Warszawa-Praga parkrun, Warsaw

Warszawa-Praga parkrun route
Warszawa-Praga parkrun route.

There are plenty of parkrun options in Warsaw but in the end I settled for the one nearest to my hostel. I was glad of that afterwards; with freezing hands, more than 4km back would have been intimidating, though actually I defrosted on the jog back.

This was event 286, with 56 attendees. All, as an English bloke from St Albans said at the beginning, looked lean and fit, but then these were no conditions to come for a gentle walk round.

The run is in the park behind/to one side of the National Stadium. The grey area at the bottom left of the photo is part of the stadium; the park is over a busy road, but not hard to find. I jogged there, timing it reasonably well by getting there at 8:45. It was -12 or so, no weather to be standing around. Poles tend to greet each other and shake hands, so I did that with whoever was looking and after some mutual leg and arm swinging, as we tried to stay warm, we all walked to the start.

National Stadium
National Stadium.

The course is very flat. It’s a 2 and a bit lapper, heading anti-clockwise, then on the third time round, turning left to go down the central section to the finish. Worth knowing in advance, as there was no marshal there. Luckily I had someone to follow, so didn’t miss it – I am sure it is well explained; but in Polish.

It’s a scenic spot, very wide paths passing trees and lakes as you head round the park. Plenty of room to pass other park users, who were sparse in the cold. My hands got extremely cold, despite two pairs of gloves. Part of the problem, I think, was having my phone stuffed in one hand, which kept that hand from forming a fist, and meant the phone itself could carry its coldness into the hand. At the end, my thumb knuckle was numb, and fingertips painful. In a moment of madness, I was convinced that taking gloves off was a good idea, but I quashed it, pushing those painful fingers into nooks and crannies to warm them up while the Poles joked about an Aussie couple who had run in -20, reckoning it the coldest temperature they had ever seen. It’s cold, and I am not sure it entirely helped my running; just a little too much cold air coming into my lungs. This was my fourth second-place finish in a row, and a frustrating one, given that I was gaining towards the finish and had probably given up too much ground at the beginning. Still a fun run out, though.

Ice flowing up the Vistula River
Ice flowing up the Vistula River.

I didn’t hang around at the end, jogging back over the massive and imposing bridge past the National Stadium. My hands warmed enough to take pictures of the ice flowing along the river, and the lego heads out on the sand, for which I have no explanation.

Results from event 286, parkrun Warszawa-Praga.

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