The Jubilee MMM Has Shown Us That We Can Do Much More Than We Think

Programmers’ lives are often associated with sedentary work in a dark office. At first glance, it might seem that the only connection we have with sport is the development of applications for sports organizations. Fortunately, the opposite is true. We live for sports outside of programming as well. And not only as cyclists, footballers, chess players or strength training enthusiasts, but also as runners. After all, almost a third of bartans appeared on the track of the latest International Peace Marathon! In short, the hundredth year got us going to the maximum. How do our runners assess it and what resolutions do they take with them into the future?

Samo (42 km)

I’ve been running since about 2018. At the beginning, however, it was rather irregular and sometimes uncomfortable. I also participated in a triathlon where I ran 5 km, but I felt bad there and then I stopped running immediately.

However, everything changed when I received a call on vacation in August 2021 to go for a relay run with my colleagues, because one member fell out. For a month I trained a bit, it turned out great and I got to like MMM. The very next year, therefore, I set myself the goal of a half-marathon, which I didn’t manage under the planned 2 hours, but it was still a great experience.

The next jubilee 100th year, of course, the entire marathon had to follow. I didn’t run during winter at all, I started about half a year before the event, and very slowly at that. But then I quite successfully managed to follow the training plan, which I randomly downloaded from the Internet. At the time, I thought it would all go smoothly. It was during this preparation that I finally started to enjoy running and I learned a lot about it. Of course, I enjoyed the training sessions with my family, friends and colleagues the most, which were usually unplanned and we ran into each other by accident during the run 🙂 And then I got stopped – a month before the marathon I pulled a muscle and had to stop training for 2 weeks.

But I didn’t give up and on October 1st I stood at the start. Eventually, my legs started to hurt at about 25 km. The last 10 km were harder and I felt they were longer than the first 32. In the end, I was unable to meet the set goal of less than 4 hours. However, I’m already looking forward to next year, when I’ll be able to improve my time.

Bianka (21 km)

Over the years, my relationship to running has shifted from hatred (especially to longer distances), through the relay, to this year’s successful half-marathon. Initially, I thought it would be my last run, but the opposite is true. The amazing atmosphere of the race itself and the desire to improve confirmed to me that starting running was a good idea. So again next year, and I believe with a better time 🙂

Ľudo (21 km)

Since I’ve been working in bart, the Košice marathon has become an annual challenge for me. Endurance runs aren’t my strong suit, and it’s this event that forces me to work on this shortcoming of mine.

This year, I devoted only a minimum of time to preparation, but at least I tested my muscle memory in practice. The first phase of preparation was an all-inclusive holiday, where I gained calories that then had to be burnt. 😀 Subsequently, I spent a whole month intensively training. It ended quite well eventually, as I improved my time from last year a bit.

Perhaps it was also the fact that this year’s marathon was really unique – both in terms of the number of participants and fans. They created a great atmosphere and cheered on us to such an extent that one had to track whether they weren’t running too fast in order not to burn out immediately at the beginning. Summing up, this is the first time I’ve experienced such an atmosphere at MMM, and I believe that it’ll escalate every year. Just like my pace 🙂

Bianka, Samo and Ľudo in the finish

Marek (42 km in the pacer position with a target time of 3:30)

This year, I had another go as a pacemaker. And if I were to find out what was different at the hundredth MMM compared to the previous ones, I’d think about considerateness and tolerance. Among the last 14 marathons I competed in Košice, there was definitely the highest number of runners this year. However, the streets are still narrow and the capacity was clearly on edge. It would be very difficult to work our way as faster runners through slower marathon and half-marathon runners. But I have to say that everyone behaved very considerately, they gave way to our faster group and even in the crowd it was amazing.

Šafo (42 km)

A few years ago, after the MMM, my colleagues and I agreed to run the entire marathon for the 100th year. It was a spontaneous idea at the time, gently influenced by the alcohol in the blood 🙂 But since we said it out loud, we said to ourselves that we just had to fulfill it. And so it happened. When applying for MMM 2023, we signed up for the whole marathon and I set myself the goal of running it in under 4 hours. 

The training was difficult and it was necessary to include many more long runs (20 km+), so I started preparing at the beginning of the year. Every month I managed to run a bit more kilometers than the previous one. This difficult preparation eventually paid off for me. I ran the marathon in 3 hours and 58 minutes. And I even enjoyed it very much, especially for the fantastic atmosphere.

Dominik (33 km)

I remember leaving school one day a long time ago and seeing a billboard with an “ad” for the marathon. It was about the 87th year then and I was mentally counting how old I would be when the jubilee hundred would be planned. At the time, it didn’t even cross my mind that I could be a part of something like this. During that time, however, I went through several relay years. Then came the half-marathons and this year I decided to do the full length.

I may not have had as many training sessions as I should have had, but I believed that if I planned it well, it would be fine. Target was under 4 hours. The first 30 km I ran perfectly fine, I enjoyed the unrepeatable atmosphere. But then came a kilometer where everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong, and I wasn’t able to continue. So I wrapped it up at 33 km. You also need to know how to lose…

I’m taking away a good experience. I will definitely not stop running, maybe just the opposite – now I have even more commitment to other sports goals.

Lukáš (21 km)

This year’s half-marathon was my third, but I enjoyed it the most of all. I didn’t have high goals: to reach the finish line, not to rush (but not to have a worse time than last time), and above all to enjoy the atmosphere of the centenary. I fulfilled everything and it was really great. Now my next goal is to keep the habit and improve my time.

Pali (21 km)

I have participated in MMM three times so far – the first time I ran a shorter section of the relay, a longer section a year later, and this time it was the half marathon. I trained straight up – for short and long distances, both on the flat surface and in the hills, and I didn’t even leave out the intervals. The reward was breaking my personal record with an official time of 2:05. But there’s still room for improvement 🙂 Who knows, maybe next year I’ll push my boundaries again.

Mirka (42 km in the position of a pacer with a target time of 4:00)

This year was especially powerful for me in terms of the huge trust that people put in us, pacers. During the run, I stopped at about 15 kilometers and looked at where our 4-hour group actually ended. It was perhaps 80 to 100 meters long! I don’t dare say how many people were in it, but out of a sense of responsibility and amazing trust of so many runners, my stomach tightened and my knees slightly buckled. At the same time, it also gave me an extra dose of energy.

I also appreciate the runners who came with us and unexpectedly took on some of our tasks. They took water at refreshment stations for a runner who ran next to them, cleared the way with us when there were more people on the track, or served grape sugar from us to people who were further at the back. Thank you

Relay team “Barťanskí vytrvalci”

Julka (12 km)

My main question before the race is always: Why am I doing this to myself?! 😀 But then at the end I always remember the reason. Although my head remembers only the sufferings of the last training sessions, my subconscious offers me the best memories of the indescribable atmosphere and the perfect feeling after a finished run. Compared to the last participation in MMM, I pushed the boundaries in km and in pace, and I’m already curious where my feelings will push me at the next MMM. I’m already playing with the idea of a half-marathon, but I still have a long way to go.

Aďa (9 km)

So far, I’ve only completed a minimarathon when it comes to the MMM, so this year was basically my premiere. I tried to prepare for this fair and square, although it wasn’t always easy to get to training in addition to all other duties. I was also worried because I had never run so many kilometers at once before. In the end, I managed my stretch within the time limit I gave myself and during the run I felt better than I expected. I guess the cheering of people and the overall atmosphere also helped me.

Maťo (12 km)

I’ve done a few half-marathons, but I haven’t run at all in the last few years and I’ve even sold my running watch. But my colleagues lured me to the relay this year, and since I don’t like to break a group, I had no choice but to blow the dust off my trainers and run outside a couple of times. Of course, it allowed me to buy a new, even cooler watch 🙂 A better opportunity would be hard to find. 

And how was it? The unmistakable atmosphere of the oldest marathon in Europe absorbed me again. A few times on the track, I just smiled like an idiot and let it flow through me. Beyond the finish line, we all waited for each other, put medals around each other’s necks, and went along with others to replenish fluids – even those that we didn’t necessarily need. I don’t want to believe that I’m writing this, but I’ll probably repeat it in a year, maybe again by myself.

Ady (9 km)

This year was my second participation in MMM. The last leg of the relay again, which is great because I had 4 medals waiting for me in the finish! I am not a runner, I haven’t even set myself a limit into which I’d like to fit, because I haven’t really trained much. For me, MMM is more about the atmosphere and experience. Next year I’d also like to do the relay, but I’ll try the longer 12 km leg.

Barťanskí vytrvalci” – Ady, Julka, Maťo and Aďa

AjTyBoyz relay team

Paťo (12 km)

This year I ran at MMM for the first time. We managed to put together a great team for the relay and I also scored the best opening leg of the relay, so the atmosphere was absolutely great. I expected a lot of people, but there were even more. 😀 The icing on the cake was that when I finished and handed over the baton, Viktor, who was waiting for the beginning of his leg, immediately handed me a beer 😀

Matej (9 km)

My first experience with MMM was a great finale to my year-long effort to change my lifestyle. I used this as an additional motivation, starting with a gradual diet in the winter, changing the diet and habits, and gradually adding sports activities. I never liked running, I always told myself that I didn’t have the figure and genetics for it, and so on. Those who know me, know that as a matter of principle I wouldn’t even run to catch a tram 🙂 I couldn’t have had a better opportunity and motivation than to participate in the 100th MMM in my hometown. 

After losing 22 kg I decided to start running a few months before the start. To my surprise, I started to enjoy it very much. Eventually, I achieved my goal – I managed my relay leg at for me once an unthinkable pace of 6 min/km. The atmosphere, which was electrifying, played a big role. Although I’m a native of Košice, I’ve never even gone to watch the marathon. However, this race changed everything and I can’t even imagine not participating in the next year!

Viktor (12 km)

I’ve completed my second participation in the relay at the MMM. Like before, I let myself be persuaded to do it again. As a good team leader, I’m supposed to lead by example, apparently. These arguments got me and there was no way back. So I started with pro-forma training and I was looking for my limits. So much so that I ended up in orthopedics with a diagnosis of knee arthrosis. Unfortunately, I am not the lightest or youngest 🙂 

But I got consumed by running (and maybe I was just looking for an excuse to get out of the house three times a week for 2 hours :D). I didn’t want to give up despite the orthopedist’s recommendation. And I think it was worth it. The atmosphere was so electrifying that I managed the first km at a pace that I’ve never even ran during training. I said to myself, Viktor, slow down otherwise you’ll collapse. 😀 So I slowed down and looked for a pacer running at a pace suitable to me. 

I tactically used refreshment stations to relax. So I enjoyed a sip of an ion drink in the walking mode 🙂 Of course, I also had a fan club on the track, my wife and daughter Dianka. And her assessment of my participation was the best: Dad, I thought you got lost, because I’ve been waiting a really long time to see you 🙂 Children’s honesty, as it should be.

The last member of the AjTyBoyz relay was our client Peter Varga, head of product management from the international team of Dr. Max. As part of his visit to Košice, Peťo willingly filled in for our colleague Tomáš, who suffered a fracture at the end of August. 

We thank all bartans for a great representation and we keep our fingers crossed for you for the next years 🙂