Running is gaining more and more enthusiasts in Poland. How come? Every day, parks are full of joggers, and running events enjoy unflagging popularity. Where is the best place to practice this sport in Kraków?
The capital of Małopolska is not without its fair share of running spots. On Runner’s World website, Dariusz Kaczmarek, a marathon runner and coach, recommends three short, several kilometre-long routes ideal for a quick training – Pilots Park, Zakrzówek and Nowa Huta grasslands. These routes will allow you to both connect with nature, as well as see some impressive monuments. Moreover, runners in Kraków especially enjoy running paths along Vistulan Boulevards, Planty Park, Błonie and Polish Pilots Park located next to the University of Physical Education.
Who to run with?
There are many running groups in Kraków that can be joined for free and without any hassle with formalities. All you have to do is to come at the given time to the meeting and start training with other less or more experienced runners. People who like to do sports in the morning can join the Morning Patrol. It is a group that starts training between 5.15 and 5.45 a.m. from Cichy Kącik in Błonia or upper Hofman Street. The runners also organize trips outside Kraków – mainly in the Tatras and the Beskids, and in November some of them take part in the marathon in Athens.
On the other hand, people who like training at night may join Night Runners. This group is dressed in characteristic fluorescent T-shirts, and meets twice a week by the Wawel Dragon Statue (on Mondays at 8:30 p.m.) or at the entrance to Jordan Park (on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.). They run 4-6 km every training. Husaria Race Team is a group perfect for runners who want to crave an adrenaline boost and enjoy more rigorous exercise. It is a group of extreme sports enthusiasts that regularly participate in obstacle courses, with the most popular ones being Runmageddon, Mud Max, and Spartan Race Sprint. The group trains three times a week, and its schedule also includes endurance and functional-running trainings.
Numerous running events are organized in Małopolska, which present an excellent opportunity to test your abilities and enjoy the atmosphere of competition. One of the most interesting events is the Three Mounds Race,
which has been organized annually since 2007. Although it takes place in the centre of Kraków, it has been classified as a mountain run as the difference in levels on the route reaches 160 m. Together with PZU Cracovia Marathon
and Royal Half Marathon, it is part of the Royal Running Triad organized
in the capital of Małopolska.
People who start their adventure with running and feel more confident at shorter distances, can take part in the Tour de Małopolska,
which includes, among others, Myślenicki Street Run, Lisiecka Piątka, Summer RUN in Gródek by the Dunajec and the November Tarnowska Dyszka. The four 10K runs are a great opportunity to evaluate your progress and beat your own records.