Fall Run 2016

Sports

Hello!

Welcome to the last sports update post this summer. Well, it’s technically no longer summer, but, to me, the autumn doesn’t start until I leave for Scotland and that’s only happening on Tuesday.

Anyway, today’s entry is dedicated to another running event I participated in – in my native language, it’s called Azuolyno Begimas which loosely translate to Oak Grove Run (it is held in an Oak Grove park). This is the 4th running competition of this kind and it usually happens twice a year – at the beginning of autumn and at the start of spring.

All of the participants (around a thousand of them) could choose from a variety of distances. The professional runners or more athletic people were able to run 15km, 10km or 5km, while the beginner runners and amateurs could try their hand at a free 3km Fun Run. There were also special distances for pupils, kids, families, and pets with their owners.

This particular run was quite special and interesting because I did something that I’ve never done before – I ran two distances in a single day during the same event. I did the 10 km distance – wasn’t really happy with my time or the state of my legs and feet – and I also accompanied my aunt on her first ever run – we did the 3km together. The second run was much more pleasant – not only shorter and easier but way more enjoyable too – I liked helping my aunt achieve her own personal goal.

The weather for running was quite good – the temperature was around 15 degrees Celsius and it was quite cloudy, so the sun wasn’t shining into one’s eyes or adding any unnecessary heat and warmness. However, by the time I was finishing the 10k, it started to rain which wasn’t that great or comfortable, especially when running with glasses.

All of the runners received their runner’s numbers and commemorative wooden medals. The participant’s package also included a discount card for hummel sneakers, a free entry to a sports center, a month’s subscription to an online exercise platform, an energy drink and a pot of quickly preparable porridge.

Since I’m going back to Aberdeen in a few days, I will miss out on quite a few running events in my native country. In a few weeks, a memorial run organized by a local university will be held, while a week after that there will be a walking/hiking event. The first week of October would have been reserved for a charity run to raise awareness for breast cancer if I was still living in Lithuania. However, I’m excited to get back to the UK and to start a new year at university. I also hope to find some running events in my ‘other’ hometown.

Have a great week!

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Kaunas Marathon 2016

Sports

Hello!

Welcome to another running post. This one is dedicated to the 4th annual Kaunas Running Marathon. 

The marathon was started in 2013 and I’ve participated in all 4 of them, running either 10km or 5km distance. It is the biggest running event in my hometown as well as the 3rd biggest running competition in Lithuania.

After running the 5k distance last year, in 2016, I chose the 10k (I also did 10k in 2013 and 2014). I haven’t trained much before the marathon but was really happy with my result: I gave it all I had and reached my personal objective.

Kaunas Marathon has always been a celebration for the whole town. The short route (for 5k and 10k) is located solely in the Old Town of Kaunas, while the long route (for 21k and 42k) starts and ends there as well. Having a running event in the city centre means that all the runners are supported by crowds of spectators. It’s always nice to hear the sounds of claps and encouraging shouts when you run by.

The 4th Annual Kaunas Marathon had around 4000 participants: around 1500 ran the 5k, around 1000 – the 10k distance, 500 people did the 1.5km run for families and children, while another thousand of athletes did the marathon and the half-marathon.

If you to find more info about the event, you can visit its official page here as well as the Facebook page here.

Bellow, I’ve included photos from the event and photos of my runner’s number, the commemorative medal, official T-shirt, and the gifts from the sponsors: water, non-alcoholic beer (I know, right?), porridge, protein bars, vitamins and some coupons for free pasta, sushi and a free visit to the local sports centre.

Sponsors’ gifts, runner’s number and a medal:

A few moments from the event:

Marathon: 5 km for Lithuania

Sports

Hello!

Welcome to another short descriptive post about a running event that I participated in – 5 km fun for Lithuanians of the World. Without further ado, let’s begin!img_0636-1On June 4th, I ran 5 km for my country alongside other Lithuanians from all over the world. Let me explain. Every year, during summer, amateur Lithuanian runners (that live in their native country as well as abroad) run a 5 km distance in order to celebrate their heritage and to strengthen their bond to the motherland. Less than 3 million people live in Lithuania and probably the same amount of Lithuanians live abroad, mainly in the UK (like I do), US, Ireland, Germany, France and a bunch of other countries. So, the fact that they/we (both those staying in Lithuania and the emigrants) can all come together and celebrate their/our country, while doing something that they/we love – running – is pretty magical.

Since I’m home for the summer, I didn’t get a chance to participate in this run in a foreign city (the full map of all the running locations worldwide is here). However, I still did the run in my native town. Only around 50 people ran with me and I was one of the last ones to finish, but I was still really happy with my result – it was the best one of this season.

All the runners received athlete’s numbers, commemorative certificates and medals from the organisers. We ran in the park, so the route was pleasant and quite easy (no steep hills).

If you would like to find out more info about this event and if you are a Lithuanian or a friend of any Lithuanians, I suggest you participate in this wonderful movement! Bye!

Olympic day 2015

Sports

Hello!

Some of you might know that I am a sports fan. I have been swimming for 10 years and have been participating in running and cycling competitions these past 3 years. I also really enjoy being in a spectators position: I will literally watch anything from basketball to chess.

Olympic day is an annual international celebration. The festive event is always held in a different city of a country during the month of June. This happens all over the world.

This celebration tries to educate people about different types of sports and advertises healthy lifestyle. This year, the Olympic Day in Lithuania took place in my city – Kaunas. The event started like the real Olympics start: with the passing of a torch and the symbolic fire lighting. In addition, posters with Olympic rings were hanging everywhere, so that they were visible at all times.

There was a wide variety of activities to choose from: attendees could try their hand at archery, basketball, volleyball, football, could exercise at Cross-fit booth, learn about fencing or wrestling. They could compete in a cycling, climbing or running competition.

I chose the running. The organizers offered  3 distances: 5 km or 10 km and the Olympic Mile Run. I picked the last one and ran the symbolic distance of 1,928 meters. The weather was really hot and dry, so these few kilometers were hard work.

I also appreciated the fact that the Paralympic sports were also included and represented in an equal manner.

I really enjoyed this celebratory event which was held mainly in Azuolynas (Oak Tree) park by the statue of Darius and Girėnas (they introduced Lithuanians to a lot of different types of sports during the Inter-War period, despite being famous pilots. Fun random fact: I attend high school which is named after them in honor of their achievements).

The organization was great and the mood was really happy and upbeat. Everybody were so energetic and optimistic. This event really brighten up my city and its citizens. All the participants received commemorative T-Shirts, so all of us looked like a giant team: united, happy and full of life. If only for one day.

Have a productive week! I have my last exam on Monday and then the summer will officially start for me too. Bye!


Productive weekend

Sports

Hello!

I used to think that nothing really happens in my native city of Kaunas but this weekend proved me wrong…very very wrong. Not only were there a wide variety of cultural events (Loreen concert on Friday, Jazz festival throughout the whole weekend), but also a plethora of sport’s competitions and movements! And I participated in almost all of them! The weather was also amazing! Spring has finally come after 6 months of rain and snow! It was like 20 degrees Celsius (68 F) the whole time!

On Saturday morning, I attended the marathon “Azuolyno begimas” (“Oak Grove Run”). This was the first time that this event was organized and almost 1000 athletes participated in it. Some of them chose the half marathon distance, others 10 km or 5 km like me. Organizers also provided the spectators and children with fun games and live music.

We were running in the 2nd largest park of Lithuania. You can find more info about that location here: wiki

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On Saturday afternoon, I went to the 10th annual bicycle parade of Kaunas by accident. I knew that this event would take place during the weekend but I thought that I would have no energy to cycle 20 km after running. But surprise-surprise, I had the needed energy and joined a group of 500 cyclist in a trip around Kaunas. We started our journey in a city center, cycled out of the city and then finished our route in the Old Town of Kaunas, near the Kaunas Castle.

This was my first time riding a bike this year! I also just only registered to be a part of my city’s team in the European Cycling Challenge and I will also cycle in my 3rd bicycle marathon during the month of May.

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The next day, on Sunday, I had another running competition to participate in. It was the 3rd annual Kaunas Half-Marathon. I participated in all of them to date. 1600 athletes were in attendance. A few hundred of them ran 21 km, around 300 – 10 km distance and at least 800 – the 5 km distance which I have chosen as well. Those who are just starting to get into running could participate in 2.5 km Fun Run event – this one also attracted at least a couple hundred people.

Once again we ran in Oak Grove park, however, the track was a bit different. My time on Sunday was better than on Saturday which I was really happy about!

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Bellow you will find a photo of all my commemorative medals and runner’s numbers which I’ve received this weekend!! Have a great week! I’m going to the Avengers premiere on Thursday, so my review should be up on Friday. For now, refresh your memory by reading my latest Marvel movie review here. Bye!

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Lithuania’s Independence Day Run 2015

Sports

Hello my dear readers!

Today, I officially opened my running season of 2015 with a first running competition. The marathon was held in order to celebrate my country’s Restoration of Independence Day. We have 2 independence days in Lithuania: in 1918, on the 16th of February we announced our Independence but during the 2nd World War my country was occupied by the Soviet Union and we only restored our independent state 25 years ago: in 1990, in 11th of March.

The running marathon is held every year in Jonava and it is also dedicated to one of the pioneers of the Reformation movement in Lithuania – Abraomas Kulvietis. There are a few statues of him in Jonava (you can see one of them in the 3rd photo).

Around 550 athletes participated in the run. They could choose from 2 distances: 3.4 km and 15 km and were divided into age groups accordingly. I chose the shorter distance because,lately, I hadn’t been training much.

It took me a decent amount of time to finish the distance: my result isn’t great if you look at the results of others but it is okay for me, especially at the start of the season.

Bellow you will find a couple of photos from the event: the first one shows the start line, the second – a finish line. The third one is statue of A. Kulvietis , which I have already mentioned, and the fourth one is my number and the commemorative medal.

My next marathon will probably be Kaunas Half-Marathon at the end of April. Last year’s post about that run – click here.

Have a nice day/evening/morning!

Movie review: Unbroken

Movie reviews

Hi!
On Monday, I went to the cinema to watch Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. I have seen several films depicting World War II events from different angles (Schindler’s list, Fury, Inglorious Basterds, Pearl Harbor, Forest of Gods and The Imitation Game) and now Unbroken joins this list.

In short I would describe the film as a mixture of Life of Pi and Fury with a pinch of Forest of Gods and topped of with Edge of Tomorrow.

Unbroken isn’t Angelina’s directorial debut – it’s her 2nd time being behind the camera. The film tells a story of Louis Zamperini – an Olympic athlete who spent the 2nd World War in a prisoner of war camp in Japan after surviving 47 days of a raft in the middle of the ocean. It’s based on a book by Laura Hillenbrand as well as real life events. Sadly, the real Louis Zamperini died in spring of 2014 and didn’t get to see his life on the big screen.

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Acting

Louis Zamperini is portrayed by Jack O’Connell – a British actor who is best known for his work on the TV show Skins. I liked his performance, it was so-so at the beginning of the movie but in the end, when Jack really got into the character, it was just amazing. The emotional dual between him and the Bird truly showed his talent and made me enjoy the scene which was actually horrible and heartbreaking but inspiring at the same time. I would love to see more of his work.

Speaking about the Bird – a Japanese general who tortured Louis both mentally and physically – he was played by a Japanese singer Miyavi. The character seemed a bit cartoon-y to me – almost like a stupid school bully. Nonetheless, I hated the character almost as much as Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa in the Inglorious Basterds, so Miyavi did a great job as a villain.

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Other cast members included : Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Luke Treadaway, Jordan Patrick Smith and many others. As you can already tell, this is an all male cast type of movie. I don’t have any problems with that because there were no women at war. However, I do have a problem with the fact that I can’t remember anything about the characters that these actors played with the exceptions of Jack O’Connel and Miyavi. They didn’t develop them well enough and didn’t make me care about them or even remember them at all.

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Visuals and Directing

The movie is beautifully shot and I really liked Angelina’s work as a director. The scenes in the water were cool but sometimes cheesy while prisoner of war camp was portrayed realistically.

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Sport

Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner and for me as an athlete, the part which told us about his athletic career was the most interesting. I also loved the fact that they didn’t diminish the importance of sport in Louis Zamperini’s life. If he hadn’t been an athlete and hadn’t trained as hard as he did, he probably wouldn’t have survived the war. I loved the clip of the real Louis running with the Olympic torch in 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan.

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Religion

Louis Zamperini also was a religious person, who found God when he needed him the most. Religion’s theme was mentioned in the film but didn’t explored deeply enough. The end of the film was really touching and made me tear up. It showed the importance of forgiveness – sometimes it’s better to turn the other cheek than to raise a fist.

Criticisms

Unbroken received mixed reviews from the critics and was shut down from the award’s season. Overall, I liked the film, though, a few scenes were really unbelievable and took me out of the movie. For example, their fight with a shark – you can’t catch a shark with your bare hands. The pacing had a few problems, but I would still recommend to watch this movie if you are a sport’s fan and interested in history.

Rate 4/5

Trailer: Unbroken trailer

Photos: Screenshots form the trailer.

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Running marathon: PINK RUN 2014 Kaunas

Sports

Hi!

Last Sunday, I have participated in the last running marathon this year – PINK RUN 2014. As you have probably already noticed from the photos and the name of the run, all of the participants had to wear something pink: t-shirt, wig or any other pink accessory (there was even a special station where you could get you beard or hair colored with pink spray paint). We did that not because all the runners really like the color pink but because this was a charity run for raising awareness and money to fight breast cancer. 

This disease is very near to my heart because my grandma died form cancer 4 years ago, so, I was eager to participate in this run. Moreover, is always a great fun to run through city with a bunch of strangers dressed in pink wigs:).

A few of my friends also ran this short 5 km distance from one part of the city (Medicine university) to the city center (town square in the old town). After the run all of athletes were given some tea and cookies as a thank you for donating the money and for running. My result was okay, I had a hard time breathing while running because the weather was quite cold and windy. What is more, I didn’t really tried to get a good result because this run had other purpose – to come together as a community and do something good for those who need our help.

Bellow you will find a few photos before the start which I have taken myself. You can find more information about the run here. Article from the local newspaper and photos of a professional photographer here.

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Sport: Running for Kaunas

Sports

Hello!

There hasn’t been a post in my blog about sport and active life for a while, but today, I’ve participated in 3rd annual “Bek uz Kauna” marathon (Marathon “Run For Kaunas”). It was my second time running this specific marathon. Around 1500 professional athletes and amateur runners chose 10 km or 5 km distance and were running in the city center.

Web page of the run: Run for Kaunas. Place of the run: Laisves aleja (Liberty avenue). The main sponsor: Fazer company

The weather was perfect for running, the sun was shining and there was no wind at all. I was a bit unprepared for this run, lately, I have been running only 2-3 times a week and, more importantly, I have been getting cramps in my right foot. By the time I had finished my 5 km distance, my foot had already started to cramp, so I was happy that I didn’t choose a longer distance.

All the participants received a commemorative medal and a gift from the sponsor company (various kinds of breads).

I am planning to participate in the PINK run for breast cancer awareness at the end of October. I hope my cramping foot will let me do that. Have a nice week!

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Swimming marathon: Sudeikiai 2014

Sports

Hello!

Last weekend (on August 9th) I participated in the last swimming marathon in Lithuania this summer – 6th Annual Sudeikiai Swimming Marathon. Sudeikiai is a little town in eastern part of Lithuania near the city of Utena. You can learn more about it here: http://utenainfo.lt/en

(The location of the town is the red dot on the map as always with these type of posts:)

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We were swimming in Alaušas Lake which has super clean water – you can see the bottom of the lake almost all the time even if the lake is 10 meters deep or even deeper. There were two distances to choose from: 2,5 km and 5 km. 5 km is the official open water distance approved by FINA.

Since I have not trained at all and I wasn’t preparing for the marathon at all I chose the smaller distance and the swim was still very hard for me. The water was warm, the wind – calm and the weather always changeable: the sun was shinning one moment and the clouds would cover it up the next moment. Nonetheless, it was warm enough.

This marathon was also the finish of Grand Prix competition: it was a relay of three marathons. The competition was between teams of 4 people and the winner was determined by counting FINA points which consist of points gained for the time, points for the age (older means more points) and points for place you’ve won in your age group.

This was my 4th time swimming all the marathons in Lithuania and I am planning to do it next year. Next sport post will probably be about a running marathon in the capital of Lithuania. I am planning to attend it. Have a good week! Bye.