This year’s edition of the Bucharest International Marathon happened on a beautiful and sunny day in October. This was my fifth participation at MIB. Like every year I ran a half marathon.

MIB is the most important running event in Romania by the number of participants. What makes special this event is that you meet many friends, colleagues and people you would not see in a while.

With my former colleagues before the start of the half marathon. They just finished the 10 km race and got their medals. Behind us is the Palace of the Parliament, the biggest building in Europe.

For this race, I aimed to finish it in 1 hour and 45 minutes. In order to achieve this,I planned to follow the 1:45 pacers. One advantage of this plan is that you don’t have to look at your watch and calculate how fast you should go during the race. You just follow the pacers and if you are up to that task you’ll finish in 1:45.

Everything went according to the plan until at km 17, when I was not able to continue keeping up with the pacers. For the first 17km, my pace was at about 5 min per km then I dropped at 5:15 and finally for the last two kilometers at 5:35. Eventually, I finished in 1:47:32 which is not a bad time, after all, it is my second best time. This result placed me in the first 20% of the 2166 people who finished the half marathon.

Full energy at the start of the 12th edition of Bucharest International Marathon. Near me, you can see a 1:50 pacer helping those who wanted to finish the half marathon in one hour and fifty minutes.
After 4km into the race. Far behind us, you can see the Palace of the Parliament. I am the one with the blue cap.

Once the half marathon was finished we waited to greet our colleagues, from the group “Trupa lui Fane”, who were running the marathon race. On that heat, at above 25 degrees Celsius, it was very hard to run for many hours. Especially for those who finished in 4 or 5 hours, the race was really difficult. Because of that many people abandoned during the marathon. A suggestion for the organizers for the next editions would be to start the marathon earlier.

A small group from “Trupa lui Fane” after the half marathon race.

My thanks and gratitude to my coach Stefan Oprina for the training and the constant encouragement he gave me in many situations. One example, before joining his team I often had injuries because I did no warm up before the training sessions.

Also, warm thanks to Radu Neagu, who after running a half marathon took us pictures, including the photo above.

This was my tenth official half marathon. In 2015 I finished it in 2:15 and now I can run the same distance almost 30 minutes shorter, which is quite ok in my opinion.

Leaving aside these technical details, more important is that running changed my life. I would like to end this story with a quote that has been on my mind since I start running four years ago:

An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.” – Emil Zatopek