I first met Carolina when running a day tour to Veliko Turnovo from Bucharest back in the winter of 2013. She joined this tour along with 3 of her friends and since the first moments of our encounter I noticed Carolina was a very physically active person, she was fully equipped for running even on such occasion as our bus ran tour. Later I found out that she had a real passion for running and other physical activity as well as for travelling, going as far as organizing full trips with the sole purpose of running new exciting tracks. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for The Pink Moustache and share with us her story.
1. Ever since I met you, I’ve always admired your dedication to your sport. When did running become a passion for you and were you always an active person physically?
Hi Iulia! First of all, thank you very much for your appreciation. It’s really encouraging to know that your acts (and not your words) manage to inspire the ones around you.
About me, oh well… I’ve always been a sports person. I enjoy biking, rollerblading, going to the gym, all in all, having a healthy lifestyle.
I started practicing sports when I was 10 and I did it on a professional level, let’s say, for around 8 years. Even if for some years I gave up running, it get back to me 2 years ago and transformed into one of my biggest passion
2. Did you ever practice any sport on a professional level? Any awards, medals, trophies (either professional or amateur level) that you have obtained?
I used to practice sports on a professional level back when I was a teen and got some awards here in Romania for sprinting (100 and 200 meters). I think what is important here is that I grew up as a sports lover and a healthy person. Which I recommend to all parents out there, to get their kids out in the nature and help them understand the benefits of an active life. Also, one of the most recent prizes I got is the vice-champion for Balkan Duathlon (running and biking) in 2014.
3. Living in a big city like Bucharest, do you find it challenging to find a good daily route to run? Could you recommend easily accessible trails in the city?
Bucharest is busy indeed, but I am lucky to live near one of the nicest “green fields” in the city (Titan park). Still, I do enjoy running on the street. There are the “long run” days when I like to get back home from the office running. Running on the street, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to learn things about your city. I would highly recommend runners to take a trip around the main parks in Bucharest, by running.
What’s actually nice about running is that you don’t need much to do it. Not even the fancy equipment you might think about. Of course, having all the cool stuff is nice, but you’ll always be perfectly fine with the minimum investment when running.
So, getting back to needs when choosing a route to run. Of course it depends whether you’ll choose the city or forest/ mountains.
First of all, you should make sure it is safe for you. Make sure about other people, animals, light to avoid injuries, ice in winter etc.
On the other hand, if you plan a long run, make sure you’ll have easy access to water and food. Dehydration should definitely be avoided!
5. Have you had any special moments happen during a run? Any memorable characters you’ve come across during your ventures?
Running on the street in the Capital city might be the opportunity to actually run into some well-known people. I have a cute story about this. One day, I was heading home after work, running obviously. I ran into one of my favorite Romanian actors: Dragos Bucur, who actually asked his friends to step aside to let the “runner girl” pass them. I stopped to thank him and congratulate for one of his last movies. It was nice indeed the next day to tell the story to all my female colleagues who… admire him.
6. What were your favorite organized running events so far? What made them special?
Every running event has its beauty. Mainly because it gathers so many people sharing the same passion.
Still, personally, I enjoy mountain running competitions. One of my favorites takes place in the Ciucas Mountains, near Bucharest. The views on the track make it beautiful. You get to run for more than 5 k on the mountain plateau, with a very nice panorama. Also, it is hard enough to challenge you so you get to feel exhausted and happy to have done it in the end.
7. What are goals for running? What do you plan on accomplishing in the future as a runner? Any marathons or locations you have your mind set upon?
I currently train every morning to become a stronger runner, both physically and mentally. I started reading books and stories written by well-known ultra-marathonists so I get all my inspiration from them.
As for certain competitions, one of my goal is to participate to a marathon in the Alps, Courmayeur Champex Chamonix.
8. How do running and travelling combine? Do you do any special preparations to facilitate your runs during your trips?
Indeed, most of the times I travel with the aim of running (laughing). I subscribed to a competition in Prague this spring, and also most of my weekends in April and May are already booked with travels around the country for competitions in the mountains.
9. When you plan your trips, do you also consider the running opportunities of the place? Or do you choose a destination first and then find your options once you’re there?
I most of the times take into consideration running during my travels. I can’t help myself dreaming to new routes checking the maps for any new travel or vacation. I also like to discover there, on the spot. I guess balance is the word in here. Do go and explore new horizons, but always keep in mind to take care of your body and integrity
10. Where are the best places you have run that you’d recommend to all running enthusiasts both in Romania and outside the country?
I would like to recommend some places in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, such as Fagaras, Ciucas, Bucegi. If you plan a trip to Romania and are a runner, I will help you with some tips and tricks, do not hesitate to drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.