Where is the biggest puddle in Europe? Why the swimmers are touched between legs? Why the rabbit are beating? What a numismatist sportsman has to do, and where do 10,000 heads swim?

Who doesn’t know, Balaton – is a very big lake in Hungary. Because of its small depth of just 3 meters, it has been named as: the largest puddle in Central Europe.

This puddle already 17th consecutive year is passed by 10 000 people? Swim in the 5.2 kilometer long, starts from Revfulop and acquired by completing in Balatonboglar.

There are a few swimming starts in the world, compared to running, That’s why I could not lose sight of one like this. Especially because take part in different races not only as an athlete but also as a representative of the Sporter Club – organizing such kind of sports-events in Moldova as:  Chisinau Marathon, swimming through the Chisinau sea Ghidighici – Seamile ,account run underground Winerun, cycle course Criterium, and so on… By the way, here’s what we managed last year in Ghidighici.

And here we are traveling around the world, take a look how others organize events and borrow the best. That is why on July 1, 2016, I went away to Balaton.

There were two more guys who might come with me – but they decided that to drink beer in Chisinau is more interesting than to splash in the biggest puddle in Europe. It’s difficult to argue with them.

From Budapesta to Révfülöp I came in 3 hours by train. Coaches were comfortable with wifi. And the accommodation where I stopped is 5 minutes walk from the station.

I went to explore places. On the beach everything is already installed: registration tent, the arch, the starting, the fences. Interesting, why did they install so many toilets before the start?

In bond with the warmth, organizers set the start time one hour earlier. Now you can start at any time is convenient, from 07:30 am to 12:00 am.

According to the counsel of the person who already swam the Balaton, Gheorghii KozoveakinI decide to start earlier, on coolness, and when there are fewer people …

An interesting specificity of the swimming race – registration is on the day of the competition. You register, pay and than – swim. Interesting ideas, we’ll see how successful it will be tomorrow.

But before it, I go to do a Hungarian – glucido – goulash charge.

After having eat some goulash with peppers, I’m heading to my comfortable little cell, where, after I took photos of personal things, I’m going to sleep.


07:30 I am punctually at the registration. So let’s see what and how’s it.

A lot of people come from all sides, it’s a bad sign. All are flocking on the football field, there are tents of volunteers. So let’s go!

Step no. 1. Registration Form. Indicate who you are, where from (foreigners after their general statistics are about 2-3%), and sign.

Step no. 2. The doctor. He will measure your tension, and if you have it, stamped like you’re healthy and you should not drown.

Step no. 3. Payment. You pay 8000 forints (27 euros) and receive a paper bracelet with a bar code. They do not take cards, but I got lucky because I owned 8,300 forints in my pocket.

Step no. 4. Things. If you do not have friends (not that you are missed, but you come alone), then you can give your things in storage. They will be transported with a boat on the other side until you swim. And at the finish, you will take them to dress. So this is how I did.

In generally I would mention that it was all clearly, no long queues no fuss. Medal for Hungarians! By the way, all the toilets were needed.

Step no. 5. Is the step in water. A cold shower helps you to wake up, and the exercises – to prepare for swim.

Before the start, they scans your bracelet and your time has begun.

Dive. The water is warm, about 22 degrees. Are not some waves here. There are ships at each 30 meters, so it’s impossible to get lost, and if something happens it is always a support beside.

Wonderful conditions for swimming. But I am not the only one who has the same opinion, so that every year 10,000 people swim. And 95% of them, how to say – swim not too fast.

Is namely this detail makes Balaton swimming competition a very slow one. Especially in the beginning. You don’t swim straight ahead, as my lord – coach Victor Rogut said, but in zigzag, trying to maneuver between heads that slowly slide on the water.

As long as I maneuvering, I also invented a classification of swimmers at Balaton.

The head. That’s bras swimming with head out. The ineffective type of swimming but the easiest one. Such swim at Lake Balaton, occurs most often (80%).

They swim in groups, in pairs and talk about everything cute.

You swim twice as fast, and if for example you have not noticed this obstacle (and the visibility is 0,5 meters), you have 3 choices:

1. While you take upsurge you hit him in the head.
2. Get on your nose with the front foot.
3. And if you went untouched by the first two options, you can easily hit crotch. Uhhh … I do not know who suffer more from this maneuver.

Submarina – backstroke swimmers. As these are much less – about 15%. This situation seems to be pretty good – you don’t have already a head in our way. But he is seen worse as a submarine – there is just his nose at the surface. Respectively, you have more chances to meet him.

Here is the risk to swim between his legs. I’ve been there once, so, I tell you honestly is little pleasure to wake up under an old lady, to mutter or babble and apologies and to slide very awkwardly from her. Although who knows why she swims in a such way, and were these apologies needed…

And the remaining 5% are the bunnies. People who can swim crowl. No problem with them. They are seen by far, thanks to regular flying out of hands, feet move in safety, with a small amplitude, and their speed is increased enough, the chances that you deal with them are much smaller. Honestly speaking, at Ironman, kidneys and my liver were hit exactly by these people. Here is the real butcher.

What to do if you missed this trick? Just a tip: concerning more frequently ahead. Yes it’s uncomfortable, yes your speed is reduced but avoiding a possible collision will save many. But if you noticed an obstacle in front of you, reduce your speed and surround him from every side.

OK, so back to the swimming race. I’m absolutely not ready for it. Firstly Comrades – that means long run, then freediving championship – here generally don’t need to de anything, just sleep, eat and do not breathe. And in short, I didn’t swim last two months, and here Hop! 5km. Main reason that my sick shoulder was a little agitated:

Well shit? They have promised to splash me, but here is already 2 km in the back, and no shores! I refuse to work in these inhuman conditions!

And I began to limp. Yes, all swimmers are limping. But the limp does not change the movement race on the land, but in water …

In short, I began to swim in curves. I begin to get into the situation of my sick shoulder, I make not upsurge properly, and this steals me to the right side. I understand what happens, and start doing the right impetus and less obvious reason that the speed is reduced. I understand that my shoulder is more than a memory for me, so I decide to not to fight for result. But even with my sick shoulder I was not the one to beat. It’s like well, but it is not so, because I would wholeheartedly stay last one…

Here is the finish in sight. 150 meters before the arch, is very forward, and many simply go through water up to the neck. I decide to swim while ьн hands will reach to the bottom.

Surpass those going, and begin to collect the sand with hands, get up, run, scale, arch, flag, finish!

Sooooo, where’s my medal, give me that! Yes, my darling! There is no medals at the Balaton. So if you’re an athlete numismatist, here you can do…only burn calories for nothing.

After finishing, you could serving water and cakes (there’s no fruits, I don’t know why) and take a shirt with logo.

Those who finished –can look at the orchestra entertained by drummers.

Then I took my clothes, I changed and I stayed rolled on the grass with a glass of juice.

Then followed the boat at start, the way to Budapest. This time I missed the family particularly hard, how much I want to hug them. But rather coming, hide, I’ll hug you all, untill you’ll forget your name!

Post Scriptum

If you can swim, One time in life you have to go to Balaton. It is required. Ideal polygon for more serious racing preparation. Forgive me all whom I hit, touched, weird, crumpled and beyond. I really didn’t want it. Honestly .