- February 8, 2013
XI Giedymin Ski Marathon Was Held in Bezdany
On February 2, Bezdany were hosting Giedymin Ski Marathon, organized by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Vilnius District Municipality authorities and Sporting School of Vilnius District Municipality along with Bezdan Starosty.
It was the 11th edition of the marathon. Exceptionally large number of skiers, i.e. 210 (as compared with 176 people last year), decided to partake in the event this time. The growing number of cross-country skiing enthusiasts may indicate that year by year our marathon is becoming increasingly popular and well-thought-of. Moreover, the fact that the contestants came from various countries also proves the foregoing suggestion to be very likely. This year participated XC skiers, as usually, from Poland—from Sejn, Gołdapia and Olsztyn, but also from Latvia (Ryga), Russia (Moscow) and numerous Lithuanian cities: Jonawa, Poniewież, Szewele, Jeziorany, Kłajpeda, Elektrenaja, Kowno, Troki, Wisaginia, Vilnius and Vilnius district.
Like in the previous years, first few months of winter were not conducive for practising and preparing for the marathon in Bezdany. Thin and light as a feather blanket of snow caused many problems with the preparation of ski routes and above all raised doubts about conducting the competition on the day planned. Fickle weather in January forecast the postponement of the marathon to the following days. In a few days before the event pouring rain considerably altered a distance course. To make the race routes (13 and 17 km) prepared and passable for XC skiing, the employees of Sporting School in collaboration with Juliusz Słowacki Secondary School and Bezdan Starosty put a lot of effort into shoveling the snow from the verges to the route. More than 3 km of snow altogether were scattered by hand at the worst parts of the route.
During the night of Saturday into Sunday before the games over 10 cm of snow had fallen which might have filled with joy the organizers; yet, it brought additional difficulties and extra work. It covered up the prepared tracks; thus, the organizers from the break of dawn had to change the tracks and mark the distance once again as well as remove fallen and leaning, under the coat of heavy snow, young trees and branches. All the efforts of four-day work were positively appraised by the marathon contestants.
On the day of event over 350 people—sportsmen, supporters and dwellers of the Vilnius district—gathered in the stadium at Juliusz Słowacki Secondary School in Bezdany. The event was dignified by the presence of Vice Minister of Post and Telecommunications Władysław Kondratowicz (who also participated in the race), vicemer of the Vilnius District Municipality Czesław Olszewski, Director of Administration of the Vilnius District Municipality Lucyna Kotłowska, Deputy Director of Administration Robert Komarowski. At the starting-line contestants were greeted by vicemer Czesław Olszewski, who wished them successful competition, uncompromising struggle and, above all, covering the distance of Giedymin Marathon and spending their time succinctly after the race.
Depending on age, one can ski as little as 1 km up to the maximum of 34 km. School youth competed in 1, 2, 3, 5, 13 and 17 km; self-government members—in 17 km. Women had to choose a distance of 13 or 26 km; men—17 or 34 km. The fiercest fight took place between men at the distance of 34 km. After finishing the first loop of 17 km in the lead were: Simonas Narwidas from Elektrenai, Gintautas Czerniauskas, Marijus Butrimavičius from Trok, Aleksej Szipiłow from Moscow, Andrejevs Dmitrijs from Riga and Wilnianin Dainius Kiela.
After 25 km Dainius Kiela took over the leaders bib with a +1 second lead over his rivals and managed to keep it up to the finish line. The winner clocked a time of 1:49.00 h.
A tight rivalry was fought for a second position at the final straight between Gintautas Černiauskas i Simonas Narvydas.
Gintautas Černiauskas (1:50.15) came second, 2 seconds ahead of Simonas Narwydas (1:50.17).
At a distance of 17 km in the self-governors group a first place took Mieczysław Borusewicz (Staroste of Niemenczyn); second—Mirosław Romanowski (Department of Local Economy Deputy Manager of the Vilnius District Municipality Authorities); third—Marek Kuskowski from Gołdapia (Poland).
In the specific age groups of children the winners were: Emilia Siaro (Mościszki), Artur Kozłowski (Mościszki), Katarzyna Chmielewska (Gołdap), Inga Korwel (Szumsk), Piotr Pastuszyński (Gołdap), Kaspara Szulczis (Vilnius).
The victor in the open race category featuring 13 km was Jolanta Šulčienė (Vilnius) and 17 km—Radosław Aleksandrow. In the age groups covering 26 km the winners were: Vilma Paškevičienė (Elektreny), Virginija Gvildienė (Kowno). Among men in their age groups champions were the following: Petras Milašius (Jeziorany), Dainius Kiela (Vilnius), Simona Narvydas (Elektreny).
At the finish line each competitor received a keepsake medal or a little pennant and the winners in specific age groups were awarded with cups, medals, diplomas and material prizes.
Following the marathon competitors, supporters and guests might have warmed up by the fire, tasted a hot meal from the field kitchen, which was accompanied by the music that infused the event with a cheerful mood.
Within the cooperation between the Vilnius District Municipality and Gołdapia, a large delegation of skiers from Poland, under the direction of the Sports and Leisure Centre “OSIR Gołdap” manager Marek Kuskowski, appeared at the Giedymin Ski Marathon. The next stage of the cooperation is the arrival of the skiers from the Vilnius district to Gołdapia for a traditional “Bieg Jaćwingów” [Yotvingians’ Race—translator’s note], held on February 15-16. The organizers really rejoiced to see so many young people from Niemenczyn (with caretakers: Justyn Alicki and Franc Kodik), Mościszki (Regina Kozłowska, Jerzy Lewko) and Gołdapia (coach Władysław Sakowicz) attended the competition.
A record number of contestants, supporters and guests once again confirmed a need to hold that event which is organized and funded by the Vilnius District Municipality despite hard financial times.
At the “finish line” of marathon vicemer of the Vilnius District Municipality, Czesław Olszewski, invited everyone to the marathon next year.
Tłumaczenie Hanna Hołub w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Hanna Hołub the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.