I had many reasons to participate in the Gdynia Half Marathon. Ahead, this is one of two 21km events. In Poland, bearing the IAAF label: Gdynia Polmarathon won bronze and Półmaraton Warszawski won the silver race. Secondly, a half marathon is included in ten half marathons to run to win the crown of Polish half marathons. Three such events took place in March - half marathons in Gdynia, Warsaw (in which I participated last year) and Sobutka.
On Friday evening, I arrived in Gdynia, which met me not in the best weather - it was rather cloudy, it was raining so I immediately went to my hostel. The next morning after breakfast, I went to the start number at the Gdynia arena. On the territory of the complex there was also a Sport expo, where various sports goods of the Polish market were presented - having received a number, I stayed a bit here to take a walk and look at everything in more detail. Registering for the half marathon, I also bought myself a ticket for the pasta party which was supposed to start at 4:00 pm right here, so I had a lot of free time to dive into the unfamiliar streets of Gdynia.
The city turned out to be quite interesting, especially I remember the port - I spent the whole 2 hours there. Walking through the city quickly enough to shorten the time and return to Gdynia arena for dinner at a pasta party. I went there out of curiosity - I have never attended such events, but I have often heard about them, because it is often organized at different races. As a result, it turned out to be nothing more than a regular pasta and non-alcoholic beer, which is not bad either. Next - the road to the hostel and rest, or rather an attempt to relax - since the hostel had a lot of Polish runners, with whom I talked a little before bed.
You can sign up at gdyniapolmaraton.pl, which includes the name, date of birth, telephone number, emergency number, and additional gadgets (donated to support young athletes, pasta, etc.). Here you can choose a T-shirt and its size. Registration cost me PLN 170.
Sunday morning began with a light breakfast and a gathering of things, followed by the road to the starting town, which lasted approximately 40 minutes on foot. Half marathon started at 11 o'clock. All participants are divided into groups according to the time of the distance of 21 km, so its participants start gradually. For a start not in his group the participant is fined 3 minutes. The luggage lockers open at 9am and close 30 minutes before the half marathon starts. After changing his clothes and putting his things in the luggage compartment, he began to adjust to the race. The half marathon route consists of a single circle running through the central city streets. There are small ascents and descents along the route, the road is paved and there are three points of degradation. The race day was initially scared of bad weather and clouds, but eventually the sunshine. Everything went pretty fast, it ran fairly comfortably and easily - I think it is mainly a credit to the locals and guests who actively supported the race participants.
My starting point was in the B2 zone - the head of this zone was a pacemaker for 1 hour 50 minutes. I tried to run at this time, and at his pace was able to stay only 10 km, and then began to lag a little behind the pacemaker. From 8 miles on, my head was already hammered with thoughts that in less than 2 hours I would definitely not be able to run. From 9 miles I set myself the goal of finishing with a time of 2 hours 5 or 10 minutes. As a result - I invested in 2 hours 4 minutes.
Earlier this half marathon finish was waiting for runners on the jetty, and this year it was moved to the beach, with the aim of adding more positive impressions, as next year Gdynia Polmaraton hosts the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. This year's edition was the so-called General Reproduction. Before the finish, we were waiting for a short descent, then - a straight line about 500 m along the beach. Many spectators gathered on both sides.
The finish brought me a medal and a bag of water, beer and fruit. That's all - a little rest and a way home. In general, the impressions remained pleasant to me, besides it was the first race where I decided to run together with a placemaker, and it turned out to be a rather bad experience.
If you are looking for good emotions and hospitality, you definitely need to come here. And for those who want to participate in the Gdynia Polmaraton in 2020, the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships will be a big plus. Organizers expect up to 20,000 runners. You have a chance to meet the stars in the half marathon race.