Monday, 17 October 2011

Bucharest International Marathon 2011

I am proud to tell you about a new Bucharest Marathon experience. This year it was the 4th Edition of this organizer (Bucharest Running Club) and I was part of all of them, since its first edition in 2008. Let's take a look of my previous results:
  • 1st edition, 2008: Half marathon, 2h17'49" (first time)
  • 2nd edition, 2009: Half marathon, 2h09'
  • 3rd edition, 2010: Marathon, 3h58'14", 134/301 (first time)
This year, my target was to finish the half marathon in less than 90 minutes. I followed a 4 weeks training program. Unfortunately I couldn't make most of the workouts in the last 2 weeks before the event, because I went to an international conference and I had a cold, too.
The day before the race we went at the traditional Pasta Party, held this year at "Hanul berarilor" restaurant. Unfortunately, the organizer reserved for us the tables outside and we had a cold rainy day. The pasta sauce was of 2 types: milanese and carbonara. I think the first one was more appreciated by the runners, because it had less fats in it.

Our running club Ro Club Maraton was represented as always by the largest number of participating members (around 200 at the Fun Race of 4km, Relay 4x10.5km, Half marathon and Marathon). We had our expo stand in the Expo Court, but it was shared with the organizer of the Casiopeea race. Sharing is good, but I think a big and important running club like ours should have a larger reserved space in this kind of event. The Expo Court was also a little disappointing as well. The visitors could get a fruit tea, a free massage, some sports nutrients and some magazines. For me the most important one was the last number of Alerg. Besides that, the most important thing you could have done in the Expo Court was to warm yourself, because outside it was too cold to stay.

I woke up on Sunday the 17th of October, 2011 at 7 AM. The morning was cold and rainy as well, around 10 degrees. I couldn't sleep more, so I prepared myself and went to Piata Alba Iulia, where the start took place. After some photos with a few club colleagues, I met my 3 supporters: Mada, Raluca and Razvan. They came especially for me and watched me running in the rain. Thank you guys for your support and hope I won't ever let you down!
The start was difficult and badly organized. It should have been delays between the starts of the wheelchair race, the relays, the fun race and the half and full marathon. There were no separate start zones according to each runner's time. The first kilometer was the slowest, because we were a lot of runners in a small part of the boulevard. I thought from the beginning that it would be hard to recuperate the gap from the first kilometer to achieve my final target time of 90 minutes for the half marathon. When the road got less populated with runners, I could run faster and gain a lot of positions. When we came back to Piata Alba Iulia, at 2.5 km from the finish of the first lap, I met some Ro Club Maraton colleagues who had similar targets and started to run along them. My mistake was to increase the pace a little at that point, because I felt some extra energy in me. Then I became a little tired and had to slow down. I finished the first lap in around 47 minutes. It was worse than expected because of the first 2 kilometers where I couldn't run at the desired pace (4' - 4'15" / km).
Then I took from the refreshment point a glass of energy drink. It was a bad idea, because after that my liver started to hurt and I had to slow down a lot. I drank some water at the next point at Piata Unirii and tried to get rid of the pain with some exercises. Unfortunately, the pace was too slow and I started to believe it couldn't be possible to achieve my target anymore. Then I continued running more relaxed and the pain got away. It was cool to see some people supporting us, but there were not so many on the circuit and almost no one on the Dambovita quay. Thanks to our colleague Oana Badea from Ro Club Maraton who supported us at the 5 km refreshment point, the farthest one from Piata Alba Iulia. Recuperating time was very hard for me. The target was then to stay with a good pace until the end of the race and then see the result. On the way back to Piata Alba Iulia I tried to make an exercise to gain more energy from myself. I thought I could run with my eyes closed! The road was right so running without seeing  shouldn't cause me any problems, right? Wrong! When I opened my eyes again after a few seconds, I almost hit the border at the center of the street. The first thing in my mind was not to turn around and see if someone laughs at me at that point, but to keep running away. I came into Piata Alba Iulia again, people took some photos of me and encouraged me and I tried to get the last energies for a decent finish. I saw the clock was already 11 AM (the race started at 9:30 AM) and from that point I said to myself: "Every second counts". 
The finish was good, I was happy for a new personal best but with some regrets for the time I wasted because of the first 2 kilometers and the liver pain on the second lap. I passed the finish line with the clock indicating 1:37:09. I knew there were actually around 1h36, because I had to wait at the start more than a minute to pass through the gate.
My real time was 1h35'56". I ranked the 81st position of 765 male and female finishers of the half marathon. At my category Open Male (18 to 35 years), I was the 28th of 304 finishers. I am happy with this result, even if I made it in 96 minutes and not in 90 as expected. You can see all the results on
At the end I received a big and beautiful medal and was happy for a new performance.

Anyway, there were a few things I didn't like at this edition:
  • the badly organized start, crowded and with no separate starting zones according to the runners' performances
  • the track was boring, with some parts without supporters and without interesting places or buildings to admire
  • the Pasta Party was too cold, because we didn't expect to eat outside with around 10 degrees
There were good aspects, too, like the Adidas running T-shirt we all received, the surprise bag from Ro Club Maraton and meeting a lot of friends and colleagues around me. Supporting each other during the race is maybe the best energy drink we'll ever get in our running lives!


  1. Faptul ca ai comentat in engleza arata c aspiri la recunoasterea mondiala a rezultatului (de exceptie) obtinut cu aceasta ocazie. Sunt convins ca vei primi confirmarea maretei reusite prin numarul mare al cititorilor (de pe toate continentele) si comentariilor admirative (chiar invidioase) pe care le vei primi. Felicitari calduroase!!

    P.S. Speri ca nu ai pretentia sa primesti si de la mine un comentariu in engleza!!

  2. In poza care imortalizeaza evenimentul, ai o punga in mana. Ce ai in ea? Omenirea vrea sa stie!

  3. Am scris in engleza pentru ca vreau ca tot mapamondul sa imi citeasca blogul si sa imi vada rezultatele!
    In mana aveam o punga cu 3 pere, foarte bune de mancat dupa alergare.