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Monday, 29 April 2013

Cluj International Marathon 2013

Hi all! I'm back on my blog! I hope you've done well, because I did! :)
On the 21st of April I ran the Halfmarathon in Cluj. I've never been to Cluj-Napoca before so this was my chance to discover the mysteries of this Romanian city and to take part of this big competition. It's called sport tourism, a type of tourism which starts to get more and more popular in Romania. I discovered a very nice city and spent a great sunny weekend walking around it. Some interesting points I visited are: the Botanic Garden, the Roman-Catholic Cathedral with a cool view from the tower, the Orthodox Cathedral, the panoramic view from the Cetăţuia hill.
All the information you want to know about this competition can be found at http://www.maraton-cluj.ro/index.php/en.html.

I decided to run the Halfmarathon because I am currently following a training program for finishing the 21 km in 1h33' on May 19th using the MyAsics coach. Running a full marathon would have been too difficult for me at this time and I would have needed some days to recover from it. I usually run road marathons only if I think I am prepared for them. If not, I choose shorter races, just to make sure I can run them at a comfortable race pace.

The start of the race was at 9:15 AM on the marvelous Cluj Arena. One stadium lap and off on the streets of Cluj, in a good marathon weather - sunny 14C! The halfmarathon route consisted of 2 laps of 10.55 km each. There were ascent parts but they were counterbalanced by the descents, were I relaxed my arm muscles as much as possible to save energy. This was a good energy saving technique since the speed was increased thanks to gravity. Time flew fast, because there were a lot of people on the streets encouraging us and a lot of friends and club colleagues to greet. 
I knew that I can keep a good pace of under 4:20 min / km on the first 15 km because I had proper training for that. My purpose was to set a new Personal Best, going under 1h35'. The first 15 km worked as planned, I was already on the second lap and really not far from the Top 20 athletes! I felt good so I kept my pace until the 18th km. At that point I sensed the lack of longer trainings in the past 2 months and the race was getting harder. I ran slower, but after the 18.5 km refreshing point I regained my motivation to finish and I pushed myself not to go slower than 4:30 min / km. The last kilometre was better - I had all the motivation I needed to accelerate and for the last 100 m before the finish line in the big stadium I made a sprint for a memorable finish. After receiving the medal and returning the timing chip, I did the 10 Pushups just like Paul Dicu after finishing a tough stage of Marathon des Sables. Ok I admit, there are some differences between my half maraton in Cluj and Paul's 75 km stage in Sahara :D

Many thanks to Flavy Teo for making a lot of wonderful pictures! You can see her album on Facebook.



What about my finish time? Take a look at my new Personal Record below!

I was hoping for 1h35' now and 1h33' next month. I ran faster than expected, so... now what? 
Yes, I keep on running! :)

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