The ultimate ultra running bucket list

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Six races. 866km. 47,786m of elevation gain.

Recently I read back through all my old running notes from previous years and found one written in 2013 that listed my 2015 goal as ‘to participate in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB).’ As it turns out, the goalposts significantly shifted in 2014 and, a few sporadic decisions later, I found myself on the start line of the world’s most famous ultra race one year earlier than planned. Being a bit of a meticulous planning freak, I must admit I was slightly disappointed that my best-laid plans hadn’t fallen perfectly into place but I can’t really complain because the unplanned 2014 UTMB actually turned out to be one of the best races of my life.

With a strong 2014, including that 5th place finish at the UTMB, under my belt I’m now looking ahead at what is to come in 2015. For me, 2015 is going to be a time to live the dream. I plan to compete in many of the famous races that every ultra runner has high on their bucket list. The backbone of my 2015 calendar is filled with races on the Ultra-Trail World Tour (UTWT). I took part in this same series last and finished third overall. I’d love to go one place, maybe even two, better this year!

A big highlight will be my debut at the oldest 100-mile race in the world, the iconic Western States in June. Then after that, in August, September and October respectively comes a triple-header of 100-mile races, namely UTMB, Ultra-Trail Mt Fuji (UTMF) and La Diagonale des Fous (Le Grand Raid Reunion). Yes, I know, three 100-mile races in three months. People will ask why? My answer is quite simple, ‘why not?’ I love to push boundaries and give my body a hard time – 2015 will definitely see me do that! I can’t wait to get started, competing in races that will take me over some of the most beautiful trails and mountains in the world and pitch me up against the toughest runners in the business. This is how my 2015 race calendar shapes up:

 

March 6 / Transgrancanaria (Spain) / 125km / 8,500m elevation gain

From Transgrancanaria website: Transgrancanaria is a race that has been held since October 2003 and sees participants cross the island of Gran Canaria. It pioneered this kind of race in the Canary Islands. The first edition of Transgrancanaria attracted 65 runners. Now more than 2,500 athletes, joggers, walkers and nature lovers from more than 40 countries take part each year in a challenge that must be completed inside 30 hours.

Fight the time and tune the training

This will be my first big race following what has been a long, cold winter at home in Poland. The temperature difference (it is always hot in the Canary Islands) will make this an extremely hard race for me, though I’m hoping to benefit from having been out to the island in January to run sections of the course. Yes it will be hot, yes it will hurt but, I guess, this is what also makes it fun. I’m really looking forward to getting back out there on the racing trails and going into combat with old friends and new rivals. It will also highlight if my training has gone well. I’ve made some tweaks to my training over the winter, so it will be interesting to see if they have worked.

Aim: Improve on my 2014 time (16hrs 11mins for 11th place) and hopefully push the top runners along the course.

 

May 30 / IAU Trail World Championships (Annecy, France) / 85km / 5,300m elevation gain

From IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners) websiteOnly athletes and teams entered by their National Federation can take part in the official competition. We are looking forward to seeing a great turnout of athletes in Annecy on a rather rugged but beautiful trail course.

National pride and preparation for Western States

Back in 2009 I ran my very first international trail race. That race was the IAU Trail World Championships, held in Serre Chevalier, France. Recalling it always evokes a smile, because it reminds me of just how naive and inexperienced I was during my first encounter with real mountains. Perhaps I am a touch too sentimental, but I feel like that race helped me discover my way into competitive trail running. It gave me a first taste and instantly I was addicted. Since then I’ve spread the trail running bug amongst lots of others! I’m really excited about going back to race in France at the IAU Trail World Championships, five years after that debut. To represent Lithuania is always an honour and I will be doing my best to try and get our team on the top of the podium. The fact that it is so close to the Western States 100 is not ideal but I will be giving it my all, of course.

Aim: Build training in preparation for Western States and at the same time help national team.

 

June 27 / The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (California, USA) / 161km / 5,486m elevation gain

From Western States website: The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Since its inception in 1974 it has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the world. Following the historic Western States Trail, runners climb more than 5,486m and descend 7,010m. The race offers the sport’s oldest and most prized possession – a sub-30-hour finisher’s bronze belt buckle or a sub-24-hour finisher’s silver belt buckle.

All about self-esteem and adventure

I am a runner, yes, but deep inside I have always felt I am more of an explorer or adventurer. Like Christopher Columbus was all about finding new continents, I am all about discovering new races around the world. It has taken me a while to prepare myself for this next expedition but finally this year I am more than ready for my first encounter with a race in California. Western States is the oldest and most iconic ultra race in the world, which is why it has been top of my bucket list for so long. Furthermore, to get into the race you need some luck via a lottery, so once I secured an entry there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to make this a key race for 2015.

Aim: To finish top-10, even though Western States doesn’t suit my running style – it is too fast!

August 28 / Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) (Chamonix, Alps) / 170km / 9,600m elevation gain

From UTMB website: A mountain race, with numerous high altitude passes (+2,500m), often run in difficult weather conditions. Runners will have to put up with fatigue and overcome fears and anxieties. Some participants, having pushed their limits to the extreme, will not finish. Those who do will be rewarded for their achievement and their names added to the list of UTMB finishers.

Unanswered questions and unfinished business

Last year I did the impossible – at least I think so – and finished top-5 in the what is effectively the Olympic Games for long-distance mountain running. Despite this, I still feel slightly disappointed about my run at the 2014 UTMB because I know I had more to give. I suffered an injury with 20km to go and even had thoughts about abandoning the race. The encouragement of my family and friends got me to the finish line. Although I managed to cope with the increasing pain, my speed dropped dramatically. I was, quite literally, crawling instead of running. I don’t know if I can do better, I think I can, but the not knowing kills me. I definitely have unfinished business with the UTMB.

Aim: Eliminate the unknown

 

September 25 / Ultra-Trail Mt Fuji (UTMF) / Japan / 161km / 9,000m elevation gain

From UTMF website: The Ultra-Trail Mt Fuji is an unparalleled event that challenges the human spirit through the outdoor sport of trail running. By connecting mountain trails, local footpaths and forest roads around the foothills of Mt Fuji, this 161km course allows participants to enjoy majestic 360 degree views of Mt Fuji while experiencing the stunning natural beauty and culture of this region.

Land of my childhood heroes – ninjas and samurais!

I wanted to play wisely and do this race in April, which was the original date, but a change in the calendar now means the UTMF is in September – smack in between the UTMB and La Diagonale des Fous (Grand Raid Reunion). That means three 100 milers in the space of three months. Crazy? Quite possibly. It makes UTMF the most challenging and tricky race of the year. How do you pace yourself during UTMB, while knowing that the next month you will be running UTMF? How do you race UTMF knowing that GRR is just around the corner? These and a million miles worth other questions continue to play in my head. I don’t really have an answer either. The obvious answer is don’t race all three, but I just can’t resist the lure of Japan and Mt Fuji, it is the land of my childhood heroes – ninjas and samurais. They would never give up, so neither will I. I’d rather die trying than never try at all.

Aim: Fight to death and follow the principles of Bushido!

 

October 22 / La Diagonale des Fous (Grand Raid Reunion) / La Reunion Island / 164km / 9,900m elevation gain

From La Diagonale des Fous website: The Grand Raid is a fantastic physical challenge and those who dare to take it on are extraordinary athletes. From start to finish, competitors climb five peaks, with the highest summit being at 2,411m. They skirt the volcano, touch the sky on crest paths overlooking deep ravines and battle through deep forest mud. The race has become myth. Around 2,500 runners start, with about 70% making it to the finish.

Bonus and incentive!

When a race is hard you must be hard yourself, both physically and mentally. If you want to survive GRR you need to be twice as hard! It’s the most extreme race I have ever done. Last year I finished 4th, having been out on the course for 27hrs 25mins. Can you imagine spending that amount of time crossing the most brutal terrain on the planet with lot of mud, rocks, tree roots and steps littering steep uphills and downhills? The terrain changes all the time; you go through fells and alpine sections, then forests, jungle and over volcanic rock. There are parts of the course where you cannot run at all – instead you have to power-hike or crawl. Another thing you have to contend with is the weather, which changes as you run through different parts of the island. The wind begins as a pleasant breeze in the morning but by night it is storm-strength. It’s really hot and humid, while at the same time it rains harder than you can ever believe. Despite all that, it is Reunion Island and no matter how you do in the race or how much you suffer, the people support you. It’s the sporting highlight of the year on the island and the people there treat you like a running god, who has stepped from heaven to share in their homeland’s natural beauty. It is truly unbelievable and I can’t wait to return!

Aim: To experience the vibrant atmosphere of the race and charge myself with the good emotions for the upcoming winter season.

GRR vs DDF

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Q: Gediminas, what was going on in your head with 2 km to go in this 172 km race? Where you doing all you could to hunt down the third guy right in front of you or were you already out of it?

GG: The strange thing is that at that point I was running in third place myself and doing all I could not to be hunted down! But nature did not collaborate this time, it started raining and got foggy, I missed some route markings and went off track – my trademark move. Also the last 3,5 km were really technical (you need to see it to believe) and because of the rain I started sliding and falling. But of course everyone had the same deal, so the hunter was stronger than the prey this time.

Q: If you had to wrap it up in a single word: was Grand Raid de la Reunion your hardest run so far?

GG: Yes. GRR is the king of trail running. The hardest, the most technical.

Q: How would you compare GRR with UTMB? You mentioned earlier that the course of UTMB was way more up your alley. Was the heat and the technical running in Reunion more challenging?

GG: UTMB is really runnable for the most part. You don’t have a lot of mud, rocks, roots and other ugly things. GRR is a different story altogether, it has lots of stairs, steep uphills and downhills, roots, jungle, etc. There are stretches where you cannot run at all, you have to powerhike or crawl. Another thing is the weather which changes a lot as you run through different parts of the island. After 50 km I was freezing and after 100 km I was already overheated. The wind went from a pleasant breeze in the morning to a storm at night. At times it was raining hard and then it was really humid. The terrain changes all the time as well, you go through fells and alpine elements, then forests similar to the ones in Lithuania, then jungle, vulcanic rock, tarmac, etc. My favourite part was running through the sugarcane fields at night – it felt like running through a tunnel with dust all around you making scary shapes in front of the headlamp. And then you would breathe these shapes in.

Q: Did you go for your good old “Devil’s tactic” of starting out slow and then chasing down the guys in front again? Or did you come up with something new?

GG: This time my Inov-8 team mate Krzysztof Dolegowski helped me out a lot with the planning. He went through the data of last year’s run and analyzed where the other guys failed, gave me some tips on where to take it easy and where to push harder, etc. But the main idea was the same as in UTMB – start slow and then catch the people in front as they start fading. I think it worked out quite well.

Q: UTMB and GRR were not only your best runs, but your first 100 milers as well! Talk a bit about how this mythical distance differs from, say, your usual 100 km?

GG: 100 km and 100 mile races are as different as day and night. 100 milers are obviously much longer and slower, but what I like about them is that things change so many times throughout the race. You have so many variables – injuries, nutrition, gear failure, DNFs – that in 20 hours or more anything can happen. But it also means that if you are not feeling well at the beginning of the race, you still have chances to win. Team work and support is also crucial at these long races. For instance, GRR had 22 aid stations and if I saved at least 1 second at each I would have finished third! But because I was alone on the island and had to carry most of the stuff I would need, I lost some extra time. Another really important thing is good race planning. I think this is one of my strenghts. Finally, you have to have an “iron” stomach as you survive on mostly energy gels for more than 24 hours.

Q: Did you have any major issues at some point in GRR?

GG: No, I felt quite well the whole time, just as in UTMB. Just at some point my body started giving me signs that it had enough.

Q: What were you thinking at the most difficult moments? Did you have some secret mantras to help you move forward?

GG: No, it was never really that bad. I was thinking more like a robot – take a gel after 15 min., some water after 30 min., see what’s behind that hill, fill up with some Coke, etc.

Q: This season was a huge breakthrough for you. From the physical point of view did you feel this strong from the very beginning and simply had to gain some confidence to compete with the best of them, or was there something that you changed in your training or racing?

GG: I stopped worrying about crashing when going downhill! It all started with training at Sapiegine’s park in Vilnius and ended in Reunion. Yoga was another discovery for me, it really helps me relax before races. But recovery is my most important ingredient. I think I train only half as much as other elite runners and rest much more. But, according to Jason Schlarb, I’m a “natural” so I don’t have to train too much.

Q: Are there any other differences between the unknown Gediminas Grinius back in March, when you first appeared on the radars after Transgrancanaria, and the current Gediminas who is 3rd overall in UTWT rankings?

GG: Well, he’s more or less the same guy, just that now he has a bit more confidence and experience. He’s not scared of running with the pros. And he still thinks he’s incredibly lucky to be playing at the movies and being a fan in the audience at the same time.

Q: You obviously have to be careful with what you dream for, but it seems that now is a good time to dream about next year. So what are you goals? UTWT again? Hardrock? Western States?

GG: I don’t have any 2015 plans yet and I’d better leave my dreams for Christmas, but I’ll definitely try to do some of the UTWT 100 milers. Maybe I will mention UTMF, Western States, UTMB and GRR in my letter to Santa.

Run or Die

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Today my children produced and issued to me “Run or Die” passport. I don’t know if they were inspired by Kilian Jornet book, which we don’t have at home, or it was just their own fantasy. I would like to believe, that it was natural consequence of our frequent trips to the trail races and their mountaineering experience.

I don’t know why those words penetrated deeply into my mind, but later on I understood that it is the best slogan for The North Face Du Mont Blanc (UTMB). Moreover, it is what UTMB is about – ones runs and dies and the others still running almost dead. Being broken mentally or physically on UTMB is so normal as being punched in a face during boxing match.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t knocked out till the very end of the race. All the distance I felt almost excellent, because of the slow pace and all those mates from glossy magazines and trail movies, which I watched hundred of times trying to imagine myself running among them. And here I was, running with them, sharing the same trail, watching them rising and dying, washing sweat under the same shower. Unbelievable!

I was running like hell, but 30km to the finish line my right knee started to knock me down. Damn, pain crippled my ability to move – I became one of the walking dead. Technical parts became my nightmare, because I couldn’t lift my right foot from the ground.

Probably the wisest decision was just to stop back then, but it was not only about me. My family had sacrificed everything by accepting my dream, so it was not fair to betray them and myself. So, I continued my zombie run, but I was funny and loved monster, because people were cheering and encouraging me all the way to Chamonix. Thanks to them now I am proud “Run or Die” passport owner.

P.S. All the time I dreamed to be the real mountain goat with bell, from real steal, under my neck – the dream come true.

The Follower

trans_gran_canaria

Running long distances without friends – boring. Sure, it is a little bit pity that not all folks are fit to run all those harsh kilometers on uneven terrain during the night, but one of them is more than willing to do so all the time. At least, it is the case with me, but I am pretty sure that those, who run a lot, meets him now and then. He is tougher than me, but very arrogant. So, usually he laughs at my pace, posture and running technique and almost everything I do. He becomes really furious during my weak moments, because he can’t stand weakness. His slogan “life begins where the comfort zone ends” makes him and me who we are.

In fact, Transgrancanaria 125km was his idea. I remember how first time he came up with it during Zugspitz Ultratrail 100km and stated that total +5420 ascent is for pussies and the real men must do much more. I tried to oppose this idea, because we were in the middle way to Scharnitzjoch – 2048m peak and the legs were screaming something completely different, but this bastard was very convincing. Moreover, can you imagine his joy when we signed for the race and ascent was increased from +7500m up to +8500m. Unbelievable!

So, after almost half a year I was on this incredible island in the crowd of amigos, hypnotized by magnificent atmosphere of the harbor city Agaete. But the only thing I wished to do was straightly jump into this unexplored territory and disappear in the darkness. Must to admit, holding yourself in front of start line is the most difficult part of the races. I do hate being in one place for a long time and this is just about that, seriously, it is not my thing to do. The more time I have before the start – the more anxious I become. This time I was more relaxed, simply didn’t have any big goals, because the field of athletes were scaring itself. Almost twenty world-class runners were ready to beat each other to death. Frankly, each time when race organizers were announcing my name and I was compared to them, I felt uncomfortable. It is some kind of pressure, which others are putting on you with their expectations. Believe me, this trust sometimes is dangerous stuff to play with.

Race started like a gust of fresh air before the storm, everything seemed so vital and vibrant, so unreal. The ground under my feet was breathing, letting balls of the dust from its lungs.

–  Don’t be so sensitive, – I heard my friend – I sick of you and your sentiments, be the man, it’s long way ahead.

–  Come on, it is so beautiful. All those headlamp lights are like a huge snake sliding up to Tamadaba peak. Look, there will be the stream, which I couldn’t pass last week during my reconnaissance run.

–  Shut your fucking mouth, stupid, watch where and what you are stepping on, concentrate!

It was too late I have stepped on one of the volcanic rocks, lost my balance and almost fall. My buddy was smiling. I hated this self-assured bastard, but he was right, I had to be more vigilant.

Having pretty much the same conversations all way long we reached first aid station, luckily, loud music separated us and for a while I could enjoy arts of the nature, soft whisper of the wind and most important loneliness. I was entering the area in which I did training with Nuria Picas and Yeray Duran few days ago, but the night had changed it unrecognizable. I felt that my orientating ability was vanishing, so I was following runners in front of me, but doing so is a bit irresponsible, because trail running is one of the most dangerous sports and if you want to survive you can’t loose your attention so easy.

–  Finally you got it, Mr. Obvious, – shouted my pal, happy as hell, seeing my tiredness.

–  You never shut up, do you?

This journey wasn’t an adventure anymore, because I wasn’t in charge. My mate didn’t let me to rest, he pushed me very hard and it seemed that he knew my limits and stuff like that. Some friends are better some worse, but usually you can choose whom are you willing to spent time with. This badass absolutely different story, he was all the time with me and I couldn’t get rid of him. Really? I started to sprint towards Valleseco hoping that it will give me some space between him and me.

–  It is not going to happen, – he yelled from the back.

I ignored him, said nothing more, just speeded up and for my surprise in vicinity of Teror caught Christophe Le Saux. The very first time I started to believe that I can do a good race here, but the french didn’t want to give up so quickly. Actually, he was up to something. All the time, while we were running together the man had mysterious conversations. My french is not so advanced, but from what I understood runner was swearing a lot and was about kicking his own or his friend ass. It seems, that everybody has the “best“ Friend.

Finally I have lost him and was entering Garanon. I love aid stations! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about “fish and chips”, but more about emotional sustainability and family. They are enjoying each your move, encouraging and chatting with you. This is what I am expecting each time the most.  It was the only place where my friend didn’t bother me.

But in Tunte my fellow appeared again and started to coach me:

–  It’s hot, take ice and leave oranges for amateurs. Don’t forget to drink. It’s not the best time to listen Tim Noakes. Believe me, right now, he will be more than happy to be waterlogged himself.

I didn’t dispute with him, it made no sense anymore – he was totally right. I put few cubes of ice into my cap and firmly run away. My confidence was rising, I felt that I could finish strong, but never be too excited before the job is done.

Lets face the cruel fact that I am not very good on technical trails. So, can you imagine my face when I found out that the last part of the trail wasn’t so fast as I thought it is. To tell the truth, all my strategy was based on pushing hard at this late phase, but the cobbled paths just killed me. I couldn’t use my speed till the last 15km of the race.

–  Don’t whine like a little girl – damn, again that annoying voice – be man and admit that you are just another road looser.

Well, maybe yes or maybe no. I rarely remember those conversations afterwards and it looks like a dream or a distance smell of the wild flower. So, I don’t really know how much of this story is real, how much is just my imagination or hallucination, but one thing is for sure – I love trails, I love racing and I would be more than glad to run Transgrancanaria again!

Cuba Libre

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Ten percent of road and rest part of trail makes the best running coctail i have ever had. Don’t take me wrong, all ingridients in this highball are equally important. It’s nonsense to exlude any of it, but each of us likes it in his own way and the best part – everybody is free to do so. This is what i love about trail running – choice and liberty.

So, to choose right additives, blend delicious mixed drink as following:

  • adventure vs race place,
  • exciting vs monotonous run,
  • time vs average pace training,
  • elevation gain vs fast and flat,
  • scenery vs boring courses,
  • self supported vs aid stations,
  • mud and dirt vs white socks.

Probably, this is why the new breed of runners were born: ones who share the same values, who look for the new challenges and enjoy nature more than themselves. Usually, after very first try runners are hooked on trails and they never come back on roads. Of course, some of them compete in both running worlds, but only of-road gives so important freedom.

To make long story short, run as you wish, because at the end trail or road is more like soccer and football, but don’t forget to run at all. Enjoy your liberation and don’t drink pure shots. Cheers!

Wolf

peda II

I have never been in Bieszczady before, so the Maraton Bieszczadzki looked like a great opportunity to explore the trails and get ready for the Bieg Rzeźnika. Everything seemed to be fine, but here I had to overcome the issue: what I want to do and what I can do. Mind versus body. This is how it went…

I had already been one and a half hour on the road. Twenty-eight kilometers passed so suddenly that I had to admit it was too fast for me. After all those ultras earlier this year I felt like a turtle on the highway. Despite that, I believed being still “fresh”. I speeded up for the first place. Indeed, I was running the third, but hoped that on the last part of the course, which goes only on the hilly trails, I will get the leaders. Having all this mess in my head, I sprinted to the woods to meet my faith.

Probably, exactly at the same moment, my legs started to sore, heart was dancing like hell and I couldn’t run even not so steepy ascents.  Running became mission impossible. Probably the first kilometers were so intensive and fast that it killed already weak spirit inside me. I had to come up with something, but all ideas were already used. I was about to give my body what it wanted the most – rest.

I sat on the ground. It’s not happening, it can’t be true, it just can’t. But yet, I was sitting on the cold meadow, eating my last gel and looking for a runner, who finally has a chance to outrun me. For a while no one passed me, but suddenly Marcin Świerc crossed my mind. Now, I understood what he meant by saying – it is not my day – during Bieg ultra Granią Tatr. I was totally in the same shit – exhausted, with no energy left.  While chatting here with imaginative friend, Clint Eastwood popped up and screamed – make my day, bitch! It woke me up. I slowly stood up, shake the head, as if getting rid of all the non-existing friends, and started to walk with each step floating further on.

That day the fog was incredible thick and I couldn’t see anything in ten meters. Suddenly this whole environment and fatigue started to gain on me again. I began to imagine that a big bad wolf would jump from the fog and bite me to death. I don’t know either it was the fog or my body’s, mind’s betrayal behavior, but I felt so miserable and vulnerable that the idea of hungry wild animal became real and overwhelming. It reduced my ability to run and was killing from inside, but I didn’t want to be a victim – I wanted to be the wolf – the hunter. So, I unleashed this violent creature and started to hunt.

It took me about ten minutes to put my shit together and at the end of the day I finished the third. Almost four hours ago I was nobody, but now I became an animal – the wolf, who for the last two hours was struggling for his life, trying to heal his bleeding soul. The one, who decided, that the mind is more powerful than a body.

Maraton Bieszczadzki

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-Gal gali prisistatyti?

– Mano vardas Jakub Lengiewicz, aš esu vienas iš renginio organizatorių. Esam žinomi dėl mūsų organizuojamu renginių Bieg Rzeźnika ir Bieg Rzeźniczek. Tu tikriausiai girdėjai apie juos?

– Taip, aš skaičiau.

– Taigi šį kartą organizuojame Maraton Bieszczadzki ir tikimės sėkmės.

– Aišku, sėkmė garantuota. Gal žinote rytojaus prognozę?

– Ne, bet vietiniai įsitikinę, kad oras bus labai geras.

– Iš kur kilo idėja rengti Maraton Bieszczadzki? Juk turite Bieg Rzeźnika, kuris labai populiarus ir dažniausiai vietų jame yra mažiau nei norinčių dalyvauti.

– Tai iš dalies ir įvyko dėl šių bėgimų, nes Bieg Rzeźnika formatas – bėgimas poromis ir jis vyksta nacionaliniame parke, todėl yra ribojamas dalyvių skaičius. Čia mes tokių apribojimų neturime ir daugiau žmonių gali prisijungti, beto ruduo Besčiaduose yra labai gražus.

– Taip, aš matau daug spalvų, iš tiesų labai gražu.

– Tai ir buvo pagrindinė idėja.

– Dabar bėgsime 50km, o ne 47km kaip buvo planuota, kodėl taip staiga pakeitėte trasą?

– Na, iš tiesų tai ne 50km, gal 49km, o gal dar mažiau, čia labai sunku tiksliai išmatuoti. Mes turėjome tai padaryti dėl vis dar vykstančių darbų dalyje maršruto. Darbai turėjo būti pabaigti, bet atsiradus nenumatytoms aplinkybėms jie užsitesė. Todėl pridėjome kelis kilometrus tam, kad maratonas įvyktų.

–  Nuostabu, tai bėgikams tik į naudą, jie pamatys daugiau Besčiadų.

– Taip, du kilometrai Gratis – už tą pačią kainą.

– Aš žinau, kad tai pirmasis maratonas, bet vis gi, kiek užsieniečių dalyvauja bėgime?

– Tu vienintelis. Mes reklamos kompaniją pradėjome labai vėlai – gegužį, taigi nebuvo pakankamai laiko pritraukti daugiau dalyvių.

– Tikėkimės kitais metais čia bus daugiau lietuvių ir užsieniečių.

– Tikėkimės. Tikriausiai mums reikės paruošti informaciją anglų kalba.

– Būtinai, nes man skaityti lenkų kalba buvo gana sunku. Gal gali pasakyti, kas yra pavaizduotas bėgimo logotipe: šuo, vilkas ar mišrūnas?

– Vaizduojame vilką. Bieg Rzeźniko logotipe yra pavaizduoti du šernai. Mes galvojome, kas dar yra Besčiadų simbolis ir nusprendėme, kad tai yra vilkas. Nenorėjome pavaizduoti įprasto, nuobodaus vilko, todėl šis žaismingas dizainas mums patiko ir jį panaudojome logotipe.

– Tai reiškia, kad traile galime sutikti vilkų ar meškų?

– Dagiau tikėtina, kad tai bus meškos.

– Ar jos pavojingos?

– Taip.

– Kaip aš turėčiau elgtis?

– Bėgti greičiau.

– Ačiū už patarimą, nes tai buvo mano sekantis klausimas.

– Taip, pradėk lėčiau, o paskui greitėk.

– Ačiū už pokalbį.