The Hvar half marathon goes up the mountain for the first 12 kilometers with the descent in the 2nd half. From Stari Grad to Hvar Town. I planned this as a traningsrace on my holiday, but to be honest I already knew I would be too fanatic to hold myself. It’s a race!
I started at around 10/15th place, 118 people competed in this Croatian race. The first part of the climb was okay but then I met the man with the hammer (never mind). I don’t know if it was the heat or the climb, probably the combination. I couldn’t do it. Speed was very slow, but I kept my position for the first 5 or 6 kilometers. Now I will tell you something which you can not tell anyone else, ever! Top-secret. At around 8 kilometers I had to go from running to (speed) walking, right after an old man catched me. It was too much. I never thought this would happen to me. It was only for about 30 seconds, and only 1 competitor catched me during this time, as running speed was not really a lot faster then speed-walking. Anyway, somehow I reached the highest point of the race. Around 6 people in total catched me uphill, not too bad.
And then there was magic. As soon as the climb changed into the descent it seemed as I hadn’t done anything. It looked like I wasn’t tired at all. Were it just the legs uphill? They felt okay, even during the climb.
May be there is a good kept secret in mountain climbing, I don’t know, but on top of the mountain it was hunting-time for me. Of course, the other racers also speeded down-hill, but I went like Usain Bolt on a good day. Man by man I chased them and won some positions. I even wished the race would be a few kilometers longer, cause all of a sudden I felt like superman 🙂
Anyway, in kilometers between 3:30 and 3:50 minutes I reached the end-zone in Hvar Town. Actually a lot of spectators in the town gave it a good ambiance. The finish was there. 11th place in 1.39.20. Not a good time for a half marathon, but holding in mind the mountain and the weather conditions, I guess it’s okay. No meaning in ths time, the place was good.
The costs of the race was only 15 euro, and (Dutch marathons: pay attention), it not only included the starting fee, a goody bag including race t-shirt, bus transportation to the starting place, a finishing medal, but also a dinner afterwards, with unlimited food&drinks. How about that. Perfect organisation again. To my surprise I finished 1st of my age group, but for the 2nd time this year, they put me in the 40-45 age goup. I’m not 40 yet!!
Anyway, I didn’t refuse another medal, a bottle of wine and biggest price of all, 2 kisses from the beauiful girl from the organisation.
It was hell, the first 12 kilometers, but overall I can recommend this race. Perfect setting for a good race in summer in beautiful Hvar. During the race you had beautiful sights of the Adriatic sea, no complaints about that!