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The 21st Breslau Marathon (Wroclaw – POL) with good results

An attractive race—and nearby!

2003-05-04

Images © Adam Hawalej

Breslau (Wroclaw), a city with an over 1000-year history and unique architecture from many epochs, has a lot to offer, not only for those interested in running, Breslau is easy to reach from Berlin—just 4 or 5 hours on the highway.

The centre and heart of the city is the market square. By May 6, 1945, the “Citadel Breslau“ was almost completely destroyed, but the Polish restorers successfully restored it, and with the bourgeois houses at Ring/Rynek at the historical city hall, they have created a magnificent backdrop.

On the evening before the 21st Breslau Marathon, there was a lot going on – the restaurants, bars and cafes were packed. With 700,000 inhabitants, of which about 70,000 are students who attend the world famous and over 300-year-old “Leopoldina“-Universität, the spectators were young and looking for excitement. During the Cold War, it was the centre of the freedom movement “Solidarnosc“. At the same time as the marathon there was a meeting of “AIMS“ (Association of International Marathon and Road Races) in Breslau. The members of the Board of Directors and the president Hiroaki Chosa (JPN) at their head met for the race and discussed the problems and the development of worldwide running. AIMS General Secretary Hugh Jones (former London-Marthon winner) took part at the race on Sunday and ran under 2:40:00.

Race Director Marek Danielak and his organisational team had everything under control and well-organised for the two-day event with an extensive supporting program. On Sunday, April 26, about 3,000 youth participated with great enthusiasm in races of different lenghts. The award ceremonies were celebrated on the market square with numerous and large trophies.

The race directors of the major marathon races in Australia, Japan, USA and Europe carried out the award ceremonies with and for the young athletes. The real,- BERLIN-MARATHON, as Breslaus neighbouring race, played a significant role.

The marathon and half marathon on Sunday—with start and finish on the scenic market square—were started at 9:00 a.m. sharp by the mayor, Rafal Dutkiewicz, who, by the way, speaks excellent German. 983 participants from 23 countries marked a new record for this race. The weather reports predicted rain, but it remained dry, and the temperatures were good for running. One international novelty was the “1st World Marathon and Half Marathon Championship of Members of Parliament“. About a dozen participants from several countries followed the call to participate.

The long course in figure-eight form through the city centre and the outer districts brought the half marathon runners back to the finish on the market square after one round, while the marathon runners had to add on a second round.

The favourite of the marathon, the Kenyan Kennedy Momanyi with the race number 1, started out leading the 9-man elite group, but came into difficulties at about the 15 km mark and ended up only 11th in 2:29:48.

The first 5 runners came through the finish close together with times under 2:18. The road conditions were not optimal for running. The course, marked off and secured by the police, offered everything from cobblestones and potholes to excellent bitumen surfaces.

Women are still underrepresented in running in Poland, but the times of the best women runners were nonetheless quite convincing. Men:

1. Mykhayl Iveruk UKR 2:17:18
2. Krzystof Przybyla POL 2:17:22
3. Anatoli Zeruk UKR 2:17:29
4. Dariusz Klein POL 2:17:43
5. Adam Dobrzynki POL 2:17:51
6. Igor Zhavoronok BLR 2:18:07

Women:

1. Wioletta Uryga POL 2:39:27
2. Natalya Kravets BLR 2:40:20
3. Tetyana Buloszjenko UKR 2:42:24

More information: www.mw.com.pl

Horst Milde


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