The Slacks have been running round Europe again …
Warsaw Half Marathon, Sunday 25th March 2018
1:41:00 Richard Slack (PB)
2:10:52 Marie Slack
This year for the, by now, annual Slack half marathon voyage to Eastern Europe saw Richard and Marie in Warsaw for the 13th running of the Warsaw Half Marathon, or Pzu Polmaraton Warszawski as you would say in Polish. We flew into Warsaw Saturday to collect numbers at the expo held at the new national stadium – the run would take us past there on the Sunday. All superbly organised throughout although with only around 14,000 runners the logistics are more straight forward than some of the mass runs – but still massive credit to the organisers.
Sunday dawned with a clear blue sky and sunshine with a light breeze, although cold. We walked over to the start area – a huge avenue adjacent to the Polonia stadium in the middle of the Old Town. The first 5km took you into parts of the more office area of the city before a gentle downhill to the River Vistula and over the bridge to the south side of the city. The route then loosely followed the river and past the national stadium before looping round to return over one of the more modern bridges (all wires and pillar type) heading back into the city with spectacular views of the Castle area and old town. It is remarkable to think that Warsaw is pretty much a reconstructed city after being devastated in the Second World War. The rebuilding of the old town has preserved its original character as seen in the two pictures. Back to the route now – which made its way through one of the vast city centre parks before it returned to the north side of the river for the final 4km to the finish.
A fantastic, friendly half marathon and one in which Richard managed to knock over four minutes of his previous PB, coming in at 1.41.00 having been determined from the start to remain in front of the 1.45 pacer and keep in touch as much as possible with the excellent 1.40 pacer. Marie too adopted a pacer strategy with the 2.10 pacer and came in with a great 2.10.52. Not only were the pacers bang on time, their enthusiastic and audible (all be it in Polish!) advice and encouragement were outstanding.
As well as great weather and a fabulous running route – the recipe for this success? A Saturday evening of vodka, red wine and steak tartar – great carbing up and in the local way!
Richard and Marie