My experience with a Warsaw’s half-marathon.

My experience with a Warsaw’s half-marathon.
On the day of my 21st birthday I took part in "10th PZU Warsaw Half Marathon". It was my first time ever run on this distance and my first running event at all. After weeks of practicing I finally felt I'm ready for run. Actually it wasn't a big deal. Maybe because I was always very physically active person.

The Venue

First and foremost I was astonished by the huge amount of people gathered at the Pilsudski's Square (Warsaw's City Center), but later I felt more familiar with this unusual sight. When finally marathon had begun, I got thrills running over my body in the rhythm of Bryan Adams "Summer of 69". My first thought: 'Hey, this is really happening!' Minute by minute I was increasing number of thoughts in my mind.

The Runners

Men and women. Youngsters, adults and elders. Athletes and casuals. The diversity of participants was an amazing overview of cross-section of individuals. Just like a easy way of thinking, everyone can run a half marathon. I was very pleased to see a man in his sixties, with statement it was his 10th appearance on this event. I've also seen a couple running with their child in a pushchair in front of them . 'That must be very challenging, but so satisfying to do such things together' - I thought. I also have a respect for people who support some social issues while they're running: involved in some kind of charity or fund raising activity. The most shining example of that kind of people were the Spartans - group of people running to raise money for disabled children. That is the spirit!

The Crowd

I can't exactly describe this. You are running and crowd full of strangers is cheering on you. You feel excited, enthusiastic and able to achieve impossible things. You are trying to give your best, especially if you know, that someone is waiting for you next to the track or behind the finish line. Family and friends holding signs saying 'C'mon Mummy!', 'You can do it, Piotrek!', 'You'd better do it!' etc. I have one stunning memory image on my mind: bridge over Armii Ludowej Alley, and a single man standing there, holding a banner supporting a person, that is close to him. That was just fantastic and emotional at the same time.

The City

Another extraordinary thing about street running is a chance to see your city from a different perspective. I saw Central Railway Station from the overpass next to it, ran next to the trams, alongshore the Vistula, through the longest underground tunnel in Poland and finally across the Old Town. Opportunities like this don't happen every day simply because pedestrians are not allowed during everyday routine to get access to all kind of crannies and street corners. Even for this simple need of me as a urban explorer this was a great decision to be part of marathon.

The Happiness

The best thing about the run was the clear happiness, that accompanied it. It was visible everywhere! On the faces of participants, fans, supporters, musicians, paramedics and even police officers! It was so evolutionarily contagious!

The Finish

And yet, besides of all the above-mentioned feats of the event, there is of course the last pleasure: the self contentment that you did it! You have just completed the 21-kilometer race! And maybe you have even beaten your personal best! Then you are rewarded a medal for your effort. And trust me: hardly ever tomato soup tastes so delicious, as the one was served behind the finish line 🙂

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Our editor "Iggy" on the run:)

Flickr Photo credits:

1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr - Main marathon photo

2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sangudo - Running Girl

Rest of the photos are copyright by Each One Teach One TV.

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