Sunday, October the 4th 2020. The day of the 8th NajNaj21 Trail Halfmarathon.
The full name of this trail running event is Najlepši in najtežji polmaraton which means The most beautiful and the most difficult halfmarathon.
I totally agree with the most beautiful As for the most difficult ... It is difficult enough. 21 kilometers with around 1300 meters of climb (officially) make if demanding.
It was to be my third appearance at this event which is on the calendar in March. This year it was postponed to October, for obvious reasons. Instead of early spring, we got early autumn. Yet, the weather was probably the same - wet, windy, and not so cold.
Due to the situation, the organizers set up a special protocol with three groups for bib numbers pick up and for the start.
I was in the second group and was early for the bibs. I had ample time to write a prequel (NajNaj21) and catch an hour of sleep in the car. A great start.
The wave start with three groups was on at 10 am with fifteen-minute intervals. My group was ready at 10:15. It was rainy and around 10 degrees so I opted for a long-sleeved running shirt with short pants. There were five refreshment stations on the course and we didn't need any special backpacks with us. I carried my running belt with the phone to take pictures and the silicone cup for the beverages at the stations.
Let the photos help me walk you through the run.
Designated starting places and masks.
I smuggled myself into the last row, no mask. I have health issues with them.
10:32 first real climb
When we came out of the woods after the start and started climbing on the ridge toward the church, the wind caught us. It wasn't uncomfortable.
Despite the clouds, the views were still beautiful.
This was probably one of the steepest climbs on the run. Or better said walk :)
The first refreshment station was huddled by the church's wall. Most of us skipped it. We greeted and thanked the volunteers in any case.
10:40 A view from the top
Three minutes later, going down the other side of the hill, the church is distant history.
And another climb begins.
10:58 Second refreshment station
This one is at the foot of the climb up the highest point of the trail.
The climb begins with a church. Yes, there are many churches around Slovenia. But that's another story.
The trail was marked extremely well. Little red flags in the ground are far better than tapes on the branches.
11:22 on the top
A view from the top of Tošč, with 1021 meters the highest point of the run.
Another great view on the way down.
11:55 yet another hill
Going up another hill, this time Osolnik.
Throughout the day I've seen smiling faces everywhere.
And again, hills and valleys, farms and woods. I love this land.
12:11 next pit stop and the hill above
All the volunteers were extremely friendly and supportive. Thank you very much, my friends!
Since this part of the trail is the least demanding and equally beautiful I'll let the photos speak. Yes, there will be a church in the photos too.
12:19 an easy climb it was
Here the photos from the hardest part are missing. A slippery very steep downhill section covered with mud, grass, and branches. It was fun.
From this point all the way to the finish I stopped taking photos. I set myself the goal to finish in under three hours.
1:15 am - made the loop
2 hours, 59 minutes, and something. Strava tells me that net time was 2:47. Twelve minutes for stopping at the stations and talking with people, and for taking photos. There is still space for improvement, obviously. Yet I rather greet people who help us than spurt by without the word.
I cheered for fellow runners coming into the finish.
My Inov-8 X-Talon 212 were covered with mud. It's healing, they say.
It might be that these soles are not the most suited for such conditions. Then, nothing is.
After I changed into the civilian clothes I went into the inn to have lunch. It was well deserved, beer included. Cheers!
From the heart rate distribution chart it can be seen that this run wasn't just a walk in the park. Usually, I don't reach these levels.
The map of the run.
It was a great experience.
As for the result and some statistical insight, maybe some other time.
All the physical activity data that I display in my @exhaust and @actifit reports is gathered with the help of Coros Pace sports watch and displayed with Coros app.
Join Actifit program, stay fit and earn crypto - STEEM, AFIT, AFITX, PAL, SPORTS, ...
Vote for Actifit as a Witness
Official Actifit links: Discord | Website | Android app | iOS app | FAQs | Text Tutorial
I am a long-time Actifit user and ambassador for the program. Please, ask me anything about it.