Two members of Croft (Mark Paviour and Sue Davies) and one Hereford Courier (Steve Herington) made their way over to the annual World Masters Mountain Running Championships, this year held in Korbeilow Poland. This is an open event for anyone over 35 and is an opportunity to experience running in mountain terrain and meeting fellow runners from all over the world. The course was a route up the Pilsko mountain the second highest of the south Polish Carpathian mountain range. The course was 8km and uphill only.
On the day of the event the weather was in our favour! Most of Poland had become awash in a deluge of torrential rain. The races, which began at 11.00 am, were in five-year age groups, with V 65’s+ heading off first followed every 20 minutes by the next lower age group. We cheered Steve off remotely; to avoid being drenched and then waited until it was time for the V45’s to head for the clouds.
Once off, the course followed a small river upstream for the first mile and a half, a gentle incline made for a swift pace not unlike the climbs of Aconbury. I was in fourth position. However, after that it got considerably steeper as we had 960m to ascend and another girl passed me. The last 800m was more like a scramble as we had to climb through very slippery deep gullies to reach the summit, the low visibility and drop in temperature made it difficult to keep focused. The finish line was also the Slovakian / Polish border and 1835m height. Beyond to the south lay the Tatra mountain range but no views for us that day. And to get back to the start – we turned around and followed the way we came, with a slight deviation at a ski lodge on the lower slopes for soup and kit bag.
I had in mind that I would challenge for fourth position as there was not much between us however, it was too late as we hit the foggy scramble, then with having to navigate through descending finishers it was a matter of just finding the finish line, I was pleased with 5th position. Mark also enjoyed his run and said he was a happy mid packer!
Extracts from results:
VM60 Group: 1st 54:52 Oldrich Smida, Czech Republic, 2nd 55:31 Stanislav Svitak, Slovakia 3rd 56.27 Jiri Javurek, Czech Republic (17th 62:16 Dic Evans Aberystwyth, 23rd 65:02 Steve Herington Hereford Couriers)
VM45 Group: 1st 45:17 Paul Siechermann Germany, 2nd 46:38 Davide Milesi Italy, 3rd 46:48 Armin Grob Switzerland, (39th 59:09 Mark Paviour Wales)
VF45 Group: 1st 55:05 Izabela Zarorska Poland, 2nd 58:10 Helen White, Eire, 3rd 59:32 Slovakia: Anna Balosakova, 4th 63.17 Evelyn Dugdale England, 5th 64:02 Susan Davies Wales.