Finally, part 10 of this never-ending story sees us actually start the run!
Run Wisla Stage 1 Day 1: Wisla – Barania Gora – Wisla.
I woke up in the morning to this view from the window:
The weather was looking good, unlike our previous visit to Wisla a few weeks before. It wasn’t too hot and the clear skies meant we should have some nice views from the top. Plus, it’s always much nicer running in the sun, so all of that put me in a good mood 🙂
We had a quiet breakfast in the hotel, there didn’t seem to be any other guests except us. I was actually glad about that, before a race of any kind I like to have some peace and quiet to mentally prepare before the excitement.
After breakfast, and reading lots of wonderful messages from friends and families, Martin drove us down the road to the centre of Wisla.
We’d agreed to start at 9am at the main square in Wisla – Plac Hoffa (that name always made me smile and think of the Hoff, hehe) and assumed that we would need around 4-5 hours, including breaks etc.
Things got off to the best possible start when we were joined by a nice group of people and dogs at the start! We had Patrizia (who took the picture below) & Martin – our support team for the first stage, Kasia & Artur from Sport Guru, Kuba and Irena from Wisla, Artur from Zywiec, Krzysztof and Magda from napieraj.pl and Maciej who lived nearby and had contacted us via Rok Wisly. All in all there were 12 humans and 5 dogs. You can get a bit of an idea of our excitement in this video we took just before the start:
And off we went. The first day we didn’t have to worry about getting lost, as both Kuba and Maciek knew the route really well. That meant we could relax, check that the tracking technology was working (apart from a minor issue at the start it was fine) and chat to the friends there with us. The views from the top didn’t disappoint and things actually went pretty smoothly. I remember being paranoid about twisting my ankle or something on the downhill, but thankfully nothing like that happened.
I remember Krzysztof making a comment about my running style at the beginning of the day, saying that one foot was landing differently to the other. This would come back to haunt me a bit as I would be thinking about this a lot over the next month…
One other thing we decided to do (I think Maciek might have mentioned the idea) was to count the number of bridges we would cross along the way. On the first day itself we would cross 9.
All in all we were finished in about 4hrs (https://www.endomondo.com/users/19717809/workouts/776117419) so slightly quicker that originally planned, but we didn’t feel too tired and finishing earlier allowed us to rest a bit more 🙂
There are a few videos from Day 1 – you can see Martin’s video here:
And Maciek’s here (featuring his wonderful dog – Frytka):
At the end of the day, once we’d eaten, showered and rested, we made a short video about Day 1 from the balcony of our hotel room:
Day 1 distance: 34km
Total distance: 34km
Run Wisla Stage 1 Day 2: Wisla – Goczalkowice-Zdroj.
After effectively doing a loop on day one, day two would see us actually run downstream. Our destination for the day was the dam by the reserviour in Goczalkowice. The manager of the site, Andrzej Suidy, contacted Rok Wisly and offered to put us up there. It worked out to be almost exactly 50km from Wisla so an ideal place to stop!
After the excitement of day 1, things were a little quieter, and as we left Plac Hoffa again it was just me and Andy running, with Patrizia and Martin in the support car. We agreed to meet the car roughly every 10km for some food, water and photos. This part of the river was very different to other areas I’d seen before. There were lots of towns and villages right on the banks of the river, and people sunbathing and relaxing in and next to the river 🙂
We started collecting bits and pieces of rubbish that we’d see along the way – I found that the pockets at the back of my bag were ideal for storing rubbish.
The day started off pretty hot, until the moment Patrizia decided to join us by bike. Then it started to rain. Gently at first, but soon it became torrential. We ran for as long as we could, but eventually had to stop & Martin came and rescued us.
The mini-storm soon passed and we were able to carry on. As we reached the edge of the reservoir, Kasia from Sport Guru joined us and we ran along the levy of the reservoir. We could see the clouds gathering and as we saw Patrizia & Martin at our next checkpoint, it started raining again. As it got worse we went and hid in Martin’s car, and waited.
I don’t know how long we were sat in the car, but it seemed to be for quite a while. The rain wouldn’t ease up at all, so in the end we agreed to stop for the day, rest and come back here the next morning to continue.
In the end we’d run 47km of a planned 55km: https://www.endomondo.com/users/19717809/workouts/776933888
Later in the evening the weather cleared up and our wonderful host Andrzej showed us some beautiful gardens and the pretty town of Pszczyna.
Once we got back to the place we were staying, I got out my computer and finally finished the last bit of work I had left. I was slightly annoyed I still had something left to do, and it meant I was up later than planned, but I was very happy to have finally finished it and got everything done so that I could focus on ‘just’ running.
Martin’s video from day 2:
Day 2 distance: 47km
Total distance: 81km