Robert Kolakowski, currently living in Elizabeth (Usa/New Jersey), is a runner from Bialystok, in Poland. A city found in the Podlasie province.
Robert says that he still remembers the first few times that he ran, "It was when I was five. When I was a little boy I was incapable of accepting a defeat. I cried, if I lost. My sister was measuring our times. She was a fair referee. She made me cry a couple times. I ran with Mariola and Sebastian Buczynski".
"I used to run a lot with my friend (Hubert Gibowicz), in Poland, when I was fourteen. When I was sixteen I stopped running for about half-a-year. Since then, I ran seldom until about five or six years ago. I ran a lot for about a year. I lost 60 of 250 pounds. Afterwards, I stopped running for about three years. I gained back most of the weight. Since two years ago, I am trying to get in shape".
Currently, Robert does not belong to a running club, but he often runs with his 6'4" friend, Sebastian Mojsiejewicz. When not running with Sebastian, he prefers to run alone, and occasionally with others.
Though some runs are 10km, Robert averages 3km to 4km each time he runs, which is usually five times a week.
In Poland runners run in all types of weather conditions. For a daily run, Robert's favorite types of climate are the extreme ones, such at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, heavy rain, or freezing cold. When it comes to competition, he says, "I would prefer either a sunny day between 60 °F to 75 °F, or to have some advantage over many others, I would like 32 °F and light snow". This is probably because in Poland it snows four to five months out of the year.
Robert prefers a popular Italian running shoe, and owns two pairs of them. The only running accessory he uses is a water bottle, and does not listen to music while he runs. Robert also reads a popular world known running magazine. He does not eat anything in particular before he runs, but he does drink a medium "Polish" D.D. coffee, since he says he needs endurance.
When asked if running in Poland is accepted, Robert replied, "Before, it was common for the youth to run within the school system. A 70-year-old man jogging dressed in short pants would have been called a 'weird guy'. However, over the last twenty years things have changed and more and more people of all ages are running". Nowadays, Robert considers running a popular activity in Poland.
There are no apparent customs that a foreign runner should abide by in Poland, but Robert does mention to watch out for dogs, since too many people let them off of their leashes.
It has been quite some time since Robert has participated in an organized race in Poland, but he remembers that when he did run in them they were either free, or you had to qualify. He says that there are few races held in Polish cities, probably fewer races within the whole year than there are in just one month in New Jersey (Usa) alone.
Run The Planet would like to thank Robert Kolakowski from Poland for taking part in the Planeteer Spotlight.