Krkonoše Mountains

Upon returning from Germany I spent a week training and racing in the Krkonoše Mountains – a region in the north of the Czech Republic close to the border with Poland.

I was joined in a few workouts by Martina Chrástková – winner of several Czech National Championship titles in cross country skiing. My favourite part of the week was a great 20km run which went over the top of the Czech Republic’s highest point – Sněžka (1602m) – roughly translated as “Snowy”. It certainly lives up to it’s name as over a week ago it had it’s first snowfall of the year. The peak straddles the border with Poland so I have now visited three countries on my continental training tour.

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Looking away to the SW from Sněžka.

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The futuristic looking Polish weather observatory on the summit of Sněžka.

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Crossing the border into Poland.

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Poland!

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On the summit with Martina Chrástková .

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Looking down at the unique plateau.

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Crossing a bog on the plateau.

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Looking back at the peak of Snezka.

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Perhaps this is one of the roads to Sochi that everyone is talking about these days.

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Getting ready for a big rollerski workout.

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And we’re off!

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The start of what turned into a torrential downpour.

On Saturday I raced a 7.5km cross country race in Vrchlabí. I was quite pleased with my effort and pacing in this race, though I just missed the podium again!

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Another trail race, another 4th place finish.

After the race I borrowed a mountain bike and cycled 35km back to Trutnov. This was a real cross country ride, passing through fields, along back roads, up logging roads in the mountains, walking the bike through short sections of hiking trails, cruising downhill on gravel roads and enjoying beautiful views all along the way.

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Beautiful views ahead, smelly manure to the right.

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A very deep quarry.

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Horses in front of Black Mountain.

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Horses in motion.

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Horses at attention.

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A beautiful road to cycle along.

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Vaclav Havel’s Hradecek cottage. I was very surprised that there is no sign or plaque indicating the significance of this place.

On Sunday we left the Krkonoše mountains and drove about two hours west because I had another date with Ještěd – this time it wasn’t a run, but a 12km classic rollerski race with 600m of elevation gain to the summit. Unfortunately we weren’t racing on standardized skis, and because my skis were a bit slower than others I can’t guage how I raced too accurately.

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Giving my best impression of a professional skier.

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Ještěd and I have spent a lot of quality time together this month.

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Looking satisfied after another weekend of racing, and enjoying the rare beautiful weather.

Enjoy the last day of September! Where does the time go?

 

4 responses to “Krkonoše Mountains

  1. Czech mountains in the fall look so beautiful. Perfect training ground indeed. Was in Canada yesterday running the Detroit-Windsor intl half marathon, I had a blast despite the wind and cold weather. Managed to beat my personal record by over a minute (totally unexpectedly). bad news is that now I feel the pressure on myself to go hunt for a sub 1.30 hr 1/2 marathon next year…

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