First ultramarathon in 2017

Time for my second blog post. First of all many thanks to over 30 good souls who liked my blog on Facebook. I’m very glad about that and so far this has exceeded my expectations. Secondly, change of plans- I said I’d write about ultramarathons in the second post, but due to timing this is about my first race of the season.

This coming Saturday, Feb 18th, I will run in Trójmiejski Ultra Track known as TUT (official page only in polish, sorry http://tutrail.pl/). It’s a race over a distance of 65km (40-ish miles) based in Tricity Landscape Park in northern Poland, by my hometown Gdańsk. Interestingly it can be classified as a mountain run which can be considered weird since there are no mountains in northern Poland! It is actually very hilly. Even though the hills might not exceed 250 metres, it’s the accumulation of constant accents and descents that offers a total of 1500 metres climb over the whole course.

Here’s a screenshot of the map. Sorry for low res- a zoomable version is available on the race website -> http://tutrail.pl/trasa.

TUT race map

The race starts at 7am in Gdynia and finishes in Gdańsk. There is a 11h time limit. Simple calculations give that this requires an average speed of no less than 5.9km/h (3.7mph). Sounds easy, just a swift walk all the way, right?

My plan is just to finish the race, no matter the time, no matter the place. Why such a non-ambitious approach? The answer derives from the following:

  1. In December and January I took a recovery break from running to let my body and mind rest after a fairly intense year of running and racing in 2016. I resumed my training on January 30, so just under 3 weeks before the race-> not enough time for a proper preparation
  2. This is not one of my main races of this season, so I consider it more of a training run
  3. Following on fro the above, I don’t want to race too hard and then suffer and have an elongated recovery period
  4. This is going to be my first winter ultramarathon, so something new. There will be snow and ice on the race route. Even though the temperature should be above 0 degrees so not too cold, the conditions will be quite challenging
  5. I simply love the Tricity forests where I spent a lot of time when I lived in Gdańsk. I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to run there

That’s it on TUT. Next week I hope to be able to write a race report. If my new gadget serves me well it will be nicely illustrated 🙂

Before I finish this post, I must also share that I’m now the official face of Harpagan on their Facebook page (see: https://www.facebook.com/harpagan/?fref=ts). Harpagan is a navigational race over a distance of 100km, and has been held regularly every 6 months over the last 25 years in various areas in Pomeranian Voivodeship (equivalent of a County).

From Harpagan’s official Facebook page. This picture comes from the 52 edition held in Człuchów in October 2016

Just to be clear- nobody asked me for that and I have not requested that either. Luckily they chose one of hundreds of photos they have from every race and it’s a one where I don’t look like I’m half dead. I obviously don’t mind them using my image, because Harpagan is one of the most important races in my annual calendar. It’s one of those where I actually race hard, try to have a good time and good place. I’ll write much more about this race in April, when I will take part in 53rd edition of Harpagan.

Those of you who haven’t done so please like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wolnybiegaczPL/ where you will get automatic notifications of new posts, similarly with https://twitter.com/wolnybiegacz.

All the best,
Marcin

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