Engineering Manager / Trail Runner / Budapest, Hungary

New HM PR: 1:39’47”

It’s been a while I wrote about running here but the Nike sponsored blog getting closed down means this is about to change. I never stopped running; sometimes more sometimes less but I’m always out there. As a general tendency, however, I felt I’m getting slower.

And then at the annual summer marathon relay’s individual half-marathon I managed to run a new personal best. It was so surprising I didn’t even realise it at the time, only afterwards.

Granted, the conditions were perfect. Held in the middle of June this relay is usually ran in scorching heat. Last year tents had to be erected for the runners to wait under for the baton exchange. Not this time: although rain was predicted, the sky was only heavily clouded with the temperature between 15 and 20°C.

One other thing I dislike about this event is the fact that the track is only a 7 km circle, which means individual half-marathoners have to complete three laps. I’ve always found these kinds of races quite disheartening. I rather run a track with no repeats, if possible.

I have not trained specifically for this distance, neither before nor now. Usually I could finish under 1:45′, and my PB was just barely under 1:40′. Some races I ran with my dad at a comfortable 1:50’+ pace. Here’s my progression in detail:

  1. 2010 September: 1:53’23” — my very first official HM time
  2. 2011 April: 1:44’39”a very windy HM I was quite happy about
  3. 2011 September: 01:44:05a small improvement
  4. 2012 April: 1:41’54”tried to get under 100 minutes
  5. 2012 September: 1:50’14”
  6. 2013 April: 1:39’51”the now beaten PR
  7. 2015 April: 1:53’37” — accompanied my dad to his first HM
  8. 2015 September 1:53’39” — again, my dad’s (60) tempo
  9. 2015 November 1:42’31”
  10. 2016 April: 1:44’54”

Without any special training or set goal on June 12 I managed to run an official time of 1:39’47”. That means I’ve only shaved four seconds off of my PR, nevertheless I’m still quite proud and happy. It feels like I’m back in the saddle and not that old just yet.

K&H half-marathon

17th K&H olympic marathon relay

Crossing of my list another thing I haven’t done before: participating in an official organised running event.

How I ended up as a member of a marathon relay is somewhat complicated: an ex-colleague of mine saw the Facebook ad of her ex-colleague who was looking to find a 6th teammate, and  promptly she set us up. (The team had lost a member because due to the heavy rains and flooding the race had to be delayed.)

It was an interesting experience to run in a race. The proximity of other runners can both be a source motivation and desperation. When I had my turn (2nd leg) I was quite happy to see how many others I was easily able to take over during the first 1,5 km or so. Later on though this exhilaration induced starting speed took its toll when I tried to keep it up during the long and extremely hot riverside section. I ended up finding another contestant with a similar pace and followed her for the most part.

The refreshment tables were a pleasant change from my usual runs when I have to scour for sources of water constantly. (And Hungary is a lot less equipped with public wellsprings than Japan.) I particularly enjoyed the spray shower, albeit it lasted for only a fraction of a second if ran through.


Our team consisted of amateur runners and was aptly named Váltáska, a word play on the similar words for baton exchange and shoulder bag. Despite the scorching heat our cumulative time was just 7 seconds above 4 hours and 5 minutes. My leg lasted 37’16” according to the Nike+ chip, which proved to be perfectly precise: it announced the 7km mark just as I was handing the baton over.