Running is for everybody… and medals too!
Written by Unity Line   

It improves your fitness, condition, heart, lungs, and muscles, sleep, and thinking and above all makes you happy. It's no news that running is supported by many solid arguments. Plus, if you can get a medal without breaking the world record, you just put on your shoes and do it.

But there are many more reasons to run regularly. This activity is becoming more and more popular as it is a relatively inexpensive sports discipline that does not require special equipment. The popularity brings new sports events where non-professionals can test their abilities.

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On your mark, get set… go!

This year will see the 39th edition of PKO Szczecin Half Marathon. The participants will test themselves at 21 km 97.5 m and 10 km. We asked the organizers, K2 partners, about the preparations for the event planned for August. As it turned out, everything is virtually ready.

‘The 2018 route will be in 99% identical to the 2017 route. All we need is the final approval of the traffic section of the Municipal Authority.The route starts in Jasne Błonia, goes to the Chrobry Embankment and returns to Jasne Błonia (the 10 km run ends here). The 21 km run continues towards the old Pogodno to return via Mickiewicza (at the level of Żołnierska) to Jasne Błonia. It is one lap, which means the participants don't go the same route twice,’ said Marcin Paprocki, director of the 39th PKO Szczecin Half Marathon.

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Marine motifs

The official designs of medals and shirts are also ready. The organizers have accustomed us to marine motifs (like a steering-wheel or anchor in the past) and Marcin Paprocki confirmed nothing changed here.

‘Marine, harbour, and seafaring motifs stay. This is the nature of the place, after all. This year's motif, the globe, can be appreciated on our website. The medal has not been presented yet, but it soon will,’ explained. 

The organizers attach great significance to the design of the medal awarded to the participants after a completed run. It is not just a reward for the effort and sweat they left on the route but an opportunity to promote the half marathon in the whole country as well. Medals and T-shirts from Szczecin are appreciated every year in the best medal and T-shirt contest organized by www.maratonypolskie.pl; in 2017, Szczecin came in 9th and in 2016, 2nd.

‘Marketing visualisation is particularly important to us. It is what makes us stand out not only in the region but in Poland. As you can see, we are at the top. Is it our motivation? To some extent, yes. Still, contests are not what we do it for. We seek cohesion and for our medals and T-shirts to stand out.I hope this year's medal will be received well as it will be slightly different once more. The real hit will be the 2019 medal. The 40th edition of the half marathon will be held that year and we have very special plans for it, an outstanding idea,’said Marcin Paprocki and added that medals not always went on the wall after the event. Sometimes they became… a piece of jewellery. ‘The 2016 medal, the anchor is still used by some ladies as a pendant. They replaced the ribbon with a thong and it worked great. This is how a medal becomes everyday jewellery and I think that was what we wanted.

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Everybody wants to run… even in burning heat

Despite the fact that the half marathon is 21 km to run, there are many people interested in it and more come every year. Marcin Paprocki explained that it may be easier to beat a half marathon than participate in shorter distance runs for a someone who runs regularly. It is because the pace at 21 km is lower than at 5 or 10 km. He assured that those who keep a reasonable pace and take the weather into account will reach the finish line.

When it comes to the weather, the 39th PKO Szczecin Half Marathon will take place 26 August when high, tiresome, and unfavourable temperatures are quite possible, but the event will not be rescheduled. This is because the discipline is becoming more and more popular.

‘The date is predetermined by historical factors and the running event schedule. This year's schedule is very busy. Today, it is impossible to find a date for a run that would not clash with other recognized events. Several running events can take place on one weekend in a given area,’ said Marcin Paprocki. ‘There are also principles for setting dates of specific distances. Marathons, for example, should be held in spring and autumn when the temperatures are milder. The same goes for half marathons, which additionally cannot be held at the same time as marathons. Half marathons are often considered pre-season events for marathons and they should be held 2–4 weeks before marathons, which sets quite a rigid time frame. The half marathon in Szczecin has been held on the last weekend of August for years and we wanted to keep it that way,’ added he.

Run or cheer!

If you want to improve your condition, body, lungs, heart, and muscles or be happier, start running today and test yourselves on 26 August during the 39th PKO Szczecin Half Marathon. If you are not ready yet, come and cheer on those who break their records. More about the 39th Szczecin Half Marathon on the official site: www.halfmarathon.szczecin.pl.