Today was race day! Ellen came with me to the start. We helped a runner from Uruguay, who was racing around looking for the subway in near panic. We were glad to get her going in the right direction.
The expo looked pretty much the same as a race in the USA, except it was also set-up on race day.
There was a warm-up that I half-heartedly participated in, mostly because I don’t like to tire myself out before the race!
The race had 6 corals, even with an expected time of 2:10-2:15, I was in corral 5.
About 10:15am, I was off! The race started in Hero’s Square and went right down Andrassy Avenue. Much of our activity yesterday, House of Terror, Opera House, lunch, was on that street, the main boulevard in Budapest. So it was familiar.
We went right past our Airbnb, and then over the chain bridge to Buda. This is the only picture I took during the race, I decided I was racing for time.
So only a few differences between this race and a race in the States. I liked that the course was marked in kilometers. Even though you are running 21 instead of 13, you feel like you get more regular signs of accomplishment as you reach them much quicker. Instead of gels or gummies, the glucose they handed out were pieces of bananas and white sugar mints (that looked like marshmallows to me at first).
From my watch, I was under a 10 minute/mile pace for every mile except one, and that included water breaks every 2-3 miles. I knew I was on a good pace, and I wanted to try to beat 2:10. It was warmer than I like, getting up to 72°F and the sun was out. But I gave myself no excuses, picking up the pace the last several miles. Mile 13 in fact was my fastest at 9:04 and the last part of the race (.22 miles on my watch since you always go longer than the official race distance) was 8:37 pace. I was really happy with my finish, the 2nd fastest of my 13 half-marathons.
For the first time for me, I had raised funds with this race for the charity I have been consulting for. If you’d like to make a donation to SOS Children’s Villages, please click here.
While I was running, Ellen was doing her own exploring. In those 2+ hours, she went to Hero’s Square, City Park, the zoo, and the Miniversum. We met back up near our apartment, going to the Spring Market (like a Christmas market but around Easter). I got a bread for lunch, Ellen got a potato latke-type thing with toppings. We went back to the apartment to eat.
Soon though, we were off again, We decided to treat ourselves to the baths and a massage. We went to Rudas Baths.
Saunas, pools of different temperatures, a beautiful outside pool that had a view of the Daube. And then after all that, the Lavender Dream massage, which was a scrub with lavender salts followed by a massage. Took much of the pain from the run away.
We walked back to the Pest side, pulled out our phones and found a place for dinner. A small cafe, Gerlóczy Cafe was just perfect. Salmon for me, duck breast for Ellen.
One more thing on the way home. Ellen wanted to ride the ferris wheel in a park near our apartment. So we did. The top had an awesome view of the Buda side, the castle and the church.