July seemed calm to me and not very rich on the run. With the advent of August, running and racing had to come back to my life, which I had already started to miss. And I was looking forward to the return of competitions to my life as quite interesting half marathons were planned, namely: “Kharkiv Trail Half Marathon” and "Walbrzych Polmaraton", in which I very much wanted to participate. Although the "Kharkiv Trail Half Marathon" was quite interesting to me, but my attention was more drawn to the "Walbrzych Polmaraton" - as it was the fourth run on the way to the "Crown of the Half Marathons", which made it more interesting to me .
You can register for the race through the official website of the half marathon polmaraton.walbrzych.pl, which will redirect you to the site online.datasport.pl, where the registration takes place. There you need to enter your personal information, choose the desired distance and T-shirt if desired. After entering the data and paying you a start number will be provided. Basic information about the half marathon (place and time of receipt of the starter pack) will be sent to the mail 4-7 days before the start day. As a city is considered touristy, it is advisable to book a hotel or hostel well in advance - the closer to the start date, the harder it is to find a cheap place to stay.
Getting to Walbrzych from Kiev was decided by plane via Katowice, from where the train to Walbrzych with a change in Wroclaw. He arrived in Walbrzych on Saturday morning. It was only possible to check in at the hotel and get a starter pack in the afternoon, so in order to make a little time, I decided to take a walk in the city, partially explore the half marathon route and find some interesting places for myself.
The city was interesting for hiking. There are Góry Sowie mountains in the vicinity, and there are many ancient buildings and little modern architecture in the city itself. Basically, the 3rd and 5th floor buildings that are now being massively restored. First of all, my attention was drawn to the city park in the city center, the Prince Castle and the Old Mine Science and Arts Center. The latter is most interested in his underground tourist road, so he went there immediately from the train station. I decided to postpone the visit to the castle another time.
The Old Mine tells that Walbrzych's history is related to coal mining. This museum is a renovated complex of 11 houses that were previously part of the Yulia coal mine. There is a collection of old mining machines and tools. In addition, you can see the smithy, lamp store and engine room. But the main thing that interests most tourists here is the underground cellar. The main excursion lasts about two hours.
After visiting the museum, I headed to my hotel, as I slept through all the cheap options. Hotel Aqua Zdrój was not bad: first, it was one of the sponsors of the half marathon, so there was a 15% discount for participants. But most of all I liked his concept. The main building is a swimming pool, gym and sports arena, adjacent to a 4-storey building that houses a restaurant on the ground floor and a hotel on 2 - 4 floors.
Once settled, it is time for one of the main missions of the trip - getting the starter pack. The extradition took place on the territory of a sports school. In addition, there were children's starts and pasta parties. After picking up his room, he visited a pasta party and went to the hotel to rest after the road.
At first everything was going as usual, nothing special had to happen, and writing about the trip could be in three words - I came, I ran and I went. But Walbrzych decided to stay in my memory for a long time. It all happened at night when I decided to go smoke.
On the way, I met a couple of Poles on the floor trying to get to the next room. When I was at the hotel in the afternoon, I noticed that absolutely all the guests of the hotel were athletes (a children's team that came to the competition; there were runners, swimmers), so the fact that someone was late settling into the room did not surprise me. In addition, while I was watering on the street, they went down to the front desk, where the girl talked a little with one of the guards, and then they went back to their rooms.
When, on the way back, he went up to his room again, then on the floor, oddly enough, he met this wonderful couple again trying to get into the type of his room. Walking past them, the girl decided to talk to me and began to say that they had forgotten their room and could not get to it now. When I said that there was a guard downstairs that could help them, they didn't really arrange it for some reason. And they started to tell me that they had approached them, but they never received any help. When I offered to go down with them, I heard a categorical refusal. Polish is not very good for me yet, so I heard the expected question of where I came from. Upon learning that I was Ukrainian, the girl tried to tell her how much she knew in Ukraine. I didn't find it very interesting, so I started to finish the conversation, and finally she asked for water. It was hard to refuse here so I went to the room for a bottle of water. While I was taking it, a lovely couple was already in my room. So I decided to give the water away and get it away from the uninvited guests. The girl was talking to me all the time, so I tossed her water and carried her mechanically. Holding the bottle, I was alarmed by the fact that all the time, while talking to her, her hands were in front, and suddenly one of them was in the back pocket. So he asked to show what she put there. When I heard the answer: "There is a card from the room" I was not very satisfied with it, so once again ask to take out everything that is there. I was not at all surprised when my verbal bank appeared in her hands. Honestly, it would be more astonishing if there was really only a map.
Taking my step-son, I began to mentally draw two options for the further development of the events: the water that I wanted to give them, to break on their heads, but I would most likely earn myself some trouble, because to prove the lawfulness of the use of force on their part would be quite problematic. Another option - to go down to the guard so that they themselves deal with them. As one day in Warsaw, he witnessed how the security of a local train station reacted to violators. Instead of culturally explaining to the cashier, the person used obscene words in his address. One could think that he was in his own country, not in the civilized world, where he would be happy to help you if asked politely. After three unsuccessful warnings to the cashier, security was called. The guard turned out to be completely cultural: with his first stroke, the offender was offered to evaluate the new smell of pepper spray while he was enjoying it; in the second movement, the security guard asked him to assess the condition of the floor and whether he was clean. The offender was then handcuffed from their new collection.
So I decided to choose the second option to deploy events. First, I thought, if the hotel opens the room from the outside with a map, then the inside works all the same. The room was on the second floor, with an asphalt walkway underneath. Parkour lovers, in particular, were not alike, so bending from a height of 3-4 meters and something would not hurt themselves would hardly work. According to my plan, they only had the option of waiting for me with a guard who would culturally explain to them that they were wrong. But that was my plan, with a small exception.
Entering the security in the course of the case, one of them went to my room, and the other stayed at the entrance. I wanted to go up the stairs as opposed to the security guard who chose the elevator. But I didn't argue, because I was sure that the guests were sitting in a locked room. There was no limit to my surprise when I got out of the lift and saw my guests running down the stairs.
Going down, I set out to catch up with them, as I expected one of the guards to join me. After 10 meters, realizing that this was not to be, and to run after two guests in the dark did not want. Even if I did manage to catch up with one, there was a good chance that the other would give me over my head. I returned to security and asked to call the police.
At the time, it seemed to me that the police had been going to us forever. But the first impression was that these people were not here for the first time: they knew what the cards looked like from the rooms; the entrance to the rooms is difficult to find the first time, for example, I did not immediately understand how to get up to the second floor. The second guard also behaved strangely. Instead of waiting at the door leading from the hotel to the lobby, he sat in his cell in front of the cameras. Seeing two people running out of the hotel had no reaction, though he knew that his partner was leaving with a thief behind the thief. Therefore, I had no confidence in the security or the personnel.
The police arrived in 20-30 minutes. During this time, we were guarded by the surveillance camera recordings, once again examined the number for other missing things. It turned out that the phone had also disappeared. At that moment, I understood how they came out and was disappointed in the card access system.
My call came to two police officers 25-30, dressed in the form of a floor, which was wearing armor, armed with a gun. The gear still had flashlights, a tablet, walkie-talkies and handcuffs. After checking my documents and typing in the tablet, they began to question me about what had happened. Next, I went to the reception with them, where the police officers looked at the cameras, talked to the security guards, and then contacted the department to find out where it would be more convenient to approach the detective to accept my statement. An interesting fact is that the crime took place in the territory of the first division, and the attire that arrived belongs to the fifth. They explained the security, they were free at the time of the call, so they left for the call. For me it was a little bit it is strange that police respond to an offense even when it is not in their area - they just do their job and then transfer the case to the appropriate department.
I was taken to the first unit, where a detective was already waiting for me. The conversation turned out to be quite an easy one. I was asked about where I came from, what I was brought to their city, or for a long time, when I plan to visit Poland again, how to find me where I live, or understand Polish. After that the employee asked to tell how everything happened in order to make her impression, after which she started to fill in documents about my contact information, stolen things, their approximate value, signs of guests. She later said that the theft of more than 50 zlotys was stolen by the city police department. It all took about 1-1.5 hours. Upon completion, I was taken to the hotel, the detective looked at the cameras and agreed to remove surveillance cameras on Monday to reproduce the faces of my guests. Honestly, I'm not strong was hoping my phone would be found. So when I got to the room at 5 am, I was already thinking about how much money I got. The main thing that didn't come out of my mind was how to get home. On the return flight I did not have time to chek-in, I thought, where it can be done and to print the boarding pass.
But in this story there should still have been a happy ending: at 6 o'clock my room was knocked. I was already very angry when I went to open the door. If it was the hotel staff, they would have long to hear from me. But there were two police officers waiting for me. They were not as spectacular as the previous ones: they looked in 35-45 years dressed in only one form. Congratulations, they reported that they found a phone and a half-marathon T-shirt (why didn't she steal it, to be honest, I didn't understand). Further formality - I wrote a statement in the name of a local marshal that my phone and T-shirt were found by police. On parting, they asked if the guests would be punished, why they replied that they had already been detained.
Later, I wondered what punishment thieves carry for theft in Poland. He found that they had quite interesting laws: first, starting in 2018, they began to operate an electronic system, which includes all thefts, the main task of this database - to reduce the crime rate in Poland. Stealing up to 500 zlotys is an administrative punishment and a fine, if more, is already a criminal punishment for which you are sentenced to 5 years in prison. There is an interesting fact: the amount of thefts is summed up, that is, until the criminal collects the sum of 500 PLN, he is fined as soon as the total amount of theft exceeds 500 PLN - the thief waits for 5 years imprisonment.
After my nightly adventures the mood was not very jogging. The start of the half marathon was scheduled for 11 hours. Waking up at 9:30, I realized that my breakfast was already awake, so I quickly picked up things and ran to the stop to get to the start place. At the stop, he met three more Polish runners who were waiting for the bus. Day by day began to move into a positive direction. While we were standing at a stop, an elderly Pole stopped next to us to ask if we were running a half marathon and then offered to bring him to the right place. Thanks to him, after 15 minutes I was already at the starting point.
The square in front of the Town Hall was completely filled with runners, which, given its small size, caused a sense of scale. It's nice to be among people of different nationalities, united by one goal and the desire to overcome this half marathon at a certain time.
Putting my belongings in the storage room, which was located in the town hall, I went to look for Sergius. Meeting him even more uplifting: to meet a Ukrainian on a foreign race kind of encourages, and to run becomes more interesting.
The half marathon route consisted of two circles of 10 km. The route runs through the city's central streets. Because the city is quite old, it consists of, so to speak, a "dream" of a road runner. First, it is narrow streets, many segments with pavement (and different: here is small, medium and large), second road is hilly (the largest set of altitudes - 480 m). All of these buns are complemented by the heat (to make it not so easy to run). Like all other top races, there are placemakers, and participants start gradually according to their time. Sergiy and we decided to run at 1:40, but that's how we thought at the start. At first we managed to hold on to our pacemaker, but gradually began to release it.
Overcoming the first lap it became clear that the walk would not be easy. The first 6 miles I ran in 53 minutes, but the next lap, quite frankly, did not want to run - the hills let me know about myself. The only thing that saved me was that I ran with the company - all those miles and hills distracted from pleasant conversations. No matter how cool after a while the forces still started to leave me: I did not get a good night's sleep, first the road, then the nervous atmosphere in the company of the local police. It made me aware of myself and the sun. What to say about when about 16 km began to climb the largest hill of the route. My head was immediately filled with thoughts of how good it would be to just lie on the sidelines and sleep. Of course, I did not do this, but decided to still go one step and slowly climb up.
At such a rate it became clear immediately that in 1:40 it would not be possible to cope, so there was no need to rush the need. As a result, I managed to overcome the half marathon in 2 hours and 8 minutes. After the finish, participants waited for rest, pasta party, massage and photo session. After a little picture, we went to a pasta party: something, but then I did not mind eating.
Taking a breath and saying goodbye to Sergius, I went to the locker room to pick up my belongings and on the way to Kiev, which should have been quite long.
Walbrzych pleased mainly with its ancient architecture. Walbrzych Polmaraton is interesting both for its route and the complexity of the route. Good organization and support of the locals. I can say without a doubt that out of all the road half marathons I was lucky enough to visit, this one was the most difficult because of the pavement, the narrow streets and the climbs. One thing was good: they turned out to be gentle.
Although previously the most difficult half marathon I had was "Kharkiv Half Marathon" with its ascents, but "Walbrzych Polmaraton" managed to bypass it as it managed to combine everything that can be on the highway. Here the runner can test himself for endurance, because it is no secret to anyone that the harder the race, the more interesting it is to take his challenge. The work of the local police also pleased.
In Walbrzych, not many options for cheap housing, and before the half marathon they are booked fairly quickly. Alternatively, you can stay in Wroclaw, where it is much larger, and there is less hype. The first train leaves for Walbrzych at about 5 o'clock, the road takes about an hour, and the starter packs are issued on the day of the start from 7 am to 10 am.