2. season 2018 – summary

A week before Easter, a little less than 300 runners met in the Svit to support three individuals with severe muscular disease. Specifically, 3-year-old Maria Kubova from Vikartovce, 19-year-old Darius Renner from Prešov and 22-year-old Radovan Zmij from Trebišov.

The charity run was supported by many companies, individuals, local authorities, but also more than 30 volunteers, thanks to whom we were able to collect € 4038. The funds were redistributed to Maria for a rehab, Darius for a shower bed and Radovan for a positioning bed. We would like to thank all participating volunteer, runners and sponsors for the support, especially the ČSOB Foundation and the Slovak Children’s Foundation in cooperation with the Dôvera insurance company. We appreciate it and thank you very much!

ALS BEH 2018

The start was scheduled for 9AM, and after less than an hour and 37 minutes, we already had a winner – Patrik Milata (1988) from Elite team OCRA and 4 minutes later his younger brother Paskal (1993). The third with 1:42:10 was always young Julius Kaľavský (1976) from All4Run Margecany. The winner of the 50-year-old category, Emil Mlynárčik (1960) from Hôrka finished in the perfect eighth place and we only waited for the first woman 1 hour and 57 minutes from the start. It was Michaela Kucharikova (1992) from AC Kriváň Liptovský Mikuláš, who took the 19th overall. From local runners we would highlight the performance of Jana Perinajová, who ranked 2nd in the category over 40 years, Marek Kačmarčík – 3rd place in the category above 40, Danica Božová, who won her category over 50 years and Vladimir Zima – 3rd place above 60 years.

The youngest participant was 18 and the oldest 72 years. Only 42 runners (14%) aged 18-29 were involved in the run, which tells us internally that it is a very small number. We hope, therefore, that thanks to our this year premiere of “Children’s run”, we will teach young generation for love to sport.

ALS BEH 2018 - vrchnaciky

The weather was beautiful on Saturday, but the coat of snow in the woods also did for seasoned runners. The steep slopes were icy here and there and technically very demanding – something the organizers had repeatedly warned about – but one unrestrained movement was enough to fall and to injure. On a difficult terrain, a runner from Bratislava fell and unfortunately had to be hospitalized by a helicopter due to a wide lacerated knee injury. Fortunately, everything ended up well, and in the assessment he was already in the arena’s premises and with a smile on his face told us: “Next year again!”

Traditionally, the runners were asked to bring as many plastic bottle caps as possible for registrationfor the little Sabinka. The fact that the runners took the responsibility was shown by triple increase in numbers over the last year. We picked up over 200kg of caps! We are extremely fond of the runners’ interest to help in this way too. You can also join all year round! Even with this symbolic activity, great things can be done, as evidenced by more than 56 tons of gathered caps = circa 11,660 € that Sabina’s parents were able to use for treatment.

So the run is over. What now? Rest? Definitely not! Now is the season of our “garbage collection”. You will learn more about the time and place of organizing the closest garbage collection in the sub-page “Scrap collection”. We kindly invite you all to do something extra for our city and the surrounding countryside.
We wish you a beautiful spring and even more beautiful summer full of sports activities with your family and your friends!

Greetings, Športuj srdcom o.z.

ALS BEH 2018 - detské behy

Second year as seen by Jakub Gurka

Hello friends,

At my FB site or Instagram you may have noticed that I invited you to a great event, which is a charity run called “Ján Svočák Memorial” or “ALS BEH”. This was already the second year, and the motto of the run is: “We are breathing and helping the ones whose own muscles have left them.” Race is aimed at helping people suffering from ALS, a type of muscular atrophy involving the loss of central nervous system (brain and spinal motoneuron) cells that control the consciousness muscular movements. The patient cannot control his movements and gradually dull all his muscles in the body. However, the brain continues to work, and in full consciousness of mental abilities, the patient remains paralyzed. The most notable person suffering from this disease was Stephen Hawking, the genius who recently left us. Run is also a reminder of the organizer’s father, who was a passionate athlete and also suffered from this disease. This year, thanks to the race, three young people were helped by the same amount of money, which was collected from start-ups, sponsorship donations, on-site contributions, and a collection of plastic bottle tops.

I participated in this event last year and therefore I did not hesitate this year.

Jakub Gurka

We went to race with Lenka, but I was the only one running since it is a cross half marathon, which is a rather demanding discipline. Already on Friday we went to my parents in Podolín, from where we were closer to the race. Mommy prepared a great dinner, but we could not finish it because of the already full stomach … sorry mom 😀

We woke up around 6:20 on Saturday, had breakfast and drove to Svit where the start was located. Race started at 9 o’clock but registration and start-number pick-up was possible until 8:30. My number this year was 236, which I attached to my shirt, which I currently wear on every run. Registration was quick, without any problems. Before the start, I have also handed out 12 prizes from www.ostoreshop.sk, which I created for the ODLO sports shop where I work alongside the trainers activities, which became one of the sponsors of the event. Since we had a car heated and outdoor was a little bit cold, I started preparing myself and Lenka was warming up in a car. Before that, I went to hand out the collected plastic caps that I got. Of course my plastic bag tore apart and I had to pick up the caps again. During picking up one of the racers made fun of me asking if I am gathering the last ones from the ground quickly and Lenka had fun from me in the car – not really willing to help me 😀 . We started at 9 am.

Compared with the previous year the track was the same but in opposite direction what we already knew. So we also knew that there will be a lot of hill at the beginning, then more or less straight ground. That’s why I was not in hurry at all.

The first hill was also known from the Spartan Race, which was held there two years ago. I already stood up at the start with my thighs and bumps hurting what was the result of a quarter training … I did not expect that. The hills went well, for a bit of unscratched calves it was a challenge, but they recovered very fast. The downhill went also well, despite the slippery surface, I managed them quickly. Maybe I should have slow down a bit, because the second half of the race was hard for me. At the first refreshment, I was quite pleased that I was breathing, drawing up the strength of brutal wide refreshment choices and water. I took a banana, an orange I had been looking forward to since the start, raisins, magnesium and passed on.

The second half as I said was very difficult, the energy was low, the result of exhaustion, the hard legs from training and my preparation units did not last longer than 10km, which is a mistake and I have to reassess my trainings. On the way to the finish, I ran some time with a mistress / aunt, with whom I spoke a few words about run, running in general, about hanging medals, and so on. She was 50 years old, but after about 10-15 minutes I had to let her go because her pace was faster than mine. Also the elders who were overtaking me from time to time were frustrating and motivating for me at the same time, as at their age they can be faster than me. Regardless of how much they have already run in their life.

The second refreshment, once again amazing encouraging people, incredible variety of food and drinks and one of the young people for whom this run took place was there also. I greet the young boy on a track that encouraged us and went on. Then there was a crisis when I could not even scurry and so I walked/ran. A frustrating moment again … At the end of the race, I was overtaken by the babe who had encouraged me and dragged me till finish line. The pace was murderous, but my time would be even worse and feelings from running also, for which I thank her. Before the end I was found by Lenka, who encouraged me, I gave her a kiss (supporters standing beside her were pointing to the left to which I did not respond and went straight to her) and so I passed the finish line. Finish, the handover of the chip (I do not know why I felt like we are keeping it, a really nice bracelet it was) and a medal that changed the color and ribbon comparing to last year. Wood medal is exceptional.

Again incredible refreshment from donuts, bread with “nutela”, oranges, tea, coffee, cola, water magnesium, bananas, everything possible, thumbs up. The finish time 2:37, for 22km 600m ascendance, which is not perfect but a bottom line for me. Lunch included in registration fee, changing rooms, warm shower (however I had icy, because last month I harden) were simply TOP. After the shower I had to put running shorts, because I left my jeans in the car. 😀

After the race we went with Lenka to Max shopping mall in Poprad, where our mom, father and little brother were waiting for us. We had a little shopping session, I bought a great longline t-shirt and sweatshirt, and Lenka bought new jeans and brutal jersey shorts; I’m looking forward to summer … and went to lunch. We went to a self-service restaurant where I picked, besides meat, rice and vegetables, two pasta dumplings and fruit-carrot fresh salad.

Finally, I want to praise the whole race, the organizers for great action, the people for the unforgettable atmosphere and my closest ones for a beautiful day. One can think during such actions about those who are not fortunate and blessed to be healthy, have the opportunity to move and do what they enjoy, which is filled with happiness. But you should never give up, you do never mourn yourself, luck comes out of what we do regardless of obstacles 🙂

ALS BEH medaila 2018

Thank you for your participation! We appreciate the runners who are also willing to travel from around Slovakia for our event. We wish you a lot of health so we can meet again next year!

More info about Jakub Gurka – personal trainer – can be found at www.jakubgurka.sk

The story of Darius Renner

The second year will be dedicated to three people. In addition to the three-year old Mária, who was awarded the first year, we acquainted with the story of 21-year-old Radovan from Trebišov. The third beneficiary will be Dárius whos story you can read below.

My name is Dárius Renner, I was born on July 15, 1998 in Kežmarok. Currently I live in Prešov, I have four yeard younger sister Dušana. My diagnosis muscular dystrophy was diagnosed to me in about 7 years. Untill then I attended a doctor who claimed to me that I have only flat legs.
We thought so untill one orthopedic doctor in Kežmarok said it was a muscular dystrophy which was confirmed by neurotical and genetic examinations. Since the childhood I walk a bit worse than my peers and had enlarged calf muscles. It was getting gradually worse during pre-school age. I often fell from my feet and I had trouble getting up from the ground, I was walking over tips – due to the shortened Achilles tendons. After 4th class I couldnt get up the stairs on my own.

In July 2008 I celebrated my 10th birthday and from November that year I did not move without a wheelchair. These days I find it problematic to raise my arms over my head level, I cant hold my head still without help. For activities such as eating, dressing up, personal hygiene I need help from someone else. My life got a little easier when Organization of muscular dystrofica in Slovak republik gave me an electric wheelchair.
Despite my illness I succesfully completed elementary school. I started studying at the secondary school Digital Media Graphics and in around one year a graduation is waiting for me. If my health allows me I am planning to study philosophy on some collage afterwards – maybe even some other school.
I would like to thank all those who contribute financially or otherwise, as well as those who will participate in the run.

Jan Svocak

ALS Memoriál Jána Svočáka

Ján Svočák (* 3.12.1956 - † 7.3.2016)

Ján Svočák was born in Kežmarok, afterwards he moved to Štôla at a young age together with his parents and six sisters. He began his education at Comenius Primary School and later continued to study at the Secondary Technical School in Svit. After graduation, he had to enlist the compulsory military service he had terminated as a commander of a tank with the rank of captain. After completing his military service he worked in Tatrasvit a.s. , where he began to work as a mechanic of knitting machines. He gradually became a supervisor and production manager. Since 1990 he has been the president of the Matica Slovenská in Svit. Since the child-time he loved sports, especially volleyball, cross-country skiing and football. He spent his free time in the Tatra Mountains, which he loved and eventually he became a cross-hill runner. He also coached young football players for years. In 2003, he changed his employer and started working at the City Housing Management Company as a football field manager. This combination filled him so much that he often spent time in the “work” until the evening hours.

2011 - Year that changed the life of our whole family

The well-known Greek philosopher Hérakleitos has said a beautiful quote, what role does health play in our lives: “Only because of disease we know the price of health”. Many of us do not realize their health if they have it. But if there is a certain break when they lose it, the whole sense of life at that moment goes to a different dimension. That was exactly the case in our family until we found out the worst diagnosis for us. The verdict of the physician was ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Definitely each of you, just as we did at that time, would not immediately know what this term means until we read about it more. This disease is a loss of central nervous system cells that control volitionally influenced muscular movements. The patient cannot control his movements and gradually loses all his muscles in the body. However, the brain continues to work, and in full consciousness of mental abilities, the patient remains paralyzed. Since doctors have not found a cure for this disease, it is very individual how long can a person fight with it. On average, however, people live between 2 and 4.3 years. With this bloody enemy, for more than 5 years Ján Svočák fought well and with pride. A man with a big heart, not only for our whole family but also for the people who have known him, has shown how to live with love, constant goodwill, mutual help and, above all, always be honest and fair in all circumstances. Sports in his life meant a lot. Thanks to it, he had a strong body and the necessary psychological resilience not to give up even against the most difficult life test.

To honor him and to memorize, but also to spread the knowledge of this disease, we have decided to organize a charity race that will give people strength, hope and support even in difficult life situations.

ALS – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

ALS

According to the statistics and estimates of the Dôvera insurance company (which has a third share of insurers in Slovakia), 450-500 people in Slovakia suffer from ALS disease. More specifically, from Dôvera insurers it is 150 people. It is most common in the 51-70 age group, more within males. In the last six years, the number of patients with this devastating disease has doubled.

ALS - Amyotrofická laterálna skleróza

If you remember, in 2014, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” called for an ice / water buzz. However, not everyone knew that it was ALS disease awareness, which was a collection for research the disease that is still incurable. This project was an idea of a Dutch entrepreneur Bernar Muller, who was diagnosed the disease in 2010. He sought solutions to support research. In 2013, he launched the “MinE” project and a year later he created this ice challenge. Many people at the beginning criticized the video-message that it was puberty stupidity. Over time, however, it turned out to be a much bigger thing than the first impression seemed to be. Today, we can say that “It was one of the largest and most successful social networking campaigns in history.” It collected an incredible $ 115 million, covering the cost of 6 science projects involving 15,000 ALS patients and 80 scientists from 11 countries. With the money raised, scientists came up with great progress in the summer of 2016. In a journal published by Nature Genetics, they identified the NEK1 gene responsible for ALS in 3% of patients – by hereditary and sporadic form. There is only a small percentage of affected patients – you are right, but scientists believe they have the right “formula” in their hands to fulfill their goal in developing potential medicines.

From this example, we can take a great lesson: When people get together, they can do stunning things! There is just one little idea at the beginning, but instead of despising and criticizing, you have to give hope.

Our Slovak footballer – Marián Čišovský also suffers from ALS, as well as the world-renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who died 14.3.2018.

But what is ALS?

The scientific article was provided by the Organization of Muscular Dystrofica in Slovakia

ALS - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is one of the neuromuscular diseases

It is a rare neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive muscular dystrophy resulting in degeneration of central motor neurons found in the cortex and trunk (pyramidal cells of the motor cortex and nuclei of some motor nerves) as well as motor cells in the anterior corners of the gray matter of the spinal cord. The loss of motor neurons is associated with the degeneration of the cortical (pyramidal) path – the major motorway. Although it is a rare and still untreatable disease, it was already clinically and pathologically described in 1869 by the French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot.

In the literature, it is sometimes referred to as Charcot’s disease; in US literature, we meet with the famous American baseball player Lo Gehring – Lou Gehring’s disease.
Because it is a rare disease, incidence and prevalence are low (incidence averaging 1/50 000, prevalence averaging 1/20 000). According to the US ALS association, a comparable number of patients with ALS is diagnosed in the United States annually as with multiple sclerosis. Unlike most rare diseases, ALS affects patients aged 60 and over (80% of rare disease are affected by infants). Men have a larger predisposition (1.5: 1, males: females). Approximately two-thirds of patients with typical ALS have a spinal form that is primarily manifested in the limbs. Symptoms are focal, asymmetric muscle weakness of the lower or upper limbs. Gradually, spasticity develops atrophic limbs, responsiveness decreases, and loses the ability to hold the body properly.

Patients with ALS bulb form gradually develop dysphagia and dysarthria (speech impairment due to speech muscles impairment). The patient has primary problems with swallowing fluids, and then also with solid foods. He cannot swallow saliva, manipulate his tongue, speech, articulation and phonation is broken. Leg disability develops practically at the same time as bulbar damage, and in most patients it occurs within one to two years. Muscle weakness, fasciulism, muscle atrophy, muscle spasm, contracture to paralysis occur. The patient dies as a result of respiratory failure.

The ALS bulb form is more progressive and the average duration of the disease is 2-3 years, whereas for the ALS it is 3-5 years. Only 5% of patients survive for more than 20 years. ALS is commonly known as sporadic disease, but 5-10% of cases are family based. More than 15 genes predisposed to the disease are known today.

ALS management is supportive and palliative based, similar to other rare diseases on a multidisciplinary approach. Non-invasive ventilation prolongs life and improves its quality. The only drug with proven ability to prolong human life and improve its quality is riluzole (N07XX02 – RILUTEK, RILUZOLE ZENTIVA). According to the ATC classification, it belongs among other nervous system drugs. Riluzol does not belong to a group of orphan medicinal products, which in their development benefited from orphan status. It is, however, like many other medicines, a medicine for rare diseases. No riluzole containing drug is currently categorized in the SR. Riluzol prolongs the time until a patient needs artificial lung ventilation. The exact mechanism of riluzole interfering with the etiopathogenesis of ALS is not known. However, it is believed to reduce the excitotoxic effect of glutamate. It is likely to be a glutamate antagonist which inhibits the release of glutamate from the presynaptic terminus and an inhibitory effect on postsynaptic transmission is also contemplated. Based on the results of randomized clinical trials, riluzole prolongs life / survival by 2 months, according to uncontrolled studies, up to 20 months. Treatment of riluzole is reviewed individually by the health insurance company. The vital function of the lungs plays an important role. In advanced stages of the disease, when the patient is reliant on artificial lung ventilation, riluzole is ineffective. ALS management is mainly focused on symptomatic and supportive treatment. It often requires multidisciplinary co-operation of several specialists.

Symptomatic treatment of ALS patients includes:

amitriptyline, atropine, botulinum toxin, glandula parotis radiation – increased salivation
carbamazepine, phenytoin, gabapentin, pregabalin, diazepam, vitamin E – fasciula-
baclofen, tizanidine, diazepam – spasticity
mucolytics (carbocysteine) – dense mucosal secretion
increased fluid / fiber intake, osmotic overdosters, glycerin suppositories – constipation
diazepam – anxiety
amitriptyline, SSRI – depression
percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy – dysphagia, weight loss
non-invasive positive pressure ventilation support, supportive ventilation mode of home care – respiratory insufficiency
morphine – dyspnea in terminal stages

ALS is curried by a neurologist. The Center for Neuromuscular Diseases, the Neurological Clinic of the SZU and the UN in Bratislava is a specialized department. The exact number of patients with this diagnosis in Slovakia is unknown. Due to the large progression, it is estimated in tens. In 2012, the Center for neuromuscular diseases visited 17 patients with ALS (Špalek P., 2013). For these reasons, there is no separate organization in Slovakia that would only associate family members and patients with ALS. These are members in the Organization of Muscular Dystrophy in the Slovak Republic (OMD in the Slovak Republic), which we have repeatedly mentioned on the pages of the Medical Leafs.

PharmDr. Tatiana Foltánová, PhD., UK in Bratislava, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Prof. MD. Ľubomír Lisý, DrSc., Department of Neurology, SZU and UNB,

Patients with ALS are on their way to the above-mentioned doctor. But what is it to tell the patient the truth? Read his article.

eresting article you find here.

More in English at ALS ASSOCIATION

The story of Maria Kubova

Mária Kubovová

Our daughter was born on 4.2.2015. The first months of Mary’s childhood took place without any serious complication and as expected she began to spin, then sit and later crawl. We were delighted to have such a smart child. We started to think about an another one, which we actually had and we were full of expectations.

Mária Kubovová

Approximately in the 8th month one day during crawling Maria fell down and no strength to stood up. That was a warning signal for us so we consulted it with our podiatrist. In her opinion was Maria healthy, just not eating enough and therefore she is weak. We also stayed in a hospital’s children’s ward. They found out nothing new and the eating did not improved. Days were passing and Maria had more and more of these accidents. After 12th month we asked initiatively for an examination at our neurological clinic. Hospitalization was immediately planned for further investigations. Again nothing unusual but at the last day the child neurologist ordered us for a specialized examination in Bratislava.

On May 27, 2016 our son Matej was born. After so many worries about the health of our Maria, we were happy again.

Mária Kubovová

We got trough examination in Bratislava on June 17, 2016 – EMG scan and blood samples for genetic tests. Waiting for the results seemed like eternity. By the beginning of August 2016 we learned overwhelming and incomprehensible news that our daughter Maria was diagnosed a rare genetic disease – spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) that is currently incurable.

We are all at sea, doctors cannot guide us properly, we practice, rehabilitate, work hard to find information on how to improve the quality of life in this disease and hopefully we can at least partly reverse the poor prognosis of this illness. Our only strength and energy is the love of our children, the faith, the hope and the good people surrounding us and helping us according their possibilities.

As you can see, Mary is a wonderful child. Unfortunately, fate has already brought very difficult obstacles in front of her, which, with poor support from the insurance company, become a daily nightmare for parents. However, I believe that even with the help of our contribution, at least partly, we will make it easier for the family.

 

Mária is now rehabilitating in Poprad Hospital. As it is not enough, parents started to visit to Falck (private company) for exercises from their own resources (7,5 € / 0,5 hour). They also attended a center for handicapped children in Prešov – Svetielko, which cost for 5 days – 250 € (only for exercises, accommodation not included).

 

Rehabilitation exercises give Mary the hope to be at least partially independent. However, it is also necessary to provide medical and compensatory aids for which the insurance company either does not contribute at all, or just smaller amounts. The prices of some medical aids are extremely high.

First year as seen by Soňa Vnenčáková

Soňa Vnenčáková

I do not write a review of races often, however the ALS Memoriál has left a deep emotional experience in me that I would like to share with you. Around two months ago my neighbor Martin Svočák first mentioned me he wants to organize a memorial of his father who died of an ugly disease called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and at the same time to help a little girl Maria Kubova suffering from similar illness. I was excited immediately. This disease affects the muscular apparatus and all persons muscles starts to atrophy gradually with the brain remaining undamaged. The patient becomes a prisoner in his own body. I do not participate in charity runs often but I promised myself that if conditions allow me I will this time. Even one week before a race day I though I wont attend because of my study and race duties. Week after ALS race I should attend a Prague half-marathon. But suddenly everything changed – the school was canceled as well as my attendance in Prague and I had a free week in front of me. I think that exactly how it should be. I did not hesitate, found a share ride to Svit and HURRAY after two months to my beloved High Tatras region – my home – to my even more beloved family. Even in the car I did not know what a weekend was in front of me. 

Friday I spent as usually by training with Juraj and all afternoon with my parents, whom I havent seen for ages. I finished the day with hot tub that I needed so much. On Saturday morning the sun was shining and I jumped from my bed, woke up Juraj to eat my favorite breakfast slumber “Ala Soňa” with me. Although my legs were solid as logs after Thursdays intervals I didnt care. That day I just wanted to enjoy it, run in training pace and with smile on my face. That was my highest priority after challenging winter – just to start enjoying running again. In addition my father – big athlete, my brother-in-law and my numerous “running family” from High Tatras planned to run with me. What to wish more? 

Soňa VnenčákováThe start was planned for 9am and so after memorialize Mr. Svočák we were ready for run. The challenging track of this Half-marathon starts with decent pace. First 11 kilometers were in slightly undulated terrain. We ran around “Bagrovisko” – a lake where I spent my summers bathing, then we passed trough a village of Batizovce and continued via beautiful meadows to village of Štôla – one of th emost beautiful places I know. A local citizens funclub was greeting us there. Afterwards my favorite walkway towards Podskalka where I heard my mommy in the distance – “Overtake a Polish!” – which I did not understand at that time (she explained me then the Polish man was the first and she was shouting this to all participants), Juraj made me some photos and I ran further. I was slowly earning my position and really enjoyed the race when my beloved hills showed up. I mean big hills – total elevation of 650m what is more than enough for a half-marathon race. First we had a climb to “Borik”, the hill where I grew up and spent many Saturdays and Sundays with my father. At the top I was in slightly melancholic mood. Exactly at this spot we were observing the nature around, eating a snack. Oh, how wonderful childhood I had… 

The descent from Bôrik was something worse. The steep of the hill did not allow my legs to run freely, because I could injure myself by single bad step. At that point somebody overtook me for the first time but that did not bother me at all. Health is now at the first place. In my hometown Podskalka another group of supporters was waiting for me: “Soničkááá lets go!” came from all sides. I knew it was just a local race but I still felt like a world champion who is running with smile on her face. The flatland in Lopušná valley was meant as a relaxing passage befeore the worst (the best) part of the race – climb to Veľký Smolník. Not the first time for my legs – I have been here hundred, maybe two hundred times. Turn left, turn right, little bit straight and lets do this! I can imagine every stone and every tree on this road. After turning into forest I was surprised by a bumpy terrain which is not very common here. First time I have slipped and fell on the ground. Nothing happened – I continued uphills. Most of the people were already walking. My goal was to run whole ascent and avoid walking at all. One step after another I was climbing the Baba hill. I managed to get around two guys, encourage them a bit and continue up to the summit of Veľký Smolník. Afterwards there was an intensive descent which I run probably too carefully. “Just a few more meters” I wa teling to myself and also to another runner. “You are Soňa, right” ask the runner and cheered me up. At Malý Smolník I knew the rest of the track is only downhill. I remember as I climbed once this hill from the other side, grabbed the top pole and cried from fatigue and sadness that was inside me at that time. I was there alone only with my thoughts and God. Now I thank for all those periods which made me stronger. Even on that day I remembered those moments and this time with a smile I continued forward. There was another funclub cheering me, one last curve and the final alley full of my friends, and my family – my sister with her daughter, my mom and Juraj. In the end I was totally cool. I got a beautiful wooden carved medal, apple, drink, tea and even a donut.

A few minutes later my father and my brother-in-law arrived. We drank a coffee and just then the weight of the situation reached me. Only later I did realize the different emotions I had on that day. It was pure happiness, joy, melancholy and especially love. Love to the region I came from, the love for my family, for Juraj and especially the love for God. Today it was not essential the time, pace or hearth-rate – today it was just that I enjoyed every single second, my body was happy. Run for fun therapy in experience. The great thing is that it was not a purely selfish matter. I did not bring joy and happiness only to myself alone but also to the people around me (at least I hope) the family of Mr. Svočák and especially the little Maria, who is going to benefit from our starting fee.

Soňa Vnenčáková

The fact that I won the race was only a bonus that brought me a wonderful hand-engraved ostrich egg in a wooden case, a juicer and a thermo-cup that suits every student. The atmosphere was once again so amazing and pleasant that we even did not want to go home. However I felt hungry and I went home for my favorite cauliflower soup and the bowl full of nuts which give me energy and minerals after every race. That evening it was a purely family atmosphere, a sauna and of course family. When I closed my eyes on Saturday I knew I would fall asleep in seconds. It was not because of fatigue but by a beautiful warm feeling close to the hearth.

Soňa Vnenčáková

My dear readers, we respect the people, the environment and the moments that life brings us. Whether we are up or down, we will try to enjoy every second and every day having a Sunday full of love and smiles.  I also had tough moments last February/March because of my own stupidity. Nevertheless I tried to fight it sporty and tried to learn from my own mistakes. But now I am looking forward going back tot he top where I can see the sun. 🙂 Be nice and do not forget that it is all about the way we look at things and life!

We thank Sona for the nice article. We wish her a lot of health to be able to do what she really likes most and to continue enjoying her life with all her heart.

Learn more about Sona visiting her blog.