Sunday, 6 October 2013

Warsaw Marathon Review

I don't normally write race reviews.

I feel there are other running blogs that do that kind of thing. But I thought I'd make an exception in this case because when I was preparing to run the Warsaw Marathon I couldn't find a single decent review, so here goes:

Last week I ran the Warsaw marathon. It's held on the same weekend as the Berlin marathon and for anyone who has failed to register in time for the prestigious Berlin marathon (as I did) the Warsaw marathon is a great alternative.

The race course is relatively flat and run alone broad roads. Warsaw being Poland the weather in the last weekend of September is suitably chilly and when I ran it the sky was a beautifully perfect "marathon grey" exactly what every marathon runner would ask for.

The drink stations along the race course were not great as they handed out water and sports drink in little cups. I have always found drinking from a cup while running the equivalent of trying to sign my name while riding a bicycle. Luckily I'd read the pre-race literature that came from entering and so I ran with a drinks belt, otherwise I think I would have been seriously dehydrated.

Also despite my previous PB being 3hours 11mins the organisers had put me in the slowest group at the start. Therefore the first half of the marathon I spent most of the time weaving in and out of people as I overtook them. It wasn't until the second half that the numbers were more spread out and I was running more with my pace peers that I found I could really get into my stride.

I'm not really one to judge a race by crowd support because I zone into my own world while racing. But if crowd support is your thing there are plenty of children to high 5 as you run, live bands playing music and loads of people cheering "BRAWO!" as you run (the Polish language isn't one if my strengths but I figured out what that one meant!). Also on my race number they printed my first name so it was nice to hear people shouting my name.

The last kilometre is downhill as you run into the national stadium towards the finish line. After 41 kilometres a downhill finish is very welcome.

So it's not a perfect marathon in the way Amsterdam marathon is, nor does it have the atmosphere of London, but I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fast marathon.

After all is said and done I got a new PB besting my Amsterdam marathon time by more than three minutes with a new time of 3hours 8minutes. So it cant be all bad!

(The picture today is of the race medal - a really nice weighty piece of metal)

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