good organized, on the number you have 2 luggage tickets in order to get back your backpack after the race, no chance to lose it. Some interviews for the local newspapers, 34 countries represented, over 800 runners overall (all 3 sections I mean), long standing line for the toilett, no water to drink. From this point of view, the organizers are not so generous, but this is another story. Many participants hoped to get a race T-shirt for free, but you get nothing for free. I heard this from different guys from different countries: Italy, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Holland, France.
Very cold outside, very dark, very cool, very andrenaline, emotions, music, lights, colours, a lot of movement. My first real half marathon ever! My first competition abroad. If I colapse and I cannot finish? WTF is doing the muscles oil, I do not feet anything!! In the last moment I let the 2nd pair of treasures, so I had only the warm leggings, the leg warmers (which I used it by Ironbike last year, great product!!) and the thin running treasures. I was cold already. Having 3 gloves instead of 4. GoPro Camera on the had, the horns, the spikes on the running shoes. Ready?
Outside was a big Sami tent and after 200 m run and posing, we went inside. Me, Claudia and Ksenia. Luigi came later. The 3 German runners from my hotel weren't in the area, as their start was 30 minutes later as ours.
I suppose I wasn't too informed or actually I am pretty shy, so I didn't find any water or paper glasses. On the big pot close to the feuer it was something hot to drink, for everybody, but I didn't manage. I think afterall I was quite nervous about the whole thing. But I felt accommdated to everything around, you could speak to everybody, it was that sort of collective psihose, when everybody share the same emotions in a certain way. A general joy. It was important to be there.
I suppose that some o the runners had another kind of preocupations in their mind: how to finish in 1h and 20 minutes, for instant :-))
So many categories to be awarded, age categories for both genres and the general ranking too (per race, per race and genre). Three minutes or 5 minutes before the start a rich snow came from the sky, it was incredible scene, really. The start was very punctual. I was somewhere at the end, worrying about if the GoPro camera is working. So it took me almost one minute until I felt myself getting moving.
In such a crowdy space you don't really feel the start, It is just a mass of people starting to move slowly.
And you even have time to enjoy all those red hearts above the main street of Tromso ....
I have no idea how the race was. I'm just kidding, of course I was there and I felt it through all my bones. As I saw it starts to snow, I thought it will be terrible interesting. But the snow stopped very shortly, it was just for the start somehow. I like a lot, but a lot all the candles on the race trail. They really created a special atmosphere. I liked the representatives of the organizers on the entire distance, very well organized. At a point, maybe about 7 km befor the finish, in front of a big candle, somebody put 2 chairs. Very nice ideea indeed and I am sorry I did not stop to take a picture of that!
I will write more after some days, too tired now.
The trail race itself wasn’t difficult, even for me not. Of course, everybody meant I should give up the 21k race and to switch to the 5k or 10k race. 21 kilometers are …… twenty-one after all, it isn’t quite a short distance.
Before the start I felt pretty cold by legs and posterior. A last minute decision made me not to wear the second running pants, but I had the leg warmer on. It was a very inspirated decision, but for a little bit later :-). And I just forget to take the second pair of underwear. I expected somehow that the muscles oil will work before the start, but it wasn’t so at all. In that cold it wasn’t quite desirable, but on the other hand it is good that the warming effects occurs later, after at least one hour, because you put the oil on you, then you have to put the clothes and then, until the start moment, you still have a plenty of time doing nothing relevant. And the fact is that you need the effect not too early, but also not too late.
Under the falling snow flakes and the entire collective adrenaline and enthusiasm a team of fitness entertainment started the warm up session, about 10 minutes before the start. I also tried to jump and dance, but the leg didn’t let me at all, too painful.
But yes, I started the race among all the others, with my camera on. We were about 600 people, I started somewhere in the last 5 lines, so it took a while until feeling the running. We crossed the centre of the beautiful Tromso Island under the applause and encouragements of the public, having all those red lightening hearts above our heads.
The trail race was paved on the both sides with large round short candles, so it was like in a fairy tale. Every intersection was guarded by the representatives of the organizers who took care to stop all the cars. And yes, finally I was there and I started to run. I forgot about the leg, I forgot about everything. I tried to inspire not into my body, but into my soul every step I did. Oh yes, what a painful joy after all! “Crazy” people deserve crazy stuff, of course. The trail was, for the first 3 km, a permanent wave up and down, left and right like a living white snake who entered the island through one end d and now tried to go out again into the Norwegian Sea reaching the opposite end. Of course that he could choose just to crawl left and to short the way to the water. After all, on an island all directions are leading to the water, right?
After 3 km I finally felt the effects of the oil on my legs and I got the idea I used too much stuff. I was like burning totally, so terrible hot under the pants. But somehow the sensations weren’t stable, they alternated, were like the mobile Christmas tree lights, you know the small lights which dance in various levels of intensity? So, once I felt hot in the upper side of the leg, then on the inferior side and so on. I never before tried such of sensations, as I normally do not use any extra help for races.
The first 5 km I covered in 32 minutes and I became optimistic. OK, I still have 16 km, if I stay at this speed the entire race – absolutely not possible, I knew that! -, then I will be very satisfied. I stoped for probably 3 minutes to have a warm drink at the 5th km. Other runners came behind me. We run on an ice covered way parallel to the main road to the airport and also parallel to the Norwegian Sea. Dark, cold, but pretty well lightened the entire trail, plus the specific snow light, as everywhere around the white snow was a big cover over the entire island actually.
As I’m not used to run such long distances I felt lucky having my music in the ear. This was a quite good idea, keeping me busy. On the right side under the number belt I had my mouse, his first run actually! He was only trekking and cycling. If he can run now, then next time we try swimming together, right?? Yeeeeeeh!!!
Before the 9th km it was a girl who hardly tried to overcome me. She struggled for about 10 minutes, but I recognize her exhaustion. She firstly catched me, I let her go in front of me for 3-4 minutes, then we run at the same level for one or two minutes and she gave up. Between the 9th and 10th km I overcame 4 runners. This is always a good feeling, keeps you in form, no joke! It came a tunnel, about 2 or 3 intersections, a small and not very long uphill, downhill, straight, then uphill again, I can’t wait to see the route I hopefully saved on my Garmin watch. Before reaching the airport I had the feeling it was a too long uphill. There came a lady woman from behind who said she likes my horns a lot, they are funny. Unfortunatelly I had to let her go, she was a little bit faster. I turned left the tide curve to the airport. Ten km were done. It was nobody there, but a car and I supposed they filmed the area all the time. They said before starting that we have to take care not to cover our numbers, because in certain points we will be filmed, as a cover solution if some technical problems occurs by the chips.
After about 200 m uphill und turning over it came the downhill on the same distance. Although I had the spikes on, I couldn’t trust to let me free running down. Anyway the leg couldn’t be happy about such an effort, because when you’re running downhill you really need strong articulations. Which I hadn’t on right side in this case, so I didn’t take the risk. What for? I didn’t fight for any first places.
The way from the start to the airport has 10 km, so for the extra one km we had to run right outside the airport for 500 m and then turning back the same distance. From now on, still 10 km. The second hydration stations was at the 10th km due to my watch. I began to feel worse with the injuried leg at the 16th km. So from here I became slower. I stopped every time – also each 5 km – to drink some warm liquid. Three km before I think I began to easy limp. And the last 3 km were the worse. But I saw even worse. I catch up a couple who run hand in hand, supporting each other. I could not be sure if he supported her or if she supported him, but the scene was, in that lonely darkness of the Arctic, very impressive for me. I wanted to keep the scene, but I would have lost too long time to make a picture, as I would have had to stop. So, still slowly running, I checked up my camera and I started it again. I have the lovely tired couple on the film now, if I can cut the unnecessary parts of the film, I will send it to them.
The longest km was the last one. I was disappointed about the fact that we, as the last about 20 or 30 runners, weren’t expected. The organizers representatives in the city, close to the center, were tired and bored probably. I knew – I knew it all the time after the first 5 km – that I will finish the race under 2h30. The finish point was nowhere to be seen. One of the German guys had told me that the finish is not in the same point at the start, although on the race it was clear on the same point. But somehow his words remained in my mind and I just looked for changing the direction, as I was on the same Storgata, the main street of the center. I loose at leas 2 minutes because of that. Finally I saw the “landing line” with all those many candles on both sides. About 500 m before the finish two other ladies runners came from behind and let me behind them. I didn’t hear them, I could avoid this, as they also run quite slowly and looked very exhausted.
I crossed the finish carpet after 2h18min, nobody came to say something. This is pretty hard to overcome. Being alone at the finish. It was too dark. It was too cold. I was too hot. I recovered for one minute and then somebody gave me a surviving blanket. Good idea indeed, as after you stop running you start to be cold and to freeze in an amazing short time. I didn’t feel actually tired, but the leg was a big problem. It was difficult to take a sit and get out the chip from the running shoe. A man STAND there with a box expecting all the chips. Nobody help you to get off the chip, amazing! You are fully on your own. After you give the chip, you get your finisher medal. Then nobody shows you where you can drink something or where the bananas are. Or that you can go to warm yourself by fire in the Sami tent. No information. You just have to find out all these by yourself, the people are not so much in the mood to support you. I disliked this and I know this happens probably always if you don’t finish in the first lines. Lucky me, Claudia, the beautiful lady runner from Brasil came out from the tent, she finished about 15 minutes before me and was still there. She took me some pictures, showed me where the drinks are, we set by the fire for 5 minutes and then we gone to our hotels, after we picked up our small luggage from the upper City Hall. It was about 6 p.m. in the mean time and the prize ceremony was supposed to start at 7. Another situation when you are happy to have the hotel so close by the event. After I stopped running and I had a short sit for taking off the chip, I felt I cannot walk again. I wanted to run the 500 m to my hotel but it wasn’t possible at all, for real. I walked fast, I took a hot and long shower, I changed and at 7 I went to the DRIV, the students house (Studeten Hus) where we were hosted for the ceremony and for the dinner & party too. The prize ceremony was very modest, I really was surprised to see what the winners have got. A cup, a textile table napkin, the 1st place got a big cartoon picture with the Arctic Lights and an envelope – probably with some cash -. No diplomas, no cups, no medals :-(. I wonder … do they go home but have nothing that proofs they won the 1st, 2nd or 3rd place?
I lady from Germany and a man from X (do not remember and the information on the race web sie is not working now) were the only participants at their age category and they got a prize before the entire audience and were very applauded by the public. To be over 70 and to run the race in about 2 hours and half ….. who wouldn’t wish to have this with 70+?!?!
The race winner and of course the winner of his category – men 18 up to 29 – was a very, very enthusiastic American. He came twice in front of us, a very tall man, about 2 m or so, with an infinite smile on his face and wishing to stay there on the highest level of the podium for a longer time.
From my point of view, seeing the prize ceremony, I’ve got the strong feeling that the race has a very human values specific. I mean, the young people were awarded, but the older people – 50+, 60+, 70+ - were also very admired by everyone. That gave me a feeling like: “We, the younger ones, admire and respect you. Because you are models for us. Because you are valuable and because we know, we will be every year older and we will probably reach your age and would be happy to have your body and mind shape. We love you, because you can be our parents or grand parents and because we can learn from you.”
It is a race for everybody. Of course, I have no idea how the things are happening in the first 20 lines, but from my position this is the way I felt this event. We had exceptional good weather, not very cold indeed, only about -5°C, a symbolic snow fall, no rain. Fantastic conditions for the place, I mean you expect to die freezing! Yeh, -5°C here are totally different felt than in Bucharest, the air is different, the wind is different. A different world, if you ask me. And it was much better to run on frozen snow and ice than running on asphalt, this I can say for sure. I would rather prefer to run on frozen snow than on asphalt.
It was also a tombola. When you entered the building, you became a number. And they had about 6 prizes on basis of those numbers. But, of course, a very symbolic stuff and this tell something about the values scale here. Which I like and admire, if my perception is right. I had the same familiar feeling about these people as I had 21 years ago, when I spend several weeks in Norway. The dinner was in the same way like the pasta party, buffet type, just that nobody announced it and everybody expected at table to be served. Otherwise very romantic, with the habitual candle lights, friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Good understanding all over. A lot of food, exceptional good food (for my taste, of course, it was exceptional): a mixture of some consistent fish, potatoes, sauce, salad, coffee, bier or wine, tea, a delicious dessert, absolutely divine. It was a pleasant dinner, after about one hour we was a larger group, having 4 Norwegians besides us. Funny interaction, nice communication, a little bit of life philosophy and a lot of joy. I realized that I am in a corner of the world were all these things happening in Romania cannot be believed or understood. The people live a sort of relaxed life in a Scandinavian Kingdom. The values are different, life conditions are very different, the island look like a piece of a fairy tale, even if there are sorrows, worries and problems as well. Living here is pretty much expensive, but nobody complained. Of course, the income is much, much higher as in Europe. I spoke with 3 different locals, each of them established here in different times, just for living a quiet life. Satisfied about income and life rythmus. Happy about the landscape and weather. Who would not be happy about such a landscape??
At about 10 p.m. I think we switched to the party upstairs. Music, dance in the same room were the prizes ceremony was taken place earlier. It was crazy time. I reached back my hotel about 1 a.m. I think. And I went to bed 2 hours later.
It was a beautiful day, a new interesting experience. And I have to add something else: having an extremely low budget in this trip, I had to do some sacrificies and that means that I cut off my daily meals. I had only the breakfast included, which wasn’t rich or too various, every morning at 9. No lunch. Dinner: 2 sandwiches made in the morning at breakfast. I bought some stuff in the first evening, from the supermarket, including a bier (3,5 euro per 500 ml). And I had an imperial meal in the last evening, buying 800 gr of various fruits and 2 biers (15 + 7 eur per total). This was all what I ate for a week and under these circumstances my finisher medal has a much bigger value for me. A one week-stay in Tromso –excluding air plane ticket costs which is the income per one month! - is about my full income for 2 months in Romania. So, from this point of view, it was even a luxury journey and it must be a reason for doing such a crazy thing!
Short about technical things: Communication from the side of organizers, pre- and after event: very good, a 10+ Atitude&behaviour: They all were involved, friendly, "had the words in the pocket" almost all the time. Everything you paid for or was announced you got it. No false or abstract promises.
10++ for punctuality!
There were 408 participants for the 10 km race, 73 for the 5 km race, 358 only for the half marathon (101 women), per total 839 people at start (358 at 15:00 and the rest at 15:30). I had 16 women behind me and per total .... I couldn't see how many other runners were behind me.
One boy abandoned the race, but he is OK, Lena, from the organizers team spoke to his father.
They are two people working full time in Midnight Sun Marathon, which is the name of the organization. They organize Polar Night Half- Marathon in January, Sami Week in February with reindeer race and more, Midnight Sun Marathon in June and Mountain Challenge (3 Mountain Races) in August.
They had about 100 MSM-officers in work for this race on 7th of January and they pay the sportsclubs that are involved and recruit MSM-officers money for their work.
Excellent idea having Pasta Party in Polaria.
Excellent food and atmosphere.
I loved all the candles everywhere, look here, on the way to the Prize Ceremony:
Race location: a really dream, I loved it. I liked even the cold, so far it was very dry air.
My advice: go to Tromso. If you attend the race, just take at least 3 days for walking and hiking and biking arround. But: you need a consistent amount of money!! If I am not wrong, 100 euro per day could cover your costs (excluding accommodation), including transportation, decent meals (but probably not in restaurants, but in cafes or from supermarket) with one doze of bier, visiting the Arctic Cathedral, Polaria, Planetarium, Polar Museum, taking a ship over the Norwegian Sea - all things I couldn't afford. If you want some adventure booking some short or longer excursions with dog sledge and over night in Sami tent, then you need much more money, as the prices are starting from about 200 euro/event.
as I promised, here the clothes after the race, on the very warm bathroom floor :-)