— PHOTO CREDIT: Marek Štefech, Ondřej Přikryl and Drahoslav Krejčí —
Last weekend, me and my friend Jerry accepted a challenge. For the second time, we participated in an extreme tourism race for pairs with a distance of 30 kilometres called “Vyškovská 50”. Last year, we won our category (16 – 20 years old), so we were extremely thrilled to try it again and hopefully win the race as well.
We agreed on going together, because we make a good team (Jerry is the optimist one and I’m the chatty one, so I make sure we have fun and he makes sure we make it to the finish line). The preparation wasn’t that extreme, we only went for two 30 kilometres hikes a month before and read a few articles about eating before and during the race. So, days by days went away and here we are – the 6th April, day before the race.
I packed my map, first aid kit, compass and spare clothes. I made myself some “light healthy” dinner full of carbs (pasta salad) and went to bed around 10:30 PM. The following morning – the morning of the race – I woke up quite easily. Firstly, I felt a huge amount of excitement, but as the minutes were passing by, I started to feel more nervous than excited. I packed the food I will eat during the race (apple, energy bar, energy gel, walnuts, dried cranberries) and after the race (a roll with cheese, shot of magnesium, another amount of nuts and berries). It actually seemed like it’s going to be very sunny, so I decided to wear a vest and my blue summery shorts with yellow flowers on them. 😀
After some speeches and official stuff, we headed to the start line. With the shot of a gun, we started running. We fought our way to the leading position and ran for about a kilometer. Then we continued with quick walk. Some of the teams ran ahead us, but we knew we’re not going to win this, so we better go as quick as we can, counting we have around 28 kilometres to go. After some straying around a quarry, we finally got to the first stop, where we had to solve a few riddles. We did pretty well and we solved most of them. From this point, the journey was actually quite fine. We didn’t stray at all and even did well with the tasks we were given through the race.
I think the best part about this race is that you run/walk it in a team, which means it’s a lot easier. However, the harder it is to choose a great partner, but I think I made the best possible choice. Attending the race with Jerry was a brilliant idea, because together, we’re actually pretty fabulous. 😀 We can make each other laugh so hard we have to stop walking, we can encourage each other, we can walk in silence, but still feel absolutely okay. It’s not the awkward silence, it’s the friendly silence, when it’s okay not to speak. It’s okay to share the silence together. So, yeah, with Jerry, the race actually seemed fun, enjoyable, exciting and quite quick (although our final time was 7:20).
We reached the finish line at 15:39, happy and tired. We grabbed some free snack, which the organization team had prepared for every contestant and we sat on the ground, relaxing, chatting with our friends and their friends and their friends… just, you know, with everyone. By 6PM, there was even bigger amount of food (unfortunately nothing vegetarian, but I was fine, I grabbed a bowl full of vegetables, which Jerry stole for me) and also live music. A band called “Maggots” played along with acoustic versions of some famous songs and I totally fell in love with them (don’t you dare tell them, though, because they’re graduates from my school).
At 10PM, when I started to feel really sleepy and gross by all the sweat, dirt and sun, they finally got to announcing the winners. And, holy moly, we won again. Me and Jerry won the category from 16 to 20 years old, just as we did last year. We got some very nice prices, such as a voucher for massage, free food in a restaurant, season ticket to gym, voucher for some cosmetic stuff, energy bars and some special feet warmers – in case I would like to climb Mt. Everest, you know? After the announcing ceremony, I got all the congratulations from my friends and I headed home.
When I got home and then straight to the bathroom, I took off my T-shirt and I froze in shock, because I found out I have sunburns all over my face, shoulders, arms, neck and chest. Ouch. It’s been almost a week now and it still hurts. However, I guess it was worthy.
…and that’s it! I hope you enjoyed my very little summary of the race. I would like to tell you more, but there’s nothing else to say actually, because the whole day was pretty much hiking through forests, getting lost and found, laughing and laughing and then not being able to move due to the sunburns and aching legs. I would like to thank to everybody, who has participated in the race – the organizators, everyone that helped out, everyone that ran the race, my supportive friends and family and most of all, Jerry, because without him, it wouldn’t be the same! So, thank you everyone! This time, it was my third time in the race and I can only confirm that it’s getting better and better. Not only that the weather was fabulous, but I’ve been to some similar events and I’ve never experienced such a friendly atmosphere, nice people and amazing organization. If you live nearby, or even if you don’t, come next year and try this race on your own skin, you will love it, I swear! You’ll definitely see me next year, this time accepting even bigger challenge – 50 KILOMETRES! See ya on the start line!