21 październik 2018

Text: Anna Kowalczyk, member of Independent Poland support team, runner, translator in English

 

The most prestigious and longest race through North Canada and Alaska

 

This story can motivate even the most pessimistic people. Marcin Gienieczko has recently revealed in social media that steadfastness still exists and winning with fate is possible. As the saying goes, fate and destiny are given in the cradle.

 

Marcin Gienieczko professional athlete, explorer, sailor, reporter and father of two adorable young boys has won the 2nd place in the longest canoe race YUKON 1000-covering 1600 km through the isolated and most dangerous regions of Canada and Alaska. He achieved it in the regatta canoe as the captain of the Independent Poland squad, name given as a tribute to the 100 years anniversary of Polish Independence.

 

What was this road to success like?

 

In 2015 Gienieczko achieves the impossible, traversing solo through the South America, initiating by 700 km by bike through Andes pedaling uphill to 4700m height, than descending to the jungle, he covers the distance of 5980 km in a canoe( including 400km together with his partner Gadiel Sanchez Rivera), following 80 km run with a Polish and Olympics flag straight to the bay, in which the Amazon river spreads. 6 month later Gienieczko receives the world Guinness record. More of the story in link to follow: http://www.soloamazon.info/blog/

 

After 7 months a difficult situation occurs. The person who has been supporting and motivating Marcin becomes his fierce enemy. Gienieczko notices some improprieties in rewarding the contestants during the Tourist Festival in Gdynia. He makes a decision not to accept distinction awarded by the Jury, among which Piotr Chmeliński is one of the members. More in the link to follow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVqACeyTGj0

 

Marcin applies to co organizers of the Festival for explanations. He does not receive unambiguous answer. This quest of truth goes down really bad with with Jury member Piotr Chmieliński, and due to which he becomes a great opponent of Marcin, questioning his merits of Amazone passage. Friendly newspaper, in which he is a correspondent, also questions Gienieczko’s success basing it on assumption and incorrect analysis as well as ironical thesis that it is impossible to cover the distance of 100km daily in a canoe. This was the greatest absurd issued by the opponents.

 

It’s worth mentioning that Gienieczko in 2013 achieved another successful accomplishment-he paddles 100km through the Baltic Sea in an open canoe in 27 hours and 30min. The achievement is witnessed by famous sailor ArkadiuszPawełek, who as the second man in the world in 1998 crossed the Atlantic in a floating boat, following the footsteps of French sailor Alain Bombard from 1952 .

 

Polish Olympic Committee, the highest sport organization fighting with sport doping, stood in Marcin’s defense. Polish Olympic Committee did not agree with the harmful opinion about Gienieczko.

The explorer concentrates on his mission. He is aware that in expedition there is no place for explications, as they are typical attributes of the guilt. In sport exploration there is only space for pushing against-making new projects which reveal the inner passion, determination and fight for success. Gienieczko starts his new project in 2016 double traverse on skis of the Hardenvde-the Norvegian plateau, where Amundsen used to practice before his great expedition to the South Pole. Also in the same year Gienieczko starts the solitary traverse (with no help or assistance) of the McKenzie mountains- 1000km in 45 days through the most solitary regions of North Canada. More in link to follow:

https://www.hobby4men.com/blog/finalowa-relacja-podwojnego-trawersu-gor-mackenzie-marcina-gienieczko/

He receives the acknowledgment letter from the Polish Olympic Committee Chairmen, Andrzej Krasicki. Gienieczko replies to PKOL that he will return a favor with his following sport success. He informs the Board of PKOL that he will take part in the most prestigious canoe competitions in the world to ultimately shut the propaganda to previous issues.

 

After return from the McKenzie mountains he starts talks with his friends from Whitehorse, owners of Kanoe People company, Scott McDougall, whom he had met in 2003 crossing the Jukon river from Carcross to The Bering Sea. He was 24 then and it took him 76 days to cover the 3000km of Jukon. After returning he wrote a book “Pokonaćsiebie” (Overcoming Self). Scott asked Marcin a question whether he would return here with his canoe one day and take part in Yukon River Quest or Yukon 1000 canoe race.

Gienieczko returns to Poland. On his next sailor contract he earns money for living, he works on two massive barges, he gets through with his dangerous and risky but well paid work on tank ships. He decides to race in Yukon River Quest. But this single race is not enough for him therefore he chooses to go to Canada for 2 months and stay for the world longest canoe race – YUKON 1000. Each sportsman needs a strong motivation to his actions, having a drive which will lead him to desired goal. Physical pain, so common in sport and natural human retaliation become his inner strength to compete. He takes a 6months interval in his project “A road to a Pole”

For Marcin, this longest race was the highest stake. A challenge for recognition, prestige but also tribute to values which he was raised upon; faith, love, hope, steadfastness, truth. Arranging two projects he trains relentlessly. He communicates with his ship captain about sailing between Rotterdam, and Antwerp. After finishing each contract he visits his mentor and best in Europe canoeist Francis Soenen, Belgian who teaches him to sail in a canoe See1. This boat is approved in solo YRQ class. However Gienieczko is not convinced about the canoe with rudder. According to him its is rather kayak than canoe. The boat and Gienieczko do not get along very well, even thought he is trying earnestly his best. However there is no other option as everyone racing solo in the YRQ in this class uses this boat model. Why? It is quicker and gives greater chance to win the podium. During the preparations Marcin makes the decision to take part in YUKON 1000 race. He invites a friend from his hometown to become his partner, but the man does not have a “feel” in a canoe paddling. Eventually he pulls back right before the competitions, just two weeks before the departure. As a partner, he abandons Marcin on the battlefield without much explanation. Gienieczko is devastated. He looks for solution. The YRQ organizers know him well from his previous achievements on Yukon. Polish Radio publishes a link on their websites that Gienieczko strives to take part in both races:

http://thenews.pl/1/5/Artykul/365834,Pole-to-compete-in-world%E2%80%99s-toughest-canoe-races

This link is also published by Yukon River Quest organizers on their Facebook site with an information that Marcin is seeking a partner to compete with him in second race on 1600km distance. Lots of people reply to Gienieczko’sinvitation, however his final choice is Ben Schmidt, who completed the Yukon 1000 race in 2009 placing on 3rd position.

Gienieczko informs his partner at the very beginning that he is only interested in winning. “Are you ready for this?” Schmidt after agreement with his wife and analysis of all the pros and cons accepts Marcins offer. Gienieczko becomes the captain of the Independent Poland squad. Marcin covers all the costs from his private budget. He does not look for the sponsors. There is no time for that. He continues his work on a ship. While Schmidt starts his practice Gienieczko concentrates on the YRQ race. He arrives in Yukon on the 10th of June. Meets Peter Coates -the founder of YUKON 1000 and inventor of the best track in the world.

 

Peter presents Marcin each boat, its course and speed eventually Marcin rents a See1 canoe from Peter and begins his practice. However after 20minutes he flips over on Jukonriver. He dries out and tries to move on. He covers 20km of Takhini River. After return he talks with the owner of the Kanoe People company and tells him that he does not feel the boat. He asks Scott if he has anything else to offer. Scott suggests him racing in regatta canoe Clipper Jensen 18. However this is a two person canoe. All other competitors tandem race in this canoe in YRQ race. Gienieczko spends a night in a hostel deliberating what decision he should make. Before the dawn he decides to take Clipper Jansen 18 in the Yukon 1000 and take part in the challenge race. Organizers and his competitors do not give him more than 40 percent chance to reach the finish line. So far no-one has done this solo race in a tandem canoe. What’s more Gienieczko has to take on board a 70 liters tank as a ballast placed on the canoe bow, to keep the course straight and make the boat’s bow wind resistant. Chances are small but Marcin is eager to take up this challenge. One of the greatest challenges, because of its wide spread and slow pace, is the Lake Laberge. Gienieczko crosses it as a practice before the race in this canoe model. It takes him 4 days starting from the Whitehorse. Marcin realizes that it’s not going to be an easy challenge, and he has no chances to win but he wants to present others that in two person canoe he is able to cover not only 100km a day but 320km during 32 hours, including the slower pace of 50km long – Lake Laberge. This very boat gives him a chance to practice before the YUKON 1000 race. He had already decided to take a bit faster canoe to a second race, Jensen’s Whitewater II. Those boats are similar.

Gienieczko sets off in YRQ and achieves his goal, covering 320km in 32 hours. He passes quite a number of boats which raced in tandems. He was paddling 5km per hour, sometimes even 6km/hr, through the Lake Laberge . In 67 hours, 55 minutes and 27 seconds he covers the distance of 715 km taking 6th place in Solo Canoe Class: https://yukonriverquest.ca/yrq/app/entry8/tracker_results.php?race=18yrq

 

He gains respect among the most experienced canoe and kayak competitors. So far no one has ever done such challenge or crossed the river solo in a tandem canoe- summarize the owners of the largest canoe company in Yukon, Kanoe People.

 

Gienieczko feels fulfilled. It wasn’t so much about the podium. The explorer stays in Dawson City at Andrzej and Aleksandra Kuczyński’s place, the owners of jewelery shops. He takes any works possible-painting the house or helping the owners with different works he earns money for the next entry fee for the regatta canoe. The owner of the Satfilmcompany Robert Kowalczyk comes with support. He sees Gienieczko’s determination and pays for his return ticket to Poland. Andrzej Kuczyński buys additional paddles for Yukon 1000 race. Marcin lives in the shed and tries to focus on the upcoming race. There is a lot of pressure upon his shoulders. He is in constant communication with Ben Schmidt, who offers him cooperative practice in Alaska., but Marcin can’t afford it. He has to earn money to pay for the canoe, which costs 1100 USD. He meets Ben in Whitehorse, only 4 days before the Yukon race. Gienieczko informs Ben that he is physically very well trained and capable of paddling like a fast machine in a canoe-very strong, long strokes, paddling fast and relentlessly. The idea of the race is to paddle constantly for 18 hours every day with a mandatory night stop required by organizers between 11pm and 5 am. Ben accepts this fact with understanding.

 

They perform a practice 20km down the Jukonriver, accompanied by the priest SławekSzwagrzyk in the second canoe. The priest had blessed their boat before the race and also provided both competitors with food and shelter. Ben and Marcin stay at the priests place for a few days. He is an eager adventurer himself, therefore he understands Marcin’s ambitions and offers them not only asylum for the night but meals as well. The explorers prepare mentally for the race. Their families support them devotedly. They both share the same life values, both tremendously love their children.

YUKON 1000- THE LAST LARGEST RACE

 

On the 22nd of July the race starts, Polish-American duet pulls forward to high position. In the canoe class they take 3rd place but coming to the Lake Laberge they loose their advantage and drop to 5th place. Initially two different paddling styles do not get along. Ben prefers short strokes. Gienieczko applies strong, long ones. Ben is not in the best shape for the first days of the race. He looses his strength and motivation, especially when noticing others passing them. Gienieczko pays no attention to this, he is aware that the first phase of the race-the Lake is he hardest. What’s more, the canoe is overloaded with 20 liters of water. The team did not take the water filters as other contestants or special sanitizing pills. The initial plan was to collect water from little creaks.

Their primary speed is 7km per hour. Gienieczko calculates it and says it’s not enough. Ben declares fatigue, he says he is not gonna make it. This irritates Gienieczko within but he motivates and encourages Ben. He is aware of not putting too much pressure on him so as not to get him stuck. Gienieczko is aware that as a team captain he is responsible to bear all the costs and Ben may simply lack the motivation. He is trying to regain his drive. In total they lose 2 hours on the lake. Before the race they had assumption of covering 96km in 9 hours but it is not the real for them any more.

As soon as they reach the Jukonriver they regain speed. Marcin notices that Ben gets more active as he finds another canoe in this eye range. It becomes obvious that Ben needs a clear goal-a rival ahead to make him a fierce paddler, he feels motivated to press on than.

Gienieczko does not require such stimulator. The same day they pass two canoe boats. On the next day they gain 2nd position in their category. They paddle relentlessly being only 2 hours behind the leader. One of the kayaks they pass shares the information that they are only 1,5 or 2 hours behind the front team, which is about 15km . This is the main thought of all the competitors, “where exactly is our location and how far behind the leader we are”. The race is on. On the second day Gienieczko feels a bit numb, he feels a painful discomfort around his heart. He finds it hard to adjust. Merely 3 hours for the rest and recovery is barely enough. The hardest hours are 5 and 7 am are when the body fights against awaking. Marcin consumes 8 coffee candies, he also has 2 energizers but has to divide them to small portions to last for the whole day. Ben does not face such difficulty but gets apathetic around 2pm and becomes fatigued and does not produce the required speed. It is quite irritating to Gienieczko, who has to paddle for the two of them. Ben suggests taking hot, strong coffee to their thermoses for the beginning of the day and this idea occurs very helpful. On the third day Gienieczko is in his best shape. He paddles like a machine, the canoe speeds up. They pass the Korkorua team from New Zeland, another kayak which was always faster than canoe. This fact activates Ben and he starts paddling stronger and faster.This irritates Marcin, he puts the paddle aside and declares “if you paddle like this I am not going any further, you have to provide us with 4km/hour not 2km per hour” but the irritation lasts less than 2 minutes. In sport exploration there is no such thing as prolonged fuss as there is no time to lose.

During the strong paddling Marcin tries to encourage and motivate Ben that he is doing it for the children and 7 thousands fans are observing him on Marcin’s Fb profile. He points out that this race opens doors to new opportunities and challenges. ‚You can’t give up right now’-Gienieczko says. There is various tension between the competitors in thoughts and words. Each of them struggles to break through, win their own battlefield of the mind, provide their best. He apologizes him the following day. They both regain their motivation. Nearby Dawson City their canoe reaches 20km/hour. Ben gets excited to reach the Alaska territory the very same day- his motherland. He contemplates and talks about it. They mostly talk about their children and family as this is their common subject.

Right behind Dawson the river practically does not spread but flows in one riverbed. Gienieczko notices the sight of large smoke. The fire starts and they are soon surrounded by the smoke. Ben estimates the fire to be 7km away. Its all hard for Marcin to believe. They stop at the island for 10 minutes and analyze the situation. The large fire they had noticed approximately 6km away is getting bigger. The smoke becomes so enormous it covers the whole valley. They are taking up the risk of moving forward. Gienieczko trusts Ben as he has lived in Alaska for his whole life. But after few meters Ben recommends returning to the island. ‚We will not get through this smoke’-he declares. Gienieczko doesn’t know what to do, he feels frightened but Ben calms him down.

 

When they set off in the race they were on high 3rd place, later they dropped to the 5th. On the Lake Laberge they lost 2 hours because of they didn’t have much chance to practice before the race.

Fast Jukonriver helped them to regain their loss and move ahead many squads (including kayaks lighter that canoe) but something unexpected happened, which stroke the Independent Poland Team-they encountered fire on their road. Both river banks were on fire and the smoke was descending into the water and blocking their way to pass through. It was a life threatening situation for all the squads as carbon monoxide poisoning was very real.

 

The leader – Kiwis, the kayak team from NewZeland who won the whole race- was the only one which passed through before the fire started

 

Ian Huntsman sent the text message from his satellite phone to the organizers, as he informed us later after the race, with information that he does not need any assistance.

 

The Hobo Squad team from Hawaii, the winner of the race in canoe class got stuck right behind the fire. They managed to pass through though. ‚We have faced the biggest misfortune’ Gienieczko says. At 8.41 pm he tries to contact the organizers but they are out of reach, so he makes a decision to get in touch with his father, who writes an email to the organizers and eventually one of them, Henry St Clair, contacts Marcin via his satellite phone. Ben picks up and explains the situation. ‚We called the organizers to inform them about the case and with request of how we should proceed it’-Gienieczko explains. The chopper was already above our heads searching for fire source. It noticed our position. At 10.30 pm all the vessels stopped for the mandatory 6 hrs sleep stop between 11pm and 5am. Right before the dawn we set off to Eagle Village to check in at the USA Boarder Guards. Checking in we found out that our distance to a leader decreased to only 8km away but the fire stood on our road again and burned our efforts, due to which we had to chase the leaders one more time. This constant chase reminded me of the “Smokey and the Bandid“ movie from 1977

 

Ben sitting in front of the canoe was paddling by himself for 20 minutes as Marcin got fatigued and had to take an energy nap for 10 minutes. Ben was controlling the course. The competitors entered the large backwaters of Jukon. The track prepared by Marcins friend, a cartographer was very precise yet navigating occurred much harder that on Amazon river, why?

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This part of Jukon remind intestines, thousands of channel packed with islands. On the Amazon, if you take a look from space, both channels and islands are very massive. It’s hard to make a mistake navigating when you follow precise track in your GPS. Simply everything is bigger and much more visible. Here in Jukon getting into a small, wrong channel may end up in being blocked and returning to appropriate one becomes extremely difficult. Oftentimes in such situations you have to go 100m against the strong current, which leaves you with 15 minutes loss. At the beginning the team was following the track but Ben requested to trust him, he knew and felt the river very well. Jukon does not give up her miles easily, she can change her pace and even current sometimes, the water becomes murky. A natural instinct is required to advantage the rivals. Ben had crossed this part of Jukon twice, so eventually the decision was made to concentrate on all aspects-track, instinct and sense of direction simultaneously.

Marcin admited making a mistake of trusting the GPS only, which was leading them correctly but eventually prolonged their road of 3km, and in this very project the time was gold. Ben was getting irritated by this fact and reminded Marcin that the “reading the river”, paying attention to it’s current is crucial.

 

The following day was perfect in paddling, they passed another kayak squad 10thLifeKayaking from the USA, which faced huge navigation difficulties. This gave them the advantage. It’s worth mentioning that at the beginning of the race they were on the 2nd position and for the majority of the distance they were side by side with the canoe leader.

 

Independent Poland jumped into the 4th position, Ben and Marcin were counting every minute of the race. They had one single 2 minutes stop at the river bank for physiological needs. Gienieczko began getting weak as he put a lot of effort in the primary Canadian distance, what is more he was having some stomach problems. A fermented beverage caused nausea. To top it all, the 27C heat from the very start of the race and not a drop of rain were not helpful at all. Noon time was the most difficult to bear as the sun was burning their faces unmercifully. The hot chicken soup helped to regain the energy. Ben was struggling with the shoulder pain. Marcin gave him the warming up ointment. They were both sleep deprived as they only had 3hrs of rest each day. Setting up the camp and preparing a meal took them usually 50 min in the morning and 50 min in the evening. Right ahead of Beaver Indian village Ben impresses Marcin. He sits on his knees and starts to paddle long and strong strokes as he would be finishing.

Right at that moment we were paddling against strong wind and 1 meter high waves. “Ben keep paddling like this for 15 minutes” Marcin speaks to himself. “if you had paddled this way from the very beginning we would have finished the race at 1st place. Or maybe I shouldn’t complain,’ Gienieczko is wondering.

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After crossing 1600 km in 7 days, 7 hours and 30 minutes the Independent Poland Team reaches the finish line. They are placed on 2nd position in a canoe class and 4th in the overall race:

 

Official Yukon1000 site with results :https://yukon1000.com/18y1k/results_print.php

 

 

http://www.gienieczko.pl/tracking/yukon1000/

 

Passing 10 squads, they beat the winner of Yukon River Quest Bart de Zwart as well as English team Mathew Sidney Bennett and Oliver Bailey who crossed the Atlantic last year from Portugal to Venezuela. After the analysis of the race the organizers added time penalties (2 hours) to many teams, including the Independent Poland as Marcin was contacting the organizers via satellite phone during the fire and asking whether crossing the fire was life threatening. The satellite phone contact was forbidden unless the emergency occurred. However the penalty, had no effect on their strong position as they had enough advantage time over other squads. Eventually the organizers congratulated the team their fight engagement and good results.

 

It was a meaningful success in canoeing due to the fact that within a month I completed 2 races in a two persons canoe, both solo and in tandem.

As the captain of the Independent Poland squad I felt tremendous joy. It was a capstone for me. Thereby I have finally completed the official canoeing. If I ever return to canoeing it will only be recreational, paddling from Whitehorse to Dawson with my sons. This was the fist time success achieved by the man in the history of both Polish and European canoeing. At the same time with this race I defended everything that was alleged. I may still encounter people who will interpret it differently but we have no influence upon others opinion. I am personally assured about my capabilities, achievements and involvement- declares Marcin

 

What’s next?

 

I will return to the project „A road to a Pole”, and my goal is to traverse Antarctica through the South Pole- solo. But before I set off I need to perform a double traverse of Greenland next year. Will it happen? It’s all up to my wife. If she allows for that. The family is most important, I do not want my manhood sport ambitions take priority.

Biography of Marcin Gienieczko:

 

-in 2003 Gienieczko crosses the Jukon river in an inflating boat Zodiac at the distance of 3000 km. It takes him only 76 days. After the expedition he writes a book “Pokonaćsiebie” (Overcoming Self).

 

-in 2005 Gienieczko crosses river systems of Mackenzie from Jasper to Toktuyaktuk at the distance of 4000 km. After the expedition a documentary with Canadian canoe experts opinion is filmed : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKaS2UqsiFg

 

– in 2007 winter expedition takes place -the crossing of the Mackenzie mountains. In the link to a documentary below, the experts opinion from Yukon.Gienieczko fails to cross the Mackenzie mountains in winter as temperature drops below -40C :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctuJPZJZIQE

 

 

-in 2009- crossing 3500km through winter Syberia, starting from Magadan to Ayon -Island in Chukotka

 

-in 2010 he traverses 4300km of Australia from North to South by bike from Darwin, Newman, Gibson Dessert (by car), Warburton, Uluru, Adelaide

 

-in 2011 Gienieczko crosses the rivers of Yukon. He becomes the Yukon river tour guide, conducting many polish groups from different companies.

 

-in 2012 he performs a solo crossing of the longest Siberian river Lena in a canoe.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer…

 

– in 2013 he takes part in YRQ race, but unfortunately due to nephrolithiasis he is not able to accomplish the race. The same year he crosses the Baltic Sea from Denmark to Poland.

 

– in 2014 he crosses the tributary of Amazon river-Rio Napo 800 km, with a partner

 

– in 2015 as a first man in history crosses the 5980 km of Amazon river in a canoe

http://www.soloamazon.info/tracking/

http://www.gienieczko.pl/pdf/triatlon.xls.pdf

 

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English versioon:

http://amazon-explorer.blogspot.com/2016/07/marcin-gienieczko-i-won-fight-against.html

http://amazon-explorer.blogspot.com/2017/06/upon-amazons-current-disease-drug.html

 

Marcin: I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to my success. After the race I regained my faith in meeting the right people on my road of life, who are not only driven by revenge or profitability but willing to cooperate and support

 

in best regards to Independent Team Poland

Anna Kowalczyk

 

It was plan to win! :Race Yukon 1000- chart

 

Day No 1 stage Whiethorse-Big Salomon River 22 July

Start 22 July at 7.00. After 96 km, at 4.00 pm I was reaching Lower Laberge. We leave our canoe for 6 minutes .

– At 7.30 pm having covered 145 km we reach Hotolinki. From Hotolinki we are canoeing

– After 3 h of canoeing and covering 201 km we reach the first bed place Big Salomin River. At 10.30 pm SLEEPOVER No 1. Number of hours in the canoe = 15 h and 30 minutes of rowing.

At 10.30 pm till 4.30 stopover.

 

Day No 2 stage Big Salomon River, 201 km from the start – sleepover past Fort Serlik ,23 July

At 4.30 start – the beginning of canoeing, day No 2

Start Big Salomon River-Carmaks-120 km I arrive at Carmaks, right side, at 12.00 -7,5 h of rowing.

– We reach Minto, half of the route. To Dawson we arrive at 5.30 pm. To Fort Serlki we arrive at 08.00 pm.

– The sleepover is assumed to take place past Fort Serlki at 10.15 pm. The distance covered from the start is 489 km. Daily distance = 288 km.

The Schedule stopover is between 10.15 pm. and 10.30 pm. Number of hours in the canoe = 18 hours of rowing and 288 km in the canoe.

Sleepover No 2 past Fort Serlik. Start 4.30 or 4.15.

Day No 3 past Fort Serlik island recommended start 4.15 ,24 July

Distance the island past Fort Serlik, from start 489 km. I reach Dawson City 19.00 740 km behindAt the section 770 km at 10.15 pm I have the third sleepover . A small river flows here. At 4.15 we leave again.

Day 4, 25 July. I leave the Island past the Dawson City at 4.15. At 02.00 pm we reach Eagel at Alasca. There we will have 30 minute stopover. Passports and at this time we eat lunch. Eagel from the starting point is placed 904 km away. Sleepover No 4 is located at the section 980 km Cabin Nation left side. 09.30 pm.

Day 5 ,26 July 3.30 start. Around 01.00 pm we go past Circle 1150 km covered. We get into Yukon Backwaters. 5 sleepover on the right side of the river 1225 km. Hour 10.00 pm or 10.15 pm.

Day 6 27 July start 4.15 in the morning leaving. About 8.15 in the morning we are near the Fort Yukon 1275 km. We go past. At 08.00 we go past the settlement Beaver . The route covered equals 1400 km. We still go canoeing 20 km down. Sleepover 6, 1420 km of the covered River. Camping at 10.15 pm

Day 7 28 July, start 4.15. At the section 1545 km, at 04.15 we o past the settlement Stevens Village. The remaining distance to the finish is 55 km. Finish is scheduled at 10.15 pm when we go past the bridge. There we havesleepover 7. THE END!!!!

17 październik 2018

Jedna z największych fundacji sportowych wraz z Zakładami Bukmacherskimi STS przesłała mi list gratulacyjny za ostanie ,,osiągi” na canoe. Bardzo dziękuje za tak mile słowa uznania.
Fundacja Sport Twoją Szansą prowadzi działania na rzecz rozwoju polskiego sportu. Wspiera talenty sportowe, zapewniając im pomoc materialną oraz merytoryczną.
Usłyszeć gratulacje od takiego człowieka Jakim jest Pan Prezes Matusz Juroszek to dla mnie zaszczyt.

25 wrzesień 2018

Owocny dzień. Spotkanie z szefami Polskiego Sportu i nie tylko. Dziękuje dla TVP za życzliwe spotkanie. Wracam do TVP ze swoimi projektami od dnia dzisiejszego! Chce tez uściślić bo zaraz moi wrogowie mogą skomentować to inaczej. TVP nazwało mnie tak jak uważali za stosowne. Ja ukończyłem wyścig najdłuższy na świecie na canoe zdobywając II miejsce. Dla mnie to nie jest vice mistrzostwo świata lecz zdobywca II miejsca w najdłuższym wyścigu na świecie na na łódce Independent Poland na 100lecie Odzyskania Niepodległości. Co myślą o moim udziale organizatorzy więcej tutaj w tym filmie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue4JifqSNy0

 

https://pytanienasniadanie.tvp.pl/39146721/marcin-gienieczko-wicemistrz-swiata-w-najbardziej-extremalnym-wyscigu-na-cano

 

 

https://www.muzeumsportu.waw.pl/wystawy/wydarzenia/714-przekazanie-wiosla-przez-marcina-gienieczko

 

 

Pozdrawiam,

Marcin Gienieczko

22 sierpień 2018

Polski Komitet Olimpijski  największa organizacja sportowa w Polsce przedstawia na swoich stronach   moi udział największych wyścigach na canoe na świecie:

Gdzie   w trakcie wyścigu http://www.olimpijski.pl/pl/aktualnosci,89/2161,drugie-miejsce-marcina-gienieczki.html

Yukon 1000  -najdłuższego wyścigu na canoe na świecie zdobyłem z partnerem II miejsce na łódce Independent Poland  gdzie byłem kapitanem tego canoe. Wyścig odbywał się przez najdziksze regiony płn Kanady i Alaski. 1600km w  7 dni 7 h i 30 min(później 2 h zostało narzucone za użycie 2 minut telefonu satelitarnego).Ci którzy  nie śledzili losów tej rywalizacji zapraszam na oficjalne strony organizatorów. Dla mnie wyścig był ukoronowaniem plwania na canoe i wspaniałym  epilogiem do książki o  Amazonce która  przedstawi mój wielki triathlon przez Amerykę Południową gdzie jako pierwszy człowiek przepłynąłem Amazonkę na dystansie 5980 km w canoe: https://www.tygodnikprzeglad.pl/zatanczyc-z-amazonka/

Zapraszam wszystkich do  przeanalizowania zmagań wyścigów

Oficjalne rezultaty

https://yukonriverquest.ca/yrq/app/entry8/tracker_results.php?race=18yrq

https://yukon1000.com/18y1k/results_print.php

 

22 sierpień 2018

Marcin Gienieczko na podium w wyścigu Yukon 1000

 

Marcin Gienieczko sportowiec i  podróżnik osiągnął światowy sukces. Zajął II miejsce w najdłuższym wyścigu na świecie na canoe YUKON 1000.

Przepłynął 1600 km w 7 dni 7 godzin i 30 minut. Trzy tygodnie wcześniej  ukończył jako pierwszy człowiek w  historii  wyścigu Yukon River Quest dwuosobową łódką w kategorii solo .Oba wyścigi  odbyły się w Kanadzie i na Alasce. Yukon 1000 zrealizował jako kapitan canoe Independent Poland która została nazwana na cześć 100 Leciał Niepodległości Polski .

12 sierpień 2018

The road to longed -for goal achievement. 

 

Since 1994 I have been working as an English translator with various people, including sportsmen. I take part in different events and report their courses. Despite the interpretation I am keen on getting to know the road to success of every explorer or adventurer. I am passionate to hear about every stage and process leading to goal achievement. You can learn a lot from such observation. Recently I had a pleasure to be part of the support team of the Independent Poland squad, during one of the most prestigious world canoe races-Yukon 1000, where the contestants had to paddle 1600km through the most isolated and remote territory of North Canada and Alaska. Together with three families we were all closely paying attention to two wonderful men -Marcin Gienieczko and Ben Schmidt racing in the longest and most prestigious canoe race . This team/family bond was filled with care, attention , passion, prayers and all positive thoughts of the guys paddling up there in their canoe though rough waters of Jukon river. The time was relevant for us and often confusing due to sleep deprivation. We were all united in prayers when the fire crossed the teams path and the life threat was real as well as each day, knowing their strength and health was in great risk. We all knew how much this race meant to them and what was the stake. And the finishing time was the most impressive of all. We all joke that Yukon united us and it was just a small puzzle in the bigger picture.

I would like you o take a moment and read about the preparations and the course of this race in which my friend Marcin Gienieczko was a captain of the Polish American Team paddling together with his partner from Alaska, Ben Schmidt. Marcin is one of few men that I respect for setting up challenges but also for revealing the daily hard, monotonous routine of the road leading to success. He reminds me of my childhood heroes and prolongs their story, proving that adventures these days are not easy to encounter but still possible to achieve, the limitations and excuses are only in our heads and it is always worth to defend the truth.

Thank you Marcin and Ben and all Independent Poland support Team for fabulous time together at Yukon.

Anna Kowalczyk

 

 

Text: Anna Kowalczyk, member of Independent Poland support team, runner, translator in English

https://www.facebook.com/anna.kowalczyk.397948

 

 

The most prestigious and longest race through North Canada and Alaska

This story can motivate even the most pessimistic people. Marcin Gienieczko has recently revealed in social media that steadfastness still exists and winning with fate is possible. As the saying goes, fate and destiny are given in the cradle.

Marcin Gienieczko professional athlete, explorer, sailor, reporter and father of two adorable young boys has won the 2nd place in the longest canoe race YUKON 1000-covering 1600 km through the isolated and most dangerous regions of Canada and Alaska. He achieved it in the regatta canoe as the captain of the Independent Poland squad, name given as a tribute to the 100 years anniversary of Polish Independence.

What was this road to success like?

 

In 2015  Gienieczko achieves the impossible, traversing solo through the South America, initiating by 700 km by bike through Andes pedaling uphill to 4700m height, than descending to the jungle, he covers the distance of 5980 km in a canoe( including 400km together with his partner Gadiel Sanchez Rivera), following 80 km run with a Polish and Olympics flag straight to the bay, in which the Amazon river spreads. 6 month later Gienieczko receives the world Guinness record. More of the story in link to follow: http://www.soloamazon.info/blog/

 

After 7 months a difficult situation occurs. The person who has been supporting and motivating Marcin becomes his fierce enemy. Gienieczko notices some improprieties in rewarding the contestants during the Tourist Festival in Gdynia. He makes a decision not to accept distinction awarded by the Jury, among which Piotr Chmeliński is one of the members. More in the link to followhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVqACeyTGj0

 

Marcin applies to co organizers of the Festival for explanations. He does not receive unambiguous answer. This quest of truth goes down really bad with with Jury member Piotr Chmieliński, and due to which he becomes a great opponent of Marcin, questioning his merits of Amazone passage. Friendly newspaper, in which he is a correspondent, also questions Gienieczko’s success basing it on assumption and incorrect analysis as well as ironical thesis that it is impossible to cover the distance of 100km daily in a canoe.  This was the greatest absurd issued by the opponents.

It’s worth mentioning that Gienieczko in 2013 achieved another successful accomplishment-he paddles 100km through the Baltic Sea in an open canoe in 27 hours and 30min. The achievement is witnessed by famous sailor Arkadiusz Pawełek, who as the second man in the world in 1998 crossed the Atlantic in a floating boat, following the footsteps of French sailor Alain Bombard  from 1952 .

 

Polish Olympic Committee, the highest sport organization fighting with sport doping, stood in Marcin’s defense. Polish Olympic Committee did not agree with the harmful opinion about Gienieczko.

The explorer concentrates on his mission. He is aware that in expedition there is no place for explications, as they are typical attributes of the guilt. In sport exploration there is only space for pushing against-making new projects which reveal the inner passion, determination and fight for success. Gienieczko starts his new project in 2016 double traverse on skis of the  Hardenvde-the Norvegian plateau, where Amundsen used to practice before his great expedition to the South Pole. Also in the same year Gienieczko starts the solitary traverse (with no help or assistance) of the McKenzie mountains- 1000km in 45 days through the most solitary regions of North Canada. More in link to follow:

https://www.hobby4men.com/blog/finalowa-relacja-podwojnego-trawersu-gor-mackenzie-marcina-gienieczko/

 

 

He receives the acknowledgment letter from the Polish Olympic Committee Chairmen, Andrzej Krasicki. Gienieczko replies to PKOL that he will return a favor with his following sport success. He informs the Board of PKOL that he will take part in the most prestigious canoe competitions in the world to ultimately shut the propaganda to previous issues.

After return from the McKenzie mountains he starts talks with his friends from Whitehorse, owners of Kanoe People company, Scott McDougall, whom he had met in 2003 crossing the Jukon river from Carcross to The Bering Sea. He was 24 then and it took him 76 days to cover the 3000km of Jukon. After returning he wrote a book “Pokonać siebie” (Overcoming Self). Scott asked Marcin a question whether he would return here with his canoe one day and take part in Yukon  River Quest or  Yukon 1000 canoe race.

Gienieczko returns to Poland. On his next sailor contract he earns money for living, he works on two massive barges, he gets through with his dangerous and risky but well paid work on tank ships. He decides to race in Yukon River Quest. But this single race is not enough for him therefore he chooses to go to Canada for 2 months and stay for the world longest canoe race – YUKON 1000. Each sportsman needs a strong motivation to his actions, having a drive which will lead him to desired goal. Physical pain, so common in sport and natural human retaliation become his inner strength to compete. He takes a 6months interval in his project “A road to a Pole”

For Marcin, this longest  race was the highest stake. A challenge for recognition, prestige but also tribute to values which he was raised upon; faith, love, hope, steadfastness, truth. Arranging two projects he trains relentlessly. He communicates with his ship captain about sailing between  Rotterdam, and Antwerp. After finishing each contract he visits his mentor and best in Europe  canoeist  Francis Soenen, Belgian who teaches him to sail in a canoe See1. This boat is approved in solo YRQ class. However Gienieczko is not convinced about the canoe with rudder. According to him its is rather kayak than canoe. The boat and Gienieczko do not get along very well, even thought he is trying earnestly his best. However there is no other option as everyone racing solo in the YRQ in this class uses this boat model. Why? It is quicker and gives greater chance to win the podium. During the preparations Marcin makes the decision to take part in YUKON 1000 race. He invites a friend from his hometown to become his partner, but the man does not have a “feel” in a canoe paddling. Eventually he pulls back right before the competitions, just two weeks before the departure. As a partner, he abandons Marcin on the battlefield without much explanation. Gienieczko is devastated. He looks for solution. The YRQ organizers know him well from his previous achievements on Yukon. Polish Radio publishes a link on their websites that Gienieczko strives to take part in both races:

http://www.thenews.pl/1/5/Artykul/365834,Pole-to-compete-in-world%E2%80%99s-toughest-canoe-races

 

This link is also published by Yukon River Quest organizers on their Facebook site with an information that Marcin is seeking a partner to compete with him in second race on 1600km distance. Lots of people reply to  Gienieczko’s invitation, however his final choice is Ben Schmidt, who completed the Yukon 1000 race in 2009 placing on 3rd position.

Gienieczko informs his partner at the very beginning that he is only interested in winning. “Are you ready for this?”  Schmidt after agreement with his wife and analysis of all the pros and cons accepts Marcins offer. Gienieczko becomes the captain of the Independent Poland squad. Marcin covers all the costs from his private budget. He does not look for the sponsors. There is no time for that. He continues his work on a ship. While Schmidt starts his practice Gienieczko concentrates on the YRQ race. He arrives in Yukon on the 10th of June. Meets Peter Coates -the founder of YUKON 1000 and inventor of the best track in the world.
https://www.canoekayak.com/canoe/yukon-1000-the-last-great-race/

 

Peter presents Marcin each boat, its course and speed eventually Marcin rents a See1 canoe from Peter and begins his practice. However after 20minutes he flips over on Jukon river. He dries out and tries to move on. He covers 20km of Takhini River. After return he talks with the owner of the Kanoe People company and tells him that he does not feel the boat. He asks Scott if he has anything else to offer. Scott suggests him racing in regatta canoe Clipper Jensen 18. However this is a two person canoe. All other competitors tandem race in this canoe in YRQ race. Gienieczko spends a night in a hostel deliberating what decision he should make. Before the dawn he decides to take Clipper Jansen 18 in the Yukon 1000  and take part in the challenge race.  Organizers and his competitors do  not give him more than 40 percent chance to reach the finish line. So far no-one has done this solo race in a tandem canoe. What’s more Gienieczko has to take on board a 70 liters tank as a ballast placed on the canoe bow, to keep the course straight and make the boat’s bow wind resistant. Chances are small but Marcin is eager to take up this challenge. One of the greatest challenges, because of its wide spread and slow pace,  is the Lake Laberge. Gienieczko crosses it as a practice before the race in this canoe model. It takes him 4 days starting from the Whitehorse. Marcin realizes that it’s not going to be an easy challenge, and he has no chances to win but he wants to present others that in two person canoe he is able to cover not only 100km a day but 320km during 32 hours, including the slower pace of 50km long – Lake Laberge. This very boat gives him a chance to practice before the  YUKON 1000 race. He had already decided to take a bit faster canoe to a second race,  Jensen’s Whitewater II. Those boats are similar.

Gienieczko sets off in YRQ and achieves his goal, covering 320km in 32 hours. He passes quite a number of boats which raced in tandems. He was paddling 5km per hour, sometimes even 6km/hr, through the Lake Laberge . In 67 hours, 55 minutes and 27 seconds  he covers the distance of  715 km taking 6th place in Solo Canoe Class:       https://yukonriverquest.ca/yrq/app/entry8/tracker_results.php?race=18yrq

 

 

He gains respect among the most experienced canoe and kayak competitors. So far no one has ever done such challenge or crossed  the river solo in a tandem canoe- summarize the owners of the largest canoe company in Yukon, Kanoe People.

 

Gienieczko feels fulfilled. It wasn’t so much about the podium. The explorer stays in Dawson City at Andrzej and Aleksandra Kuczyński’s place, the owners of jewelery shops. He takes any works possible-painting the house or helping the owners with different works he earns money for the next entry fee for the regatta canoe. The owner of the Satfilm company Robert Kowalczyk comes with support. He sees Gienieczko’s determination and pays for his return ticket to Poland. Andrzej Kuczyński buys additional paddles for Yukon 1000 race. Marcin lives in the shed and tries to focus on the upcoming race. There is a lot of pressure upon his shoulders. He is in constant communication with Ben Schmidt, who offers him cooperative practice in Alaska., but Marcin can’t afford it. He has to earn money to pay for the canoe, which costs 1100 USD. He meets Ben in Whitehorse, only 4 days before the Yukon race. Gienieczko informs Ben that he is physically very well trained and capable of paddling like a fast machine in a canoe-very strong, long strokes, paddling fast and relentlessly. The idea of the race is to paddle constantly for 18 hours every day with a mandatory night stop required by organizers between 11pm and 5 am. Ben accepts this fact with understanding.

 

They perform a practice 20km down the Jukon river, accompanied by the priest Sławek Szwagrzyk in the second canoe. The priest had blessed their boat before the race and also provided both competitors with food and shelter. Ben and Marcin stay at the priests place for a few days. He is an eager adventurer himself, therefore he understands Marcin’s ambitions and offers them not only asylum for the night but meals as well. The explorers prepare mentally for the race. Their families support them devotedly. They both share the same life values, both tremendously love their children.

 

YUKON 1000- THE LAST LARGEST RACE

 

On the 22nd of July the race starts, Polish-American duet pulls forward to high position. In the canoe class they take 3rd place but coming to the Lake Laberge they loose their advantage and drop to 5th  place. Initially two different paddling styles do not get along. Ben prefers short strokes. Gienieczko applies strong, long ones. Ben is not in the best shape for the first days of the race. He looses his strength and motivation, especially when noticing others passing them. Gienieczko pays no attention to this, he is aware that the first phase of the race-the Lake is he hardest. What’s more, the canoe is overloaded with 20  liters of water. The team did not take the water filters as other contestants or special sanitizing pills. The initial plan was to collect water from little creaks.

Their primary speed is 7km per hour. Gienieczko calculates it and says it’s not enough. Ben declares fatigue, he says he is not gonna make it. This irritates Gienieczko within but he motivates and encourages Ben. He is aware of not putting too much pressure on him so as not to get him stuck. Gienieczko is aware that as a team captain he is responsible to bear all the costs and Ben may simply lack the motivation. He is trying to regain his drive. In total they lose 2 hours on the lake. Before the race they had assumption of covering 96km in 9 hours but it is not the real for them any more.

As soon as they reach the Jukon river they regain speed. Marcin notices that Ben gets more active as he finds another canoe in this eye range. It becomes obvious that Ben needs a clear goal-a rival ahead to make him a fierce paddler, he feels motivated to press on than.

Gienieczko does not require such stimulator. The same day they pass two canoe boats. On the next day they gain 2nd position in their category. They paddle relentlessly being only 2 hours behind the leader. One of the kayaks they pass shares the information that they are only 1,5 or 2 hours behind the front team, which is about 15km . This is the main thought of all the competitors, “where exactly is our location and how far behind the leader we are”. The race is on. On the second day Gienieczko feels a bit numb, he feels a painful discomfort around his heart. He finds it hard to adjust. Merely 3 hours for the rest and recovery is barely enough. The hardest hours are 5 and 7 am are when the body fights against awaking. Marcin consumes 8 coffee candies, he also has 2 energizers but has to divide them to small portions to last for the whole day.  Ben does not face such difficulty but gets apathetic around 2pm and becomes fatigued and does not produce the required speed. It is quite irritating to Gienieczko, who has to paddle for the two of them. Ben suggests taking hot, strong coffee to their thermoses  for the beginning of the day and this idea occurs very helpful. On the third day Gienieczko is in his best shape. He paddles like a machine, the canoe speeds up.  They pass the Korkorua team from New Zeland, another kayak which was always faster than canoe. This fact activates Ben and he starts paddling stronger and faster. He was not ready for such strong regatta paddling on the Canadian territory. This irritates Marcin, he puts the paddle aside and declares “if you paddle like this I am not going any further, you have to provide us with 4km/hour not 2km per hour” but the irritation lasts less than 2 minutes. In sport exploration there is no such thing as prolonged fuss as there is no time to lose.

During the strong paddling Marcin tries to encourage and motivate Ben that he is doing it for the children and 7 thousands fans are observing him on Marcin’s Fb profile. He points out that this race opens doors to new opportunities and  challenges. ‚You can’t give up right now’-Gienieczko says. There is various tension between the competitors in thoughts and words. Each of them struggles to break through, win their own battlefield of the mind, provide their best.  He apologizes him the following day. They both regain their motivation. Nearby Dawson City their canoe reaches 20km/hour. Ben gets excited to reach the Alaska territory the very same day- his motherland. He contemplates and talks about it.  They mostly talk about their children and family as this is their common subject.

 

Right behind Dawson the river practically does not spread but flows in one riverbed. Gienieczko notices the sight of large smoke. The fire starts and they are soon surrounded by the smoke. Ben estimates the fire to be 7km away. Its all hard for Marcin to believe. They stop at the island for 10 minutes and analyze the situation. The large fire they had noticed approximately 6km away is getting bigger. The smoke becomes so enormous it covers the whole valley. They are taking up the risk of moving forward. Gienieczko trusts Ben as he has lived in Alaska for his whole life. But after few meters Ben recommends returning to the island. ‚We will not get through this smoke’-he declares. Gienieczko doesn’t know what to do, he feels frightened but Ben calms him down.

 

When they set off in the race they were on high 3rd place, later they dropped to the 5th. On the Lake Laberge they lost 2 hours because of they didn’t have much chance to practice before the race.

Fast Jukon river helped them to regain their loss and move ahead many squads (including kayaks lighter that canoe) but something unexpected happened, which stroke the Independent Poland Team-they encountered  fire on their road. Both river banks were on fire and the smoke was descending into the water and blocking their way to pass through. It was a life threatening situation for all the squads as carbon monoxide poisoning was very real.

 

The leader – Kiwis, the kayak team from NewZeland who won the whole race- was the only one which passed through before the fire started

 

Ian Huntsman sent the text message from his satellite phone to the organizers, as he informed us later after the race, with information that he does not need any assistance.

 

The Hobo Squad team from Hawaii, the winner of the race in canoe class got stuck right behind the fire. They managed to pass through though. ‚We have faced the biggest misfortune’ Gienieczko says. At 8.41 pm he tries to contact the organizers but they are out of reach, so he makes a decision to get in touch with his father, who writes an email to the organizers and eventually one of them, Henry St Clair, contacts Marcin via his satellite phone. Ben picks up and explains the situation. ‚We called the organizers to inform them about the case and with request of how we should proceed it’-Gienieczko explains. The chopper was already above our heads searching for fire source. It  noticed our position. At 10.30 pm all the vessels stopped for the mandatory 6 hrs sleep stop between 11pm and  5am. Right before the dawn we set off to Eagle Village to check in at the USA Boarder Guards. Checking in we found out that our distance to a leader decreased to only 8km away but the fire stood on our road again and burned our efforts, due to which we had to chase the leaders one more time. This constant chase reminded me of the “Smokey and the Bandid “ movie from 1977

 

Ben was paddling much better now, which allowed us to regain our loss. Ben sitting in front of the canoe was paddling by himself for 20 minutes as Marcin got fatigued and had to take an energy nap for 10 minutes. Ben was controlling the course. The competitors entered the large backwaters of Jukon. The track prepared by Marcins friend, a cartographer was very precise yet navigating occurred much harder that on Amazon river, why?

 

This part of Jukon remind intestines, thousands of channel packed with islands. On the Amazon, if you take a look from space, both channels and islands are very massive. It’s hard to make a mistake navigating when you follow precise track in your GPS. Simply everything is bigger and much more visible. Here in Jukon getting into a small, wrong channel may end up in being blocked and returning to appropriate one becomes extremely difficult. Oftentimes in such situations you have to go 100m against the strong current, which leaves you with 15 minutes loss. At the beginning the team was following the track but Ben requested to trust him, he knew and felt the river very well. Jukon does not give up her miles easily, she can change her pace and even current sometimes, the water becomes murky. A natural instinct is required to advantage the rivals. Ben had crossed this part of Jukon twice, so eventually the decision was made to concentrate on all aspects-track, instinct and sense of direction simultaneously.

Marcin admited making a mistake of trusting the GPS only, which was leading them correctly but eventually prolonged their road of 3km, and in this very project the time was gold. Ben was getting irritated by this fact and reminded Marcin that the “reading the river”, paying attention to it’s current is crucial.

 

The following day was perfect in paddling, they passed another kayak squad  10thLifeKayaking from the USA, which faced huge navigation difficulties. This gave them the advantage. It’s worth mentioning that at the beginning of the race they were on the 2nd position and for the majority of the distance they were side by side with the canoe leader.

 

Independent Poland jumped into the 4th position, Ben and Marcin were counting every minute of the race. They had one single 2 minutes stop at the river bank for physiological needs. Gienieczko began getting weak as he put a lot of effort in the primary Canadian distance, what is more he was having some stomach problems. A fermented beverage caused nausea. To top it all, the 27C heat from the very start of the race and not a drop of rain were not helpful at all. Noon time was the most difficult to bear as the sun was burning their faces unmercifully. The hot chicken soup helped to regain the energy. Ben was struggling with the shoulder pain. Marcin gave him the warming up ointment. They were both sleep deprived as they only had 3hrs of rest each day. Setting up the camp and preparing a meal took them usually 50 min in the morning and 50 min in the evening. Right ahead of Beaver Indian village Ben impresses Marcin. He sits on his knees and starts to paddle long and strong strokes as he would be finishing.

Right at that moment we were paddling against strong wind and 1 meter high waves. “Ben keep paddling like this for 15 minutes” Marcin speaks to himself. “if you had paddled this way from the very beginning we would have finished the race at 1st place. Or maybe I shouldn’t complain,’ Gienieczko is wondering.

 

After crossing 1600 km in 7 days, 7 hours and 30 minutes the Independent Poland Team reaches the finish line. They are placed on 2nd position in a canoe class and 4th in the overall race:

 

Official Yukon1000 site with results : https://yukon1000.com/18y1k/results_print.php

 

http://www.gienieczko.pl/tracking/yukon1000/

 

https://www.yukon-news.com/sports/paddlers-reach-halfway-point-in-yukon-1000-race/

 

 

Passing 10 squads, they beat the winner of Yukon River Quest  Bart de Zwart http://www.supracer.com/2018-yukon-1000-odyssey-bart-de-zwart/ as well as English team Mathew Sidney Bennett  and Oliver Bailey who crossed the Atlantic last year from Portugal to Venezuela. After the analysis of the race the organizers added time penalties (2 hours) to many teams, including the Independent Poland as Marcin was contacting the organizers via satellite phone during the fire and asking whether crossing the fire was life threatening. The satellite phone contact was forbidden unless the emergency occurred. However the penalty,  had no effect on their strong position as they had enough advantage time over other squads. Eventually the organizers congratulated the team their fight engagement and good results.

 

It was a meaningful success in canoeing due to the fact that within a month I completed 2 races in a two persons canoe, both solo and in tandem.

As the captain of the Independent Poland squad I felt tremendous joy. It was a capstone for me. Thereby I have finally completed the official canoeing. If I ever return to canoeing it will only be recreational, paddling from Whitehorse to Dawson with my sons. This was the fist time success achieved by the man in the history of both Polish and European canoeing. At the same time with this race I defended everything that was alleged. I may still encounter people who will interpret it differently but we have no influence upon others opinion. I am personally assured about my capabilities, achievements and involvement- declares Marcin

 

What’s next?

 

I will return to the project  „A road to a Pole”, and my goal is to traverse Antarctica through the South Pole- solo. But before I set off I need to perform a double traverse of Greenland next year. Will it happen? It’s all up to my wife. If she allows for that. The family is most important, I do not want my manhood sport ambitions take priority.

 

Biography of Marcin Gienieczko:

 

-in 2003  Gienieczko crosses the Jukon river in an inflating boat Zodiac at the distance of 3000 km. It takes him only 76 days. After the expedition he writes a book “Pokonać siebie” (Overcoming Self).

 

-in 2005 Gienieczko crosses river systems of Mackenzie from  Jasper to  Toktuyaktuk at the distance of 4000 km. After the expedition a documentary with Canadian canoe experts opinion is filmed : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKaS2UqsiFg

 

 

– in 2007 winter expedition takes place -the crossing of the Mackenzie mountains. In the link to a documentary below, the experts opinion from Yukon. Gienieczko fails to cross the Mackenzie mountains in winter as temperature drops below -40C : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctuJPZJZIQE

 

 

-in 2009- crossing 3500km through winter Syberia, starting from  Magadan to Ayon -Island in Chukotka

 

-in 2010 he traverses 4300km of Australia  from  North to South by bike from Darwin, Newman,  Gibson Dessert (by car), Warburton, Uluru, Adelaide

 

-in 2011 Gienieczko crosses the rivers of Yukon. He becomes the Yukon river tour guide, conducting many polish groups from different companies.

 

-in 2012  he performs a solo crossing of the longest Siberian river Lena in a canoe.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1tDc56LZQV8T6dJ_q1k97wHbUAgM&msa=0&ll=64.65745035867339%2C117.49121000000002&z=4

 

 

– in 2013 he takes part in YRQ race, but unfortunately due to nephrolithiasis he is not able to accomplish the race. The same year he crosses the Baltic Sea from Denmark to Poland.

 

– in 2014 he crosses the tributary of Amazon river-Rio Napo 800 km, with a partner

 

– in  2015 as a first man in history crosses the  5980 km of Amazon river in a canoe https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1TRb_qsPUUqWU0VKDuMCd8V-5Q9w&ll=-1.4070728736749252%2C-49.59161908732102&z=8

 

 

http://www.soloamazon.info/tracking/

 

 

http://www.gienieczko.pl/pdf/triatlon.xls.pdf

 

 

Polish and English descriptions below:

 

https://www.tvn24.pl/ciekawostki-michalki,5/marcin-gienieczko-z-sukcesem-zakonczyl-energa-solo-amazon-expedition,575429.html

 

 

English versioon:

 

http://amazon-explorer.blogspot.com/2017/06/upon-amazons-current-disease-drug.html

 

 

Marcin: I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to my success. After the race I regained my faith in meeting the right people on my road of life, who are not only driven by  revenge or profitability but willing to cooperate and support

 

in best regards to Independent Team Poland

Anna Kowalczyk

 

It was plan to win! :Race Yukon 1000- chart

 

Day No 1 stage  Whiethorse-Big Salomon River 22 July

Start 22 July at 7.00.  After 96 km, at  4.00 pm I was reaching  Lower Laberge.  We leave our canoe for 6 minutes  .

– At 7.30 pm having covered 145 km we reach Hotolinki.  From Hotolinki we are canoeing

– After 3 h of canoeing and covering 201 km we reach the first bed place Big Salomin River. At  10.30 pm SLEEPOVER No  1.  Number of hours in the canoe = 15 h and 30 minutes of rowing.

At 10.30 pm till 4.30 stopover.

 

Day No 2 stage Big Salomon River, 201 km from the start – sleepover past Fort Serlik ,23 July

At 4.30 start – the beginning of canoeing,    day No 2

Start Big Salomon River-Carmaks-120 km I arrive at  Carmaks,  right side,  at 12.00     -7,5 h of rowing.

– We reach Minto, half of the route. To Dawson we arrive at 5.30 pm. To Fort Serlki we arrive at 08.00 pm.

– The sleepover is assumed to take place past Fort Serlki at 10.15 pm. The distance covered from the start is 489 km.   Daily distance = 288 km.

The Schedule stopover is between 10.15 pm. and  10.30 pm. Number of hours in the canoe = 18 hours of rowing and 288 km in the canoe.

Sleepover No 2 past Fort Serlik. Start  4.30 or 4.15.

Day No 3  past Fort Serlik island recommended start 4.15 ,24 July

Distance the island past Fort Serlik,  from start 489 km. I reach Dawson City 19.00 740 km behind. Adam, how many km is from  Dawson to this sleepover place?  At the section 770 km at  10.15 pm I have the third sleepover . A small river flows here.  At  4.15 we leave again.

Day 4,  25 July.  I leave the Island past the  Dawson City at 4.15.  At 02.00 pm we reach  Eagel at Alasca. There we will have 30 minute stopover. Passports and at this time we eat lunch.   Eagel  from the starting point is placed 904 km away. Sleepover No 4  is located at the section 980 km Cabin Nation left side.  09.30 pm.

Day 5 ,26 July 3.30 start. Around 01.00 pm we go past Circle  1150 km covered. We get into Yukon Backwaters. 5 sleepover on the right side of the river  1225 km. Hour 10.00 pm or 10.15 pm.

Day 6  27 July  start 4.15 in the morning leaving. About 8.15 in the morning we are near the   Fort Yukon 1275 km. We go past.  At  08.00  we go past the settlement  Beaver .  The route covered equals  1400 km. We still go canoeing 20 km down. Sleepover 6, 1420 km of the covered River.  Camping at 10.15 pm

Day 7 28 July,   start 4.15.  At the section 1545 km, at  04.15  we o past the settlement Stevens Village.  The remaining distance to the finish is  55 km. Finish  is scheduled at 10.15 pm when we go past the bridge. There we have sleepover 7. THE END!!!!

 

Pozdrawiam,

Marcin Gienieczko

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

8 sierpień 2018

Tekst: Anna Kowalczyk , członek zespołu Independent Poland, biegaczka, tłumacz języka angielskiego

https://www.facebook.com/anna.kowalczyk.397948

Wielki wyścig przez płn. Kanadę i Alaskę

Ta historia może zmotywować nawet najbardziej pesymistycznie nastawionych ludzi do życia. Marcin Gienieczko pokazuje w królestwie mediów społecznościowych 21 wieku, że istnieje jeszcze niezłomność i można wygrać zakład z losem. A los i przeznaczenie życiowe nadane są człowiekowi już w kołysce.

Marcin Gienieczko, profesjonalny sportowiec, podróżnik, marynarz, dziennikarz oraz ojciec dwóch uroczych synków zajął drugie miejsce na najdłuższym wyścigu na świecie YUKON 1000 – o długości 1600 km przez najbardziej odludne i niebezpieczne regiony Kanady i Alaski. Dokonał tego regatowym canoe jako kapitan jednostki Independent Poland na 100 lecie Niepodległości Polski. Tym samym zdobył tytuł wice mistrza świata w długodystansowym płynięciu na canoe. Dla niektórych uczestników oraz środowiska kajakarzy wyścig ten uznawany jest jako nieoficjalne mistrzostwa świata na canoe.

Jak wyglądała droga do tego olbrzymiego sukcesu?

W 2015 roku Gienieczko dokonuje niebywałej rzeczy przemierzając wielki trawers Ameryki Południowej o własnych siłach, 700 km na rowerze przez Andy wjeżdżając na wysokość 4700 metrów. Następnie zjeżdża do dżungli, pokonuje 5980 km w canoe( z czego z partnerem Gadielem Sanchez Rivera około 400 km), a następnie 80 km biegu z polską i olimpijską flagą do zatoki, w której rozlewa się Amazonka. Gienieczko 6 miesięcy po tym sukcesie otrzymuje światowy rekord Guinnesa. Więcej o tym wydarzeniu w poniższym linku: http://www.soloamazon.info/blog/

Po 7 miesiącach od tego historycznego wydarzenia następuje nagły zwrot wydarzeń. Osoba, która wspierała Marcina staje się jego głównym wrogiem. Gienieczko na festiwalu turystycznym w Gdyni zauważył nieprawidłowości dotyczące nieuczciwego traktowania uczestników festiwalu. Postanawia nie odbierać wyróżnienia przyznanego przez Jury, którego członkiem jest między innymi Piotr Chmieliński:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVqACeyTGj0

Zadaje pytania, prosi o wyjaśnienie wspolorganizatorów festiwalu. Nie otrzymuje jednoznacznej odpowiedzi. Próba dojścia do prawdy Marcina nie podoba się członkowi jury, Piotrowi Chmielińskiemu, w skutek czego z osoby dotychczas dość życzliwej Marcinowi, staje się on oponentem i zaczyna kwestionować jego zasługi dotyczace przeplyniecia   Amazonki. Zaprzyjaźniona gazeta, w której jest korespondentem podważa sukces Gienieczki na podstawie przypuszczeń oraz błędnych analiz, czy ironicznych stwierdzeń, że w canoe nie można zrobić na Amazonce 100 km dziennie. To był największy absurd podsuwany przez przeciwników. Warto zaznaczyć, że Gienieczko w 2013 roku dokonuje innego udanego osiągnięcia bo właśnie w otwartym canoe-przepływa Morze Bałtyckie na dystansie 110 km w czasie 27 godzin i 30 minut. Świadkiem tego wyczynu był żeglarz Arkadiusz Pawełek, który jako drugi na świecie po francuskim żeglarzu Alain Bombard w 1952 roku przepłynął pontonem Atlantyk.

 

W obronie Marcina stanęła najpoważniejsza organizacja sportowa w Polsce, walcząca ze światowym oszustwem czyli dopingiem. Polski Komitet Olimpijski nie zgodził się z krzywdzącą opinią na temat Gienieczki.

Podróżnik skupił się na kolejnym projekcie. Miał świadomość tego, że w eksploracji nie ma miejsca na wyjaśnienia czy tłumaczenia, gdyż są to atrybuty winnych, w eksploracji sportowej jest tylko napieranie. Ciągle nowe projekty, które ilustrują wewnętrzną pasję, determinację i walkę o sukces. Gienieczko zabrał się do realizacji kolejnego projektu. W 2016 roku dokonał podwójnego trawersu Hardangervidda na nartach – płaskowyżu w Norwegii, gdzie Amundsen przygotowywał się do wielkiej wyprawy na Biegun Południowy. W tym samym roku dokonuje wielkiego trawersu Gór Mackenzie, przechodzi 1000 km bez pomocy z zewnątrz w ciągu 45 dni Góry Mackenzie, najbardziej niedostępne regiony płn. Kanady. Materiał tutaj: https://www.hobby4men.com/blog/finalowa-relacja-podwojnego-trawersu-gor-mackenzie-marcina-gienieczko/

Za to osiągnięcie otrzymuje list gratulacyjny od Prezesa Polskiego Komitetu Olimpijskiego Andrzeja Kraśnickiego. Gienieczko wysłał maila do PKOL z informacją, że odwdzięczy się kolejnym sukcesem sportowym. Zawiadamia władze PKOL, że wystartuje w najbardziej prestiżowych zawodach w canoe na świecie aby ostatecznie odciąć propagandę na dawny temat.

Po powrocie z gór Mackenzie zaczyna rozmawiać z przyjaciółmi z Whitehorse, właścicielami firmy Kanoe People, Scott McDougall, którego poznał w 2003 roku kiedy to przepłynął rzekę Jukon od Carcross aż po Morze Beringa. Miał wtedy 24 lata i zajęło mu to 76 dni, przepłynął wówczas Jukon na dystansie 3000 tys. km. Po powrocie powstała książka ,,Pokonać siebie”. Scott zapytał czy Marcin powróci tutaj ponownie na canoe i wystartuje w wyścigach Yukon River Quest lub Yukon 1000?

Gienieczko wrócił do Polski. Na kolejnym swoim kontrakcie morskim zarabia na życie jako marynarz na dużych barkach, wykonuje niebezpieczną, ryzykowną, ale dobrze płatną pracę na tankowcach. Postanawia, że wystartuje w wyścigu Yukon River Quest. Ten jeden mu jednak nie wystarcza,  więc postanawia wyjechać do Kanady na 2 miesiące i zostaje jeszcze na najdłuższy wyścig na świecie YUKON 1000. Każdy sportowiec potrzebuje mieć silną motywację do działań, tzw „drive”, który doprowadzi go do upragnionego celu. Ból sportowy oraz naturalny ludzki odwet stały się dla Marcina wewnętrzną siłą do walki. Robi półroczną przerwę w projekcie ,,Droga na Biegun”.

Dla Marcina wyścig był wyścigiem o wszystko. To walka o uznanie, prestiż ale i wartości wyniesione z domu.: wiarę, miłość, nadzieję, niezłomność, prawdę itp. Organizując oba projekty sportowe zawzięcie trenuje. Dogaduje się ze swoim kapitanem ze statku, że będzie pływał między Rotterdamem, a Antwerpią. Po każdym kontrakcie jedzie do swojego mentora i najlepszego canoisty Belga Francis Soenen. Ten uczy go pływania na canoe See 1. Łódka ta może płynąć w kategorii solo w YRQ. Gienieczko jednak nie może się przekonać do canoe, które posiada ster. Według niego to nie canoe, lecz bardziej kajak. Nie może odnaleźć się w prowadzeniu tego rodzaju canoe, ale rzetelnie próbuje. Niestety wszyscy w kategorii solo w canoe na wyścigu YRQ płyną tym modelem łódki. Dlaczego? Jest ona szybsza oraz daje większe szanse na miejsce na podium. W trakcie przygotowań zapada decyzja, że jeszcze wystartuje w wyścigu YUKON 1000, zaprasza do tego wyścigu kolegę z rodzinnego miasta jako partnera, lecz ten nie czuje pływania na canoe. Ostatecznie rezygnuje z wyścigu 2 tygodnie przed wylotem. Jako partner pozostawia Marcina na polu bitwy bez żadnych wyjaśnień. Gienieczko jest załamany. Szuka rozwiązań. Organizatorzy YRQ znają dobrze Marcina za sprawą wcześniejszych jego osiągnięć na Yukonie. Polskie Radio publikuje link na swoich stronach, że Gienieczko walczy o start w obu wyścigach: http://www.thenews.pl/1/5/Artykul/365834,Pole-to-compete-in-world%E2%80%99s-toughest-canoe-races

Ten link zamieszczają na swojej stronie Facebboka organizatorzy Yukon River Quest z zapytaniem czy ktoś chce mu towarzyszyć, wystartować z nim w  II wyścigu na dystansie 1600 km. Do Gienieczki zgłaszają się liczne osoby. Decyduje się na Bena Schmidta, który w 2009 roku ukończył wyścig Yukon 1000 zajmując III miejsce. Gienieczko komunikuje partnerowi na samym początku, „interesuje mnie tylko wygrana, czy jesteś gotowy?” Schmidt po rozmowie z żoną i po analizie wszystkiego przyjmuje warunki Marcina. Gienieczko zostaje kapitanem jednostki o nazwie Independent Poland. Marcin finansuje wszystko z własnego prywatnego budżetu. Nie szuka sponsorów. Nie ma na to czasu. Pracuje na statku. Schmidt zaczyna treningi, a Gienieczko skupia się na tym etapie, na wyścigu YRQ. Przylatuje na Yukon 10 czerwca. Spotyka się z Peterem Coates pierwszym organizatorem YUKON 1000 https://www.canoekayak.com/canoe/yukon-1000-the-last-great-race/ twórcą najlepszego tracka na świecie, który pokazuje każdą łódkę jak płynie, z jaką prędkością itp. Wynajmuje od niego canoe See 1 i zaczyna trening. Jednak już po 20 minutach  wywraca się na rzece Jukon. Suszy się i próbuje płynąć dalej. Odbywa trening 20 km do rzeki Takhini River. Po powrocie ponowie rozmawia z właścicielem Kanoe People i komunikuje mu, że kompletnie tej łódki nie czuje. Pyta Scotta, czy ma coś innego do zaproponowania? Ten proponuje mu start w regatowej łódce Clipper Jensen 18. Ale jest to jednak łódź dwuosobowa. Wszyscy w parach startują na tym canoe w YRQ. Gienieczko rozmyśla całą noc w hostelu, jaką decyzję podjąć. Nad ranem stwierdza, że popłynie w Clipper Jensen 18 i podejmie w niej walkę. Organizatorzy oraz jego konkurencja nie dają mu większej szansy niż 40 procent, że w niej dopłynie do mety. Do tej pory nikt nie płynął w kategorii solo dwuosobową łódką w tym wyścigu. Dodatkowo za balast Gienieczko musi zabrać około 70 litrów wody na dziób canoe, aby płynąć w linii prostej oraz aby łódka nie była szczególnie dziobem podatna na wiatr. Szanse są nieduże, ale Marcin chce podjąć to ogromne wyzwanie. Największym jest jezioro Labarge. Gienieczko w ramach treningu opływa je tym modelem łódki. Zajmuje mu to 4 dni od startu z Whitehorse. Stwierdza, że nie będzie to łatwe przedsięwzięcie. Zdaje sobie sprawę że nie ma szans na wygraną, ale ma szanse pokazać innym, że dwuosobową łódką może pokonać nie 100 km dziennie ale w ciągu 32 godzin przepłynąć 320 km w tym pokonując dystans wielkiego jeziora 50 km. Jednocześnie ta łódka ma go przygotować do wyścigu YUKON 1000. Na drugi wyścig decyduje się na ciut szybszą łódkę Jensen’s Whitewater II. Łódki są podobne do siebie. Gienieczko startuje w YRQ i osiąga swój cel, przepływa 320 km w 32 godziny. Gienieczko wyprzedził dodatkowo wiele łódek, które płynęły w parach. Na jeziorze Labarge płynął z prędkością 5km/godz czasami 6km/godz. W ciągu 67 godzin 55 minut i 27 sekund przepływa dystans 715 km zajmując w kategorii solo  5 miejsce:       https://yukonriverquest.ca/yrq/app/entry8/tracker_results.php?race=18yrq

Zdobywa uznanie wśród najbardziej doświadczonych zawodników na canoe oraz w kajakach. Do tej pory nikt takiego wyzwania nie podjął oraz nie przepłynął dwuosobową łódką w kategorii solo – kwitują miedzy innymi właściciele największej firmy od canoe na Yukonie: Kanoe People

Gienieczko czuje się spełniony. Nie chodziło tutaj wcale o podium. Podróżnik zostaje w Dawson City u Andrzeja i Oli Kuczyńskich wlascicieli sklepow jubilerskich. Pracuje w miarę możliwości –maluje dom, pomaga, zarabia pieniądze na kolejne wpisowe, opłatę za regatowe canoe. Z pomocą przychodzi właściciel firmy Satfilm Robert Kowalczyk, który widzi determinację Gienieczki i pomaga mu opłacić jego bilet powrotny do Polski. Andrzej Kuczyński zakupuje dodatkowe wiosła na wyścig Yukon 1000. Marcin mieszka w szopie i próbuje się skupić na nadchodzącym wyścigu. Jest w ciągłej korespondencji z Benem Schmidtem, który proponuje mu wspólne treningi na Alasce, lecz Marcina nie stać na taką podróż. Musi zarabiać pieniądze na opłatę canoe, które kosztuje 1100 dolarów. Z Benem spotyka się w Whitehorse  4 dni przed wyścigiem Yukon 1000. Gienieczko nadmienia, że w canoe jest niczym maszyna-płynie bardzo mocno, szybko i zawzięcie wiosłuje. Założeniem wyścigu jest wiosłowanie 18 godzin codziennie, z przerwą wymuszaną przez organizatorów na nocleg miedzy 23 a 5 nad ranem. Ben przyjmuje to ze zrozumieniem.

Zaliczają wspólny trening 20 km w dół rzeki Jukon, towarzyszy im na drugim canoe ks. Sławek Szwagrzyk, który poświecił łódkę oraz dał schronienie i pomoc dla zawodników. Ben i Marcin mieszkają w parafii u ks. Szwagrzyka, który sam jest zapalonym poszukiwaczem przygód. Ksiądz rozumie ambicje Marcina, a oprócz noclegu obdarowuje ich również jedzeniem. Podróżnicy przygotowują się mentalnie. Wielkie wparcie otrzymują od rodziny. Mają te same wspólne wartości. Obaj kochają dzieci. Jako nieliczni mają rodziny, które są ich największym wsparciem mentalnym.

YUKON 1000- OSTATNI WIELKI WYSCIG

22 lipca następuje start wyścigu, duet polsko-amerykański wysuwa się na wysoką pozycję. W kategorii canoe zajmują po pewnym czasie już III miejsce lecz po wpłynięciu na jezioro Labarge tracą przewagę i schodzą na 5 miejsce. Na początku kłócą się oba style wiosłowania. Ben preferuje krótkie pociągnięcia. Gienieczko stosuje mocne, długie. Ben nie jest dobrze przygotowany kondycyjnie do pierwszych dni wyścigu. Słabnie, traci motywację widząc jak inni ich wyprzedzają. Gienieczko nie zważa na to, ma świadomość że etap jeziora jest najcięższy. Dodatkowo łódka jest przeciążona, na pokładzie jest 20 litrów wody. Zawodnicy nie zabrali filtrów tak jak inni, czy też tabletek do odkażania wody. Poczatkowo plan był taki, aby brać wodę z małych strumieni. Ich prędkość początkowa wynosi 7 km/godz. Gienieczko kalkuluje ją i stwierdza, że to zbyt mało. Ben oznajmia zmęczenie, twierdzi że nie da rady. Gienieczko denerwuje się wewnętrznie, motywuje i prosi Bena, wie doskonale, że nie może wymusić za dużej presji na Benie gdyż, mówiąc w sportowym języku zawodnik wówczas się zatnie. Gienieczko zdaje sobie sprawę, że on jako kapitan teamu, ponosi wszystkie koszty, a Benowi może zwyczajnie nie wystarczyć motywacji. Ten próbuje się przełamać. Gienieczko wkłada znacznie więcej siły niż Ben. Wiosłując 47 pociągnięć wiosłem na minutę. Na jeziorze tracą 2 godziny. Przed wyścigiem mieli założenie, że 96 km przepłyną w ciągu 9 godzin. Tak się nie dzieje. Po wpłynięciu na rzekę Jukon od razu przyspieszają. Marcin zauważa, że Ben widząc drugie canoe przyspiesza. Musi wyraźnie widzieć cel, rywala przed sobą, wtedy bardziej zawzięcie wiosłuje, czuje motywację. Gienieczko nie potrzebuje takiego bodźca. Tego samego dnia wyprzedzają dwie łódki w kategorii canoe. Następnego dnia osiągają już II pozycję w swojej kategorii. Płyną zawzięcie. Do lidera mają nieustannie ok 2 godziny czasu. Spotkany po drodze wyprzedzany kajak, przekazuje informacje, że kanoe lidera jest około 1,5 lub 2 h czyli około 15 km przed nimi. To jest główna myśl zaprzątająca spokój wszystkich zawodników, „gdzie teraz jestem i jak daleko mam do lidera”. Pościg trwa. Nadchodzi drugi dzień, Gienieczko czuje się otępiały, odczuwa kłucie wokół serca. Nie może się zaaklimatyzować. Dzienny odpoczynek, regeneracja to zaledwie 3 godziny. Stwierdza, że to jest stanowczo za mało. Najgorzej jest w godzinach miedzy 5  a 7 nad ranem, kiedy to organizm walczy z przebudzeniem. Marcin zjada wówczas około 8 cukierków kawowych, ma również ze sobą 2 napoje energetyzujące, ale dzieli tą ilość na cały dzień. Ben takiego problemu nie ma, zazwyczaj dopada go apatia po 14.00 i słabnie wówczas, nie osiąga takiej prędkości, jaką powinien wytworzyć. Jest to bardzo irytujące dla Gienieczki, który musi wiosłować za dwoje. Ben proponuje, aby do termosów brać na początek gorącą mocną kawę, okazuje się to bardzo pomocne. Trzeciego dnia Gienieczko ma swój najlepszy dzień, wiosłuje jak maszyna, a łódka płynie z dużą prędkością. Mijają zespół  Kokoruaz Nowej Zelandii, kolejny kajak który zawsze był szybszy od canoe. Ben widząc to, ożywia się i zaczyna wiosłować mocniej, szybciej. Jednak na terenie Kanady nie był wcale jeszcze gotowy na takie mocne regatowe płynięcie. Irytuje to Marcina, odkłada wiosło na 2 minuty i mówi „jak tak będziesz płynął, to ja wcale nie wiosłuję. Musisz mi dać 4 km/godz więcej, a dajesz 2km/godz”, ale złość trwa tylko 2 minuty. W wyścigu sportowym nie ma czasu na większego i dłuższego focha :). W trakcie silnego wiosłowania Gienieczko próbuje motywować Bena, że ten robi to dla dzieci, a ogląda go około 7 tys. fanów na Facebookowym profilu Marcina. Uświadamia mu, że ten wyścig może otworzyć przed nim drzwi na nowe rzeczy i dać szanse na kolejne wyzwania. Nie możesz się złamać. Między zawodnikami dochodzi do różnych napięć w myślach i słowach, każdy z nich stara się podołać trudnemu wyzwaniu, stoczyć bitwę o umysł, dać z siebie wszystko. Marcin czuje się obciążony 60 procentowym wkładem siły w powodzenie wyścigu i wyrzuca to Benowi, nie mniej jednak przeprasza go za to następnego dnia. Panowie znowu odzyskują motywację. W okolicach Dawson City ich łódka płynie z prędkością 20 km/godz. Ben jest podniecony, że tego dnia znajdą się już na Alasce, na jego ziemi. Płynie, rozmawia , rozmyśla. Wspólna dyskusja dotyczy ich dzieci. To ich najbardziej łączy-rodzina.

Tuż za Dawson rzeka praktycznie się nie dzieli, a płynie jednym korytem. Gienieczko widzi smugi dużego dymu. Wybucha pożar, a dym otacza ich łódkę. Ben mówi, że musi to być jakieś 7 km do nich. Marcinowi trudno w to uwierzyć. Zatrzymują się na wyspie gdzie spędzają 10 minut, analizują. Olbrzymi pożar, który dostrzegli, oddalony według ich przypuszczeń na 6 km w dół rzeki, robi się coraz większy. Dym staje się tak potężny, że przykrywa całą dolinę. Ryzykują. Gienieczko ufa Benowi który na Alasce mieszka od urodzenia aby płynąc dalej. Jednak po przepłynięciu kilku kilometrów Ben oznajmia, aby wrócić na wyspę. Nie przebijemy się przez ten dym. Gienieczko nie wie co robić, czuje się wystraszony. Ben go uspakaja.

Kiedy wystartowali, byli na 3 pozycji później na 5. Na jeziorze Laberge stracili 2 godziny czasu ze względu na brak wspólnych treningów. Szybka rzeka Jukon pomogła im nadrobić straty i wyprzedzić wiele załóg (w tym kajaki, które są szybsze niż transportowe canoe) jednak stało się coś, co zachwiało załogą „Independent Poland”. Na ich drodze wybuchł pożar, paliły się oba brzegi rzeki, a dym schodził na wodę i blokował możliwość przepłynięcia. To bardzo niebezpieczna sytuacja, bo można ulec zaczadzeniu. Zagrożenie życia było realne dla wszystkich załóg.

Lider – zespół kajakowy z Nowej Zelandii, który wygrał cały wyścig, dał radę przepłynąć przed  pożarem. Ian Huntsman wysłał smsa ze swojego telefonu satelitarnego do organizatorów z informacją, jak nam to później powiedział po wyścigu, aby nikt po nich nie płynął.

Zespól Hobo Squad z Hawajów, zwycięzca wyścigu w klasie canoe, utknął tuż za pożarem, udało im się przeprawić na drugą stronę . –„My mieliśmy największego pecha-relacjonuje Gienieczko. O 20.41 próbuję zadzwonić do organizatorów, ale ci nie odbierają łączy satelitarnych więc Gienieczko decyduje się zadzwonić do ojca. Ten pisze do nich  email i po 15 minutach dzwoni jeden z organizatorów  Henry St Clair na tel Marcina. Odbiera Ben i wyjaśnia. -Zadzwoniliśmy do organizatorów z informacją o sytuacji i pytaniem, co mamy robić. Nad głową już latał helikopter i szukał źródła ognia.  Widział naszą pozycję. O 22. 30 łódki już się zatrzymywały. W trakcie wyścigu każdego dnia był obowiązujący 6 godzinny postój miedzy 23. a 5 nad ranem dla wszystkich załóg. O poranku goniliśmy do Eagle Village, gdzie trzeba było się zameldować w straży granicznej USA. Kiedy byliśmy w straży granicznej dowiedzieliśmy się, że nasza odległość do leadera wynosiła zaledwie 8 km, ale pożar znowu zaprzepaścił nasze starania i ponownie musieliśmy ich gonić …to był wielki wyścig. Przypomniał mi się wówczas film ,,Mistrz kierownicy ucieka”….”.

Ben znacznie lepiej już wiosłował, co pozwoliło nadrobić zaległości. Ben siedząc na przodzie wiosłował przez 20 minut sam,  Marcin w tym czasie osłabł, musiał się zdrzemnąć na 10 minut. Ben kontrolował płynięcie. Zawodnicy wpłynęli na wielkie rozlewiska Jukonu. Track przygotowany przez kolegę – Marcina, kartografa  był bardzo dokładny. Lecz nawigowanie okazało się znacznie trudniejsze niż na Amazonce. Dlaczego? Ta część Jukonu przypomina wnętrze jamy brzusznej, tysiące kanałów i liczne wysepki. Na Amazonce zaś, jeśli spojrzymy na nią z kosmosu, zarówno kanały jak i wyspy są bardzo duże. Trudno popełnić błąd w nawigacji, kiedy się ma opracowany dokładny track w gps. Po prostu wszystko, co większe jest wyraźniejsze. Tutaj na Jukonie natomiast, wpłynięcie w mały, niewłaściwy kanał kończy się nawet utknięciem i bardzo trudno z niego wydostać się na właściwy tor. Często trzeba płynąć wówczas pod silny nurt 100 metrów, co daje około 15 minut straty. Na początku załoga bazowała na tracku, lecz Ben prosił, aby mu zaufać, znał i czuł rzekę bardzo dobrze. Jukon potrafi zmienić swój pęd i czasem nurt, woda jest mętna, Potrzebny jest taki naturalny instynkt dający przewagę nad rywalami. Ben tę część Jukonu przepłynął dwukrotnie, dlatego obaj postanowili skupić się na traku, zmyśle orientacji i intuicji jednocześnie.

Marcin przyznał, że popełnił jedyny błąd, gdzie zawierzył GPS-owi. Ten wprawdzie poprowadził poprawnie, ale wydłużył trasę o 3 km, a w tym projekcie liczy się czas. Ben irytował się na to i wypomniał, ze trzeba czytać lepiej rzekę.

Następnego dnia popłynęli już bardzo poprawnie, natrafili na kolejny zespół kajakowy 10thLifeKayaking z USA, który miał duże problemy w nawigacji. Dzięki temu wyprzedzili ich. Warto dodać, że od początku wyścigu plasowali się na drugiej pozycji i przez większość etapu płynęli burta w burtę z liderem canoe.

„Independent Poland” znaleźli się na 4 pozycji. Ben wyliczał każdą minutę tego wyścigu. Marcin również. Zatrzymywali się raz dziennie na załatwienie czynności fizjologicznych na 2 minuty na brzegu. Gienieczko zaczynał trochę słabnąć. Dużo siły włożył w etap kanadyjski. Dodatkowo miał problemy z żołądkiem. Zatruł się sfermentowanym napojem, wymiotował. Do tego upał od początku wyścigu, codziennie po 27 stopni i ani kropli deszczu. Najgorzej było w południe, kiedy słonce paliło prosto w twarz. Gorący kubek rosołu stawiał na nogi. Ben miał roblemy z ramionami, Marcin daje mu maść rozgrzewającą, ten smaruje swoje barki. Ciągle brakuje im snu, śpią zaledwie po 3 godziny, 50 minut z rana i 50 minut wieczorem zajmuje przygotowanie posiłku, do tego rozbicie obozu. Przed małą osadą Indiańską  Beaver, Ben zaczyna bardzo imponować Marcinowi, siada w pozycji klęczącej i zaczyna długie mocne wiosłowania -wiosłuje jakby miał finiszować. „W tym czasie płynęliśmy pod silny wiatr i metrowe fale. Ben, wiosłuj tak z 15 minut, w myślach dodaję Marcin „Kurcze bracie jakbyś tak wiosłował na początku bylibyśmy pierwsi. A może nie mam co narzekać?”- zastanawia się Gienieczko

Po przepłynięciu 1600 km w ciągu 7 dni i 7 godzin i 30 minut zespół „Independent Poland” dopływa do mety. Zajmując bardzo wysokie 2 miejsce w kategorii canoe, a 4-te w całości:

Oficjalna strona wyścigu z wynikami : https://yukon1000.com/18y1k/results_print.php

http://www.gienieczko.pl/tracking/yukon1000/

https://www.yukon-news.com/sports/paddlers-reach-halfway-point-in-yukon-1000-race/

Wyprzedzając 10 zespołów, pokonują miedzy innymi zwycięzcę Yukon River Quest  Bart de Zwart http://www.supracer.com/2018-yukon-1000-odyssey-bart-de-zwart/ oraz  angielski zespół, który  2 lata temu w rekordowym czasie przepłynął Atlantyk z Portugali do Wenezueli Mathew Sidney Bennett Oliver Bailey. Organizatorzy po analizie naliczyli wielu zespołom kary czasowe ( 2 H), zespołowi Marcina również, za to, że ten próbował się skontaktować telefoniczne z organizatorem pytając czy dalsze płynięcie przez pożar jest bezpieczne. Kontaktowanie przez telefon satelitarny było zabronione, chyba ze w nagłych przypadkach-tylko z organizatorami. Jednak nie wpłynęło to na ich pozycję, gdyż mieli wystarczającą ilość czasu przewagi nad innymi zespołami. Organizatorzy oficjalnie pogratulowali zespołowi zawziętości i dobrego wyniku.

 

Był to znaczący sukces w canoeingu, gdyż w ciągu jednego miesiąca zrealizowałem 2 wyścigi dwuosobową łódką zarówno solo i w tandemie. Jako kapitan zespołu Independent Poland czułem dużą radość. Dla mnie to było ukoronowanie. Tym samym zakończyłem oficjalnie pływanie na canoe. Jeżeli kiedykolwiek wrócę na canoe, to rekreacyjnie, aby przepłynąć z Whitehorse do Dawson ze swoimi chłopcami. Był to też pierwszy taki sukces w historii polskiego canoe, ale i również Europy, że człowiek zrobił taki podwójny projekt. Jednocześnie tym wyścigiem obronił wszystko, co było mu zarzucane. Być może nadal zdarzą się osoby, które  interpretują to inaczej, ale na opinie innych ludzi nie mamy wpływu. -Ja osobiście wiem, na co mnie stać, czego potrafię dokonać i jak się w to angażować- opowiada Marcin

Co dalej?

Wracam do projektu „Droga na Biegun”, gdzie moim celem jest trawers Antarktydy przez Biegun Południowy – samotnie. Nim to się stanie, muszę dokonać podwójnego trawersu Grenlandii w przyszłym roku. Czy będzie to możliwe? Wszystko zależy od mojej żony, czy mi na to pozwoli. Wszak rodzina jest najważniejsza, nie chcę aby moje męskie sportowe ambicje stały jedynie na pierwszym miejscu.

Biografia Marcina Gienieczko:

 

-w 2003 roku Gienieczko przepływa Jukon pontonem Zodiac na dystansie 3000 tys km. Zajmuje mu to 76 dni. Po wyprawie powstaje książka „Pokonać siebie”

-w 2005 roku Gienieczko pokonuje samotnie system rzeczny Mackenzie od Jasper do Toktuyaktuk na dystansie 4000 tys km. Powstaje film fragment tutaj gdzie wypowiadają się kanadyjscy eksperci od canoe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKaS2UqsiFg

– W 2007 roku wyprawa zimowa przejście gór Mackenzie. Wypowiadają się o tym eksperci z Yukonu. Gienieczko nie daje rady przejść gór Mackenzie, zimą w temperaturze minus 40 stopni: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctuJPZJZIQE .Później dokonuje trawersu Australii rowerem oraz przejścia Syberii na nartach

 

-w 2011 spływa wieloma rzekami Yukonu. Zostaje przewodnikiem na rzekach Yukonu między innymi prowadzi grupy polskich firm.

-w 2012 roku dokonuje samotnego przepłynięcia największej rzeki Syberii Leny w canoe;

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1tDc56LZQV8T6dJ_q1k97wHbUAgM&msa=0&ll=64.65745035867339%2C117.49121000000002&z=4

– w 2013 roku startuje w wyścigu YRQ, ale z powodu ataku kamicy nerkowej nie kończy wyścigu, w tym samym roku otwartym canoe przepływa Morze Bałtyckie z Danii do Polski.

– w 2014 roku przepływa z partnerem dopływ Amazonki rzekę Rio Napo 800 km

– w 2015 roku jako pierwszy człowiek przepływa w canoe system rzeczny Amazonki na dystansie 5980 km w canoe https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1TRb_qsPUUqWU0VKDuMCd8V-5Q9w&ll=-1.4070728736749252%2C-49.59161908732102&z=8

http://www.soloamazon.info/tracking/

http://www.gienieczko.pl/pdf/triatlon.xls.pdf

 

Opis w języku polskim i angielskim tutaj:

https://www.tvn24.pl/ciekawostki-michalki,5/marcin-gienieczko-z-sukcesem-zakonczyl-energa-solo-amazon-expedition,575429.html

Wersja angielska:

http://amazon-explorer.blogspot.com/2017/06/upon-amazons-current-disease-drug.html

Marcin: Korzystając z okazji chcę podziękować wszystkim tym którzy przyczynili się do tego sukcesu. Po wyścigu uwierzyłem, że można spotkać na swojej drodze właściwych ludzi, gdzie nie liczy się zawiść, a chęć współpracy i wspólne działanie.

 

 

 

 

e-mail: rzecznik.wyscigalaska@wp.pl

 

 

Rzecznik projektu- ,,Wyścig bez ograniczeń”!

Marcin Gienieczko reprezentuje Polskę w ekstremalnych zmaganiach na canoe.

Yukon River Quest Race to the Midnight Sun” World’s Longest Annual Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from and  Yukon 1000 Race: The world’s longest canoe race. 1000 miles/1600 km

https://www.yukonriverquest.com/

Numer startowy:

https://yukonriverquest.ca/yrq/app/18yrq/teams.php#t58

The world’s longest canoe race. 1000 miles/1600 km

Totally self-supported, paddle 1000 miles from Canada into the Alaskan backcountry; finishing in the Arctic circle.

http://www.yukon1000.org/

31 lipiec 2018

 !!!Marcin Gienieczko kapitan lodki Independent Poland został vice mistrzem świata w długodystansowym pływaniu na canoe!!! Po raz pierwszy w historii z Polski dokonał to na 100 lecie Niepodległości Polski. Przepłynął płn. Kanadę i Alaskę zajmując II miejsce, zabrakło do tytułu mistrza świata zaledwie godziny. Żeby nie pożary które stanęły na drodze na granicy z Alaska udałoby sie zdobyć tytuł najlepszego na globie. Jednak mimo to sukces olbrzymi.

1600 km 7 dni 5 godzin 20 minut.
Marcin czy  to duży sukces?
To tak jakby Polska drużyna hokeja wygrała z kanadyjska drużyną która zdobyła puchar Stanleya. Walka trwała do końca. Zazwyczaj nie trwa bo wyścig jest w dzikości ale obie łódki szły blisko siebie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

29 lipiec 2018

Dziś ostatni dzień najdłuższego  kajakowego wyścigu na świecie Jukon 1000,aktualnie traw nocleg załóg. Na mecie jest już zespół mieszany z Nowej Zelandii KIWIS nr 5 w kategorii K1,gratulacje.Trasę wyścigu pokonał w 6 dni 15 godzin, bardzo dobry wynik.

Marcin z Benem maja do pokonania jeszcze około 100km, mogą być na mecie w godzinach wieczornych naszego czasu. Układ miejsc w wyścigu nie zmienił się, cały czas są na 2 pozycji w swej kategorii C1. Marcina i Bena goni team z USA ,jest szansa na zdobycie wice mistrzostwa świata w długodystansowym płynięciu na canoe. Oby szczęśliwie dopłynęli do mety, bo zmęczenie  już jest bardzo duże, widać to po szybkości płynięcia. Jedna z załóg w kategorii C1 wycofała się z wyścigu.

Trzymajmy kciuki za naszą załogę

Z Jukonu Marcin i Ben

 

 

Today is the last day of the longest canoe race in the world Yukon1000, currently the teams are having a mandatory night stop. KIWIS, the team nr5 from New Zeland have already finished the race in K1 class. Congratulations! They made it in 6days 15 hours, very good result. Marcin and Ben still have 100km to cover, chances are they will reach the finish in the evening hours of European Time. They have kept the strong 2nd position in their C1 category. Let’s hope they will reach the race in health and strength as the fatigue rises, we conclude as the speed decreased. One of the quads in C1 class has dropped out. Marcin and Ben are chased by the USA team, there is a chance for winning a vice world championship in long distance canoe racing.

Let’s keep fingers crossed for our team.

From Jukon Marcin and Ben

28 lipiec 2018

Na trasie wyścigu Jukon 1000  trwa walka o miejsce na podium. Marcin i Ben są bardzo blisko lidera wyścigu w swej kategorii, teraz liczy się każdy kilometr rzeki, chodzi o to by zachować siły na finisz, rzeka w końcowej trasie wyścigu przyśpiesza. Do końca trasy pozostało niecałe 300 km. Prosimy o doping dla polsko-amerykańskiego zespołu na Facebooku bo z tego co widać bardzo dużo jest wejść na jego profil, kibiców, przyjaciół i nie tylko. Za te  wsparcie Marcin dziękuje.

Z Jukonu Marcin i Ben

 

On the Yukon 1000 race there is a  fight over podium place. Marcin and Ben are very close to the leader in their category, now every km of the river counts, the key is to keep the strength for the finish, the river speeds up in the last section of the race. They have nearly 300km to the finish line. We are asking for cheering the Polish-American Team on Facebook,  as lots of friends, fans and and others are visiting the website.

From Jukon Marcin and Ben