A wrong turn– “Race “Autumn Leaf””

A wrong turn– “Race “Autumn Leaf””

Everybody has their stories
Some of us are being sorry
Most of all 'bout things we've never done
Thinkin' that the time's been stolen
That we'll never have this moment
Anyway we keep going to run
Melovin – ‘Wonder’


# Prologue
While writing an article about Ukrainian half marathons, I came across a rather interesting «Autumn Leaf» run. Why was I interested? This is the "oldest" race on a 21 km distance held in Ukraine - in 2018 it was its 43rd start. In addition, it is carried out on the territory of Borispol Forestry, so it is not urban, but trail.
I registered on this website: athletic-events.com. The time of the race was the last Sunday of October, which was really cool, because at that time, in the middle of autumn, the forest was especially beautiful and full of bright colors. Despite the fact that it was my 9th half marafon, it was my first trail run for a distance of 21 km. In order to understand what a "trail" is and look at what was waiting for me, I additionally registered for the Didorivka Trail Run event with a smaller distance of 10 km. As it turned out later, this was a fairly appropriate decision, since the trail strongly differed from all previous starts.
# Start numbers and run routes
Following my tradition, I went for the start number a day before the race. You could get it in several locations:

  • For Kiev, the item was located at the Joma store near the Lisova metro station, it worked on
    Friday from 14.00 to 20.00 and on Saturday from 12.00 to 20.00.
  • Bright sports hub in Brovary on Friday from 18.00 to 21.00 and Saturday from 10.00 to19.00.
    You could also get a number right before the run in the starting town from 8:00 to 9:30.
    The starting number consisted of an envelope with the number in the middle, studs and sponsor
    brochures. Distances in which you could take part: 21 km, 10 km - main races; 5 km, relay race 2 * 5.5 km, Scandinavian walking for 5 km and children's distances - additional races.
    # Race Track
    For the 21 and 10 km, they used one root, so 21 km consisted of two circles of 10 km.
    The participants of distances 10 and 21 km started simultaneously, and then all others. There were 2 graduation points one one circle: the first was at 2.5 km from the start, the next one - at 7.5 km.
    # The road to the starting town
    In order to get from Kiev to Brovary, first of all you must to the Lisova metro station. Then the bus 404 will take you Terminal stop, from where it takes only 5 minutes of walking to the starting town, which is located on the territory of the forestry. A lot of rumbling runners on the way.
    On the lawn in front of the forestman's house they placed a scene, tents with numbers, delicious food and sporting goods.
    The participants of the race dressed up in the house of the forester, there a storage chamber was arranged and a massage device, which you could use after the run.
    When I got to the starting town, I quickly changed my clothes and went looking for a luggage locker.
    # Start of the adventures
    As in any adventure film, the beginning did not promise anything interesting. Everything was the same as in all previous races: the runners were going under the START frame, a countdown sounded and everyone ran forward. The beginning was successful, which was not surprising: the road began with, asphalt coating, after which it gradually switched to a ground road, deepening into the forest. The running process did not bring any discomfort.
    After the first 2.5 km of the route there were a hydration point, where I kindly drank a glass of water to slightly wet the throat. Everything went perfectly, until I reached 2 miles. I read the map well before the run and was sure that there was a turning point in there, but there were absolutely no directions. The flow of runners divided: one half ran in one turn, and the other - in the second one. I decided to turn and plunge into adventures in the autumn forest. The more we went deeper, the more the track destroyed the ground cover, it became more and more sandy. I can not say that it was good, especially when several dozen people ran in front of me. After notifying on the phone that it was already 4 miles, but there was no turning, my head was filled with thoughts that something was wrong. But everything came to its place, when others began to turn around. But I knew that the sign with the inscription "FINISH" sooner or later should appear.
    I could just enjoy the magnificent views and colors of the forest, meeting the mushroom pickers from time to time. I remembered to the movie "Marsh or Die", which in my case sounds like "Run or Die". From time to time someone overdrived me, and sometimes I did the same. Somewhere on the 15th kilometer, I realized that this run could smoothly pass in 30 km, or even a marathon. Some of those who came to run 10 km, as a result, ran all 21. The second point of hydration I was located at 17.5 km, which I really enjoyed.


# What happened to me
I can’t find the words to explain how happy I was, while crossing the finish line! After all, on the watches there were 1:58. Honestly, I did not think about the result at all, when I knew that I was not going right. Finishing, I found where to quench thirst and went to take things. I did not want anything more - just make a couple of photos, get a medal and go home.
# Impression
Impressions remained very strange. But so far I can confidently say that the race "Autumn Leaf" is exactly the most memorable in this season. Before it, I was sure that it would be 10 miles in Antwerp, where the alleged route for 10 miles actually went up almost 13 miles. On the one hand, a lovely autumn forest, good emotions: although at first I could not call them good, but eventually they turned into positive ones. Good trail: lots of sand, small climbs and descents. A great result for me. On the other hand, the route was not marked by the organizers. You're like running what you planned, but no. The participants ran to the finish from different sides of the forest. It was a pity for those who were forced to run all 21, in particular girls, instead of 10 km, I doubt if I would want to run after that, if it was my first run. But in general it was a good experience and a lot of positive emotions. I can confidently say that the race, despite the adventures, was the best for me.
# Organization
A good starting place with delicious food, tea and broth. But all this was overshadowed by the markup of the trail. When you finish and understand that you like did not run, it is difficult to find even a drop of positive. A smaller minus is a queue to take things to the luggage room.
Although it didn’t turn like I wanted, I still want to thank the organizers for these positive emotions, for allowing me to test myself in a new location and with new outcomes.

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Andrii Androshchuk
Andrii Androshchuk

I like running. My blog: androshchuk.com

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