Registration time was closed at 11 o’clock, as announced.
The trail and some detailes were communicated, also the total number of the runners: 398 runners both genres and all ages and conditions were present at the start.
At my category – women 40+ – I knew we were at least 10 ladies.
Few minutes before the punctual start at 12 o’clock the rain stopped and the sun came with a big generosity, it was great! I decided 3 minutes before the start to let my 3rd layer and the backpack away and it was a very good decision. I had only a long sleeves skin shirt and an exceptional onion type running jacket, long running pants and Asics off road running shoes (bought from men store in February).
itself was …. long!
The start was moderate. Here is probably your first chance to make the first mistake: following the others rhythm! Which is wrong, if you ask me. I was in the first 5-6 lines probably, but while the first kilometer almost everybody exceeded me. The best thing I could do now it was not to get demotivated. First 8 km were only ascent. For such of segments it is clear you should be trained. Ascending on long term kills you and not only the legs are affected, but also the arms and the lungs. After only two km I already was tired as I never have had run a long distance. Something is not working for me, I know this. I realize now that I concentrated on the body, not on the trail or landscape, which I normally avoid. Being the first longer mountain race I suppose I had a little bit of fear in my mind as I would have hated to give up the race. Being exceeded by so many runners, I was sure after a short while that I belong to the last group from all 400 runners and the idea was not quite happy in my mind, even if everything is done just for fun.
Fun-fun, but after a while you want more.
Terrible long, not steep, but long, persistent, awful muddyyyyyy – see here the pictures made by Alex …. I haven’t taken into account the mud anymore, I just run through it. I had new gaiters, so I wasn’t so worry about the mud, I just wanted to avoid a slide. To fail into that horrible mud isn’t a must at all, doesn’t matter how spectacular it looks like (!) – marketing issue, you know?
The first and only one fully nourishment check-point was exceptional and I remember about a lot of stuff there: glucose (very important), water, cut apples, bananas, oranges, lemons, some other sweet things. I took water and lemon, 3 pieces of glucose, one piece of banana and 2 slices of apple. So, for the next km I had some preoccupation along running: to carefully swallow the stuff. And it was a good choice indeed.
After that point we started the descent crossing a snow trail segment. But it was a short one.
The descent was mostly very steep, but also quite dry. Some segments were very narrow and muddy, but generally speaking the main focus was on the steep descent. It was through the forest, so normally you had to pay attention to the dead leaves carpets, stones, scree parts, trees roots, holes, grooves, bumps and so on.
I enjoyed the trail a lot, really. The ascent not very much, as lack of training in that segment, but I enjoyed the forest, the narrow long path, the tourists on the way who stopped and looked at us so amazed and applauded (!). I knew I probably have about 300 runners in front of me, but it wasn’t so important as far as I saw at least 30 behind me 🙂
We formed a constantly group of runners, about 3-4 girls and maybe 10 men who all were passing one another and in that manner we run almost the entire race, close to each other but in a quite competitive way. This stopped suddenly at one point after the 2nd hydration check-point – here by the way I found only 2 glasses of water at our disposal. I took one, I drank 2 sips only and I said to the volunteer boy: “take care, here is still a half of the glass water”. This is the reason I pointed –10 for the hydration points because the runners behind me didn’t find any drop of water and we still had to run about 5 km after all -.
So, from here I thought it will be almost the end, but …. a cherry on the cake appeared in front of us. Detaching it from the narrow path through the forest, a high hill for about 30 up to 40 meters killed our crazy speed. It was a big surprise for all of us who didn’t know the trail in advance. I couldn’t run on it, only a few steps.
But then it came the long descent, entering the Brasov city again and I rose the speed avoiding to be exceeded from other runners. It is not so nice to be exceeded when you have 100 meters up to the race finish, you know?
So I passed two runners who apparently were out of their air and I reached the finish point after 2h23′ (but I remembered to stop my race watch some good minutes after that!).
I’ve got the beautiful finisher medal, I look for water and some fruits …. and I stayed in the Unirii Square in the shiny sun until all runners reached the finish, at 4 p.m. I’ve enjoyed the pasta we’ve got, I met also some friends, had a chat and … I just enjoyed the weather, the feeling, the atmosphere, the City of Brasov.
As I delayed so late on the spot I decided to see the awards ceremony. I knew about 10 ladies on my age category, I heard that at least 4 of them are “heavy runners” in this business, so no further thoughts about getting a prize.
A small nice detail:
The awards ceremony started with the open ranking WOMEN (ladies first). This is a matter of sensibility, I would say.
1st place: 1h45′ (waiting for the official information on the race site, but so far I remember this was the best time women).
For men it was 1h20′.
After awarding open categories, women and men, they started to award the women categories by ages, starting with the youngest.
As I heard first my name on the 40+ category women, also the 3rd place …. what a surprise!
I have to admit that I enjoy this place a lot! Because it is like … an unexpected gift from the Easter Bunny!! After finishing Half Ironman, Half Ironbike – no podium, but just finishing it -, this is my most valuable medal and the nicest 3rd place in a sort of competition where I have very little experience. I found me on 216th place by open ranking (men and women all ages).
I like a lot the ceramic tile and everything I’ve got in the bag. The ceramic tile show a lot of passion and love for details from the side of organizers. Good taste too. As value, I have a voucher of 100 RON from INTERSPORT, the main sponsor. I hope to find something useful for this amount, otherwise I have no extra money to spend and the products palette of Intersport seems to be not very large.