World Masters Mountain Running
Korbielow, Poland
Saturday 28th August
It had been raining overnight when we got up in the Hotel Pilkso, the race headquarters for the World Masters race to the summit of Mount Pilkso. The route choosen mostly included wide landrover tracks and skiing pistes heading up 960m over 8km, a Ben Lomond and a third. It was not the most direct or most scenic and included some very bouldery tracks. The route only emerged from the forest over the last two kilometres above the ski hotel where soup and dry clothing were to be picked up before descending on foot. The ski lifts were not running though spectators were offered rides in a landrover for 25 Euros.

The rain stopped for the start of the classes of 65 and above. During the next hour the 60s started and then there was a downpour before my 55 class started.
No one apart from us Brits carried any waterproofs. The last part of the ascent and post race descent were treachorously slippery. Keith Burns assured me that he could see four colours of clay running down the hill.

When we got down to the soup we found all the plastic bags for several hundred competitors in miscellaneous bundles. The black felt tip marking were little help. Some shivered, some cried. Later, one of the organisers put the bags on one side and runners on the other and called numbers. So after an hour and half of waiting I found my extra bum bag full of clothing but wearing a cagoule had saved me from the worst. I noted that as this was Poland beer seemed cheaper than tea but not quite appropriate at that juncture.

As reported elsewhere Angela won the over 40s. Keith Burns, Alex Menarry, Martin Hulme from Corstorphine who travelled out with me, myself were all half way down our classes.

I was not happy with the overall organisation of the event, especially the transfer to the race venue from the airport. Looking at Poland I can say that while for some travel broadens the mind, for others it just confirms prejudices.

John Blair-Fish



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