We Did It! : Belgrade Marathon 2009

 

Ready to Go!
Ready to Go!

 

Nadia and I had a wonderful run in the 22nd Belgrade Marathon yesterday. One could feel the excitement as the gun went off to announce the start of the race. Thousands of runners shouted and raised their hands as we moved in unison up Queen Aleksandra Street. It was a thrilling rush to be part of such a mob activity. There were people cheering and watching along most of the route. The sunny skies and cool (70 F) temperatures made for beautiful sites and nice running conditions. 

We decided to run together instead of me chasing the Kenyans. Below is as close as I got to the elite runners. They swepts the top spots as expected. We ran 15 kilometers, the most we have ever done together in a time of 1 hour and 38 minutes. Vera our nanny watched the kids at home so Nadia and I treated it as a running date again. The views of the city were spectacular, such as the shot I took from Branko’s Bridge below.

 

 

I Am Trying to Pscyhe Out the Kenyans
I Am Trying to Pscyhe Out the Kenyans

 

The first 5 kilomters on the old side of Belgrade, south of the Sava River went by extremely quickly. The next 10 kilometers were the tough part as we crossed the bridge into New Belgrade. The nice thing about New Belgrade is that it is former swampland that Tito’s socialists developed and it is completely flat. We ran along the Danube all the way to Zemun and then separated from the marathon course at the 10 kilometer mark. We then finished the last 5 kilometers by crossing the main high way overpass near the Mercator Shopping Center. 

 

The View from Brankov Most
The View from Brankov Most

 Nadia had the best orange juice she ever drank immediately after we stopped. We then luckily found a taxi near the highway and we were back home in 5 minutes. We both pledged to train more next spring and run the half marathon (21 kilometers). 

After the race, I was extremely tired and as I write this my legs are still a bit sore. I’ll go out for a run this morning with Ocean as soon as she wakes up. We took the kids to McDonald’s and played in the yard for the rest of the afternoon. Nadia made a nice risotto and then we went for a walk for ice cream. Belgrade reminds me of Michigan summertime right now. 

We are beginning our Spring Break and have the next week off of school. The Orthodox Christian Easter is today and so we have our break later than most countries. 

 

Survived! Ready for the 21 kilometers in 2010!
Survived! Ready for the 21 kilometers in 2010!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring On the Kenyans!!! Belgrade Marathon 2009

 

  

Registration, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Nadia and I are shown above after registering for the 2009 “Banca Intensa” Belgrade Marathon. This is the 22nd edition of one of the biggest sporting events in Serbia. This is the first that the Kralovec family will be participating. We will be representing our countries (Australia & USA) against the best in the world.

There are four races actually today. There is the marathon, a half marathon, and the UNICEF 5 km fun run. Within the marathon, there is the military world marathon championship, with soldiers from all over the world participating.

Nadia and I, being “serious” runners, signed up for the half marathon. Nadia was the 701rst woman to register. I was too busy soothing Oliver to find out what number I was. We bought the boys UNICEF shirts so they could feel they were getting a t-shirt and registering for a run also.

My race strategy will be to focus on the list below. Hey Mathew Cheboi, if you are reading this, I’m gunning for you! I’ll find his number (701), get next to him, and then run with him until the last 5 kilometers where I intend to pull away. Then if I am feeling good, I’ll keep going and maybe take on some of the guys in the marathon. I can’t believe that I wasn’t on the list below. 

Seriously, Nadia and I intend to run 10 kilometers together and then quietly step off the course. We have not been training much. I don’t know how much my 41 year old body can do with exactly 3 training runs behind a jogging stroller. Being an international school principal and have three children under the age of 6 really cuts into training time! If I am feeling good, I’ll go on and finish the second half of the half marathon and do another 11 kilometers. 

 

Where is Bill Kralovec USA?
Where is Bill Kralovec USA?

This is our first really big race. We have run in lots of 10 kilometer races back in Michigan, as well as the annual Guacamaya “Run For The Earth Fun Run,” but never have we done a city marathon with thousands of participants. I wonder how far away from the Kenyans I’ll be when we start off?

My main goals are to enjoy time with my wife, get some exercise, and enjoy the sights of the city. We start in front of national parliament and get to run across the bridge to New Belgrade and back. We are three hours from race time as I write this. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I have Oliver and Owen convinced that I am going to win. 

 

 

 

Will I see this?
Will I see this?