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Mittwoch, 10. April 2013

Half Marathon Intersport Brasov_RR

It would have been better to have read the race report from previous year. From the point of view of the trail. I simply forgot the details about the trail and I was expecting something else. Don’t ask me why! When running 14 different new trails no wonder you don’t remember each one en detail, right?
I expected something more difficult actually, I mean more technical.
The first 8,5 km are exasperating! Then actually you can say: “Running is starting now!” 
As I reached Brasov on Friday evening after 8 p.m., I couldn't get the kit bag, so on the race day, on Saturday morning about before 9 a.m. I went the 200 meters away from our accommodation place to pick up my stuff. Empty Unirii Square, the volunteers team were there since 7 a.m. already! Serious job to be volunteer, really!
Ten minutes later, the Unirii Square was already a spot full of activity!

The weather was just perfect! Sonnenschein und etwa 12°C. The day before had rained a lot. 
 I had some frugal breakfast - and from this point of view I do not recommend Old City Pension! The coffee was awful, I couldn't drink it at all -
 After my breakfast I took Flori to show her the Schei of Brasov old town. Wonderful day, wonderful area. A lot of cats on the old roofs, almost no human activity, chilli air, a lot of sun. A perfect day for a race!
 As we returned to Unirii Square, the start and finish point, the area was full of colorful people, over 500 people there.
The blue was the main color and it was nice to see so many runners wearing the race T-Shirt from the kit. Me too :-)

The start was punctual at 12. I hate races which starts after 10 o’clock.

You ran about 2 km on asphalt, go through the Schei – I love this part of Brasov! -, enter on the forest road, run along the Solomon Rocks and continue meandering uphill into the forest, but still on the road. And climb, climb, climb and constantly negotiate between “Should I stop?” and “Should I continue?” or “Should I take small and quick steps” or “larger and slower steps?”. “Why didn’t I take the music with me?!” 
The trail: 
- was muddy, this is sure. The organizers have done more than they should and “smoothed” the trail for us, the over 500-odd trampers. Impressive!
- was well measured. The 2nd hydration point was exactly as announced, at 8,5 km!
- wasn’t easy, although I can say that this is one of the easiest trails I’ve run so far in my short runner life.
Before the start, I was prepared to protect my shoes with any price ....

but I changed my mind just before the start. Good idea actually, as the shoes did not suffer much .... they look pretty decent after the race, right?
I fell once after the 9th km. A strong fall, but somehow I had a terribly elastic reaction. The runner behind me reacted very promptly and helped me, so that all took max. 3 seconds and I run again full speed ahead among roots and leaves, on the narrow path.
I fell the second time, but more superficial, no damage. 
I run faster than expected, no idea why. The shoes were probably very good and I felt secure all the time. Then I met Cornelia David on the trail and without any intention I kept close to her. After one km, feeling terrible motivated about keeping her pace – about 5.30 up to 6.30 per km -, I continued to keep close for about 7 km, then I slowed on the last two long and steep ascents. But she, as one of the very good female runners, was a sort of pace maker for that segment. I lost her and remained back, collecting a time difference of 2 minutes (probably around 400 m long). It was good! Too good for me. 
I enjoyed the finish, although I was not in the first 200 runners, so no buff gift from Salomon :-(, I have to work harder for it :-) Flori was about 5 minutes behind me, so the idea to finish together did not work out, as I was sure all the time she is in front of me.
We were 15 ladies on my category, so the 4th place is just great. Not very happy about the final time, 2h13minutes .... but it's OK. Place 25 from 96 ladies is quite good :-)
It was a perfect day for me, nothing to complain. Accommodation 100 m away from the start/finish, Old City Pension 3*** was good and I shared the room with Flori, so 55 RON per night per person, no breakfast included. A good location for sure and sharing the room you get a supportable price, otherwise would be much to expensive for a single (100 RON per night!!).
Brasov old town surprised me as always, I always discover new parts, new sections, new things. I loved a relaxed city on Sunday, cloudy, colder than the race day, I walked for hours and let my spirit dreaming ………..
I read through the feed-back after the race, on the competition website. It is a generally positive feed-back, but of course there are some suggestions or reproaches that it’s impossible not to remark, for instant:
- “no dressing space/lockers!” (I think this is the “strongest” one! What else? Showers after the finish line and a massage would be also nice, right? And free of charge.)
- separated start: cross and then half marathon (yes, I agree with this, would be easier for the volunteers at hydration points too, I suppose and I would let a 15 minutes distance between the both starts).
- “we need a photographer at the finish line to take pictures every second and to catch all runners! I have no picture from finish line!” (I bet you want this service free of charge, right?!)

Funny comments, by the way :-), but for sure
 I know I do not want to be organizer!!

written on 10th of April

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