After his victory at Race across Germany Marko has decided to test himself in the short version of Race around Poland - Challenge 300KM, a race 302km long with 1200m of climbing. In albeit small field of eight racers, Marko achieved by far best time and won the overall in a time of 8h 35min, with average speed of 35,2km/h.
COVID-19 situation didnt help the organization, but even with it there were a few more participants in a long version of the race, 3.600km long (16 solo riders and one 4-person team). Because of his commitments Marko couldnt participate in the long one (next weekend his team organizes a 12 and 24-hour European Championships in Dobrovnik - SLO24ULTRA), but he was happy to join the shorter 300km long RAP Challenge 300KM.
Marko took the race as an excellent training for the next goals for the season, so he started really fast, with the avg speed after two hours higher than 37km/h. Marko has arrived to the turnaround point in Czemierniki in 4h and 6min. As he raced self supported, he lost some time there with refilling the bottles and CamelBak for the second half of the race. After a few protocolar obligations (meeting the mayor and taking some photos), he headed back towards Warsaw after around eight minutes. His speed did drop a bit on the way back, but his traveling speed in the last few hours was still above 35km/h.
Marko reached the Finish in Wasraw around 7PM, with time of 8h 34min and 57sec with average speed 35,2 km/h (on the bike avg 35,7km/h).
1. Marko Baloh (Slovenija) 8h 34min 57sec
2. Bartozs Prusik (Poljska) 9h 51min 39sec
3. Jaroslaw Beben (Poljska) 11h 28min 03sec.
Marko says: »The decision to participate was made in the last minute, maybe a week before the race. A big thank you to the organisers for letting me register in the last minute. First a huge congratulations to the organisers, headed by a fellow RAAM Finisher Remek Sziudinsky, for being able to organise such a high level ultra-cycling race in this difficult period. A victory in a small field was expected, but mostly I am happy with the achieved average speed. With a little shorter stoppage time my average would be very cose to km/h, which is not bad at all. I have returned from Poland very happy, with a new experience and some new friends in this part of the World. I hope that in the future years I am able to participate in the 3.600km long RAP. Thank you Remek and Mateusz for all your help and support!«