Apparently it was snowing in the Tatras this weekend so our plans to spend 4 days hiking were scuppered somewhat. Plunging temperatures to -1C and a total lack of suitable gear meant that alternative plans were needed. A few Skype calls with our friends and we chose a hotel in Krynica which happened to look quite lively with the Annual Krynica Economic Forum happening in town, followed by the Festiwal Biegowy.
After an early morning drive of around 6,5 hours, we checked in and hit the heart of Krynica…at this point still full of currency traders and government executives poncing around in suits. I can get away with saying this as I too ponce around in a suit 5 days a week. A quick walk round, a cup of coffee, a check on the book-in times for the organised runs and we went back to the hotel for a swim and a sauna. A hard day so far.
The next day, we rose fairly early, had a good breakfast in the hotel, packed our backpacks and headed up the Jaworzyna-Krynicka cable car to the top of the mountain to start our hike. We chose a circular route of about 15km which provided a few impressive views but nothing too strenuous with regards hiking. A surprising number of people on the trail and a few mountain bikes…a plan for next year perhaps.
Once we returned after the hike, Lukasz and I drove into town to book us into a coupe of runs. We chose the 22:30pm 5k for myself, Lucy and Lukasz, and the 10k the following morning for all of us. I had not run for a few weeks, Malgosia had a bad knee and Lukasz was more into cycling…it was going to be interesting. Still, we are fit people and intend to stay fit!
The 5k involved quite a climb in Krynica for about 1 km before pulling a u-ey at the top and dropping back down again. For people who train in the unending flatness of Warsaw, the ‘hilly bits’ proved challenging. Knees, thighs and ankles are not used to this – time to move nearer the mountains? Still, the atmosphere was good, running in the dark through the town centre was fun and everybody was in good spirits. No PBs achieved, but that’s not what it’s all about!
The next morning…
…all smiles and keen to go. A little stiff, but nothing a good run couldn’t cure! The route started in Krynica and ran down the main road to Muszyna, a formal distance of 10k, although we were cheated a little with the double start line. We all thought the clock had started and ran for over a km, before passing the actual start line where our tags were activated. By which time, I suppose we were well and truly warmed up! Some complaints as most people were prepared for a 10k run, not an 11k run. Nevermind, the route was mainly downhill, so gravity helped push us through the last km.
Lucy and I ran together as we had been running the most, Lukasz followed and Malgosia brought up the rear, taking her time and protecting her knee. The R’s came in around 57 minutes, Mr L crossed the line at 1:03 and Miss M at a very impressive 1:16, hobbling and full of emotion as she crossed the line. Running a 10k after a knee operation 9 months ago was not bad. The happy-to-be-alive and slightly sweaty over-the-line shot…
Finished by 13:00, back to the hotel and into the pool for a cool down and muscle relaxation sesh in the sauna. We may not have been hiking in the mountains, but it was still a pretty active weekend, finished off by a trip to the Krynica Zdroj well and some water-tasting. The sulphuric smell and strong minerals putting everyone off buying any more than the small taster cup provided! Pretty horrible stuff but probably healthy.
All in all a great weekend and my favourite way of spending time away…a little exercise, offset with time to relax and forget about work. Plus a few medals as mementos…