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Interview with successful athlete Jaroslav Vašík


Our employee Mr. Jaroslav Vašík is an athlete, which is known in ŽĎAS. He has already ridden the Jizerská Padasátka fourteen times, the Italian Marcialonga, which is 70 km long, and this year the Vasa Run in Sweden, which is 90 kilometers long. The Vasa Run in Sweden is the oldest and also one of the longest cross-country ski races, which takes place every first Sunday in March in Sweden and is attended by around 15,000 people. This year was the 100th anniversary year. We asked Jaroslav Vašík a few questions.

  1. What was the first kick that you decided to undertake this sports adventure together with Libor Hudeček and Miloš Hemza? Who thought of it first?

It occurred to all of us at once because it was our life’s dream to complete this race. We first started on the Jizerská padesátka, then we conquered the Italian Marcialonga and finally the Vasa run, which is the longest of them.

  1. When did you start training and where? After all, this year’s winter was not good for skiing.

In the spring, we signed up and started training. The registration itself is difficult, the places are taken quickly and this year was the 100th year, so it was quite a buzz. We do a lot of cycling during the summer. In autumn, cycling stops and it’s time for running and roller skiing. A good winter started in November and we skied for about 3 weeks, mostly around the Žďárské vrchy. The ideal daily dose for me is 35 km and as fast as possible. I don’t have much time during the week, so I mainly go on the weekend. When the snow melted before Christmas, they brought an artificial one to the Vysocina arena, so we rode there and I counted 170 wheels, which made Mount Everest in height. We didn’t go to the mountains to train, because we thought that the profile of the race was mainly hilly. In the end, it wasn’t quite true, it starts with going to the slope, which measures 3 km with a 10% climb and otherwise has 1,000 m of altitude.

  1. Was it a line over the budget that the Jizera fifty was recalled? After all, it could have been a control test, let’s say, how have you trained?

Exactly, I couldn’t have said it better. But we tried to ride on those roller skates, because there was no snow and the Vysoča Arena was closed for the biathlon, that also hurt us a little.

  1. Going back to the race itself, what exactly did you feel before the start?

I wasn’t nervous right before the loss, but a little bit the day before. The preparations are the worst. We got up at 1:30 a.m., went to breakfast at 2:00 a.m. and the bus left at 4:00 a.m. and we had a 3-hour journey to the start. When we arrived, we jumped off the bus, started putting skis in the starting wave, backpacks in the truck, so there was no time to be nervous. All of a sudden they fired and everyone went to full speed. We had a time of 2.45 min/km for the first kilometer, but the second kilometer was approaching the slope, there it blocked and slowed down, those who couldn’t, went along the tree, but we were well lubricated, so we somehow zigzagged. A lot of people were stepping on their skis, their poles were strumming against each other, it was really crowded.

  1. Has the crisis arrived?

The first minor crisis was around 35 km, there I felt that it was not the same, but I tried to have a good snack and that helped me. The next one, the hippo crisis, was at 60 km, but it was still going well until 70 km, I didn’t lose that, but in the last 20 km I started to lose a lot, the body refused to add anymore. I felt that a few people were already passing me, but even though my whole body was hurting, I didn’t stop here and kept going. Honestly, for the 90 km, I think I wasn’t completely prepared, that it was really a lot, but I tried to fight with it somehow and do my best.

  1. And how can such a crisis be overcome?

It doesn’t matter what the crisis is, if it’s very severe, it’s all about the head, the body just can’t take it anymore. Sometimes it’s good to catch some good girls 😀 you say to yourself, I won’t let you go, a nice motivational element. And I feel like a beer before the finish line, so that drives me too. The boys always say: “When Jarda smells beer, he’s already leaving”. This year, a beer was waiting for me at the finish line, but unfortunately it was non-alcoholic.

  1. Any funny experience?

Just before the finish line, I met Ondřej Rybář. He overtook me from behind, I tried to dissuade him by talking that we would finish together, but before the finish line he hit his horses and overtook me. So he reached 238 and I reached 239 from the Czech Republic.

  1. Have you thought about giving up?

I never, ever did that. We went into the race thinking we were just going to finish it. From the beginning, we each drove by ourselves, somehow we didn’t look out for each other. One friend made it here, but he missed me on the hill, his skis were better lubricated.

  1. Out of the total number of 15,800 starters, you finished in 2,350th place with a time of 6 hours and 50 minutes. In other ranking statistics, you are the 239th Czech (Ondřej Rybář, sports director of the Czech biathletes, finished just ahead of you) and the 315th competitor over 50 years of age. It is incredible to achieve such a beautiful result. What was the first thing that came to your mind at the finish line?

That I’m done with it and that I have to go to the Fisherman’s to take a picture and have a good beer.

  1. What sporting challenges are you planning for the future? Is there an event that is another challenge for you?

Friends are planning a race for next year, it looks like Italy, it’s going in the Dolomites and the route is 55 km. There will be a more challenging route. Of course Jizerka, it must be a home race. It is a fact that we are used to 50 km, the 90 km is really enough.

Thank you for the interesting interview and we wish you many more sporting successes. 😊