Filip Walecki’s Inspiring First Virtus Gold Medal Win at Almaty 2024

Filip Walecki clinched his first-ever Virtus medal at the 2024 Virtus World Half Marathon and 10K Road Race in Almaty. The celebration was double as the first medal came in the form of a Gold medal.

At just 26 years old, Filip’s remarkable journey to victory serves as a powerful testament to the virtues of determination, passion, and triumph. Alongside his older brother Jakub and their three beloved dogs, Filip and his family embrace an active lifestyle, immersing themselves in a myriad of sports and activities, fostering bonds and creating cherished memories along the way. Filip is a resident of the quaint town of Czarków in southern Poland.

I feel so happy to win this Gold medal. It is a dream come true. In the autumn of 2023, my journey with Virtus began when I participated in the cross-running competition in Ciechanów. Virtus events have motivated me to train harder and be better, it has been a catalyst for my success”

For Filip, the joy of running lies in the feeling of accomplishment at the finish line.

I love it when I finish any race, the feeling of accomplishment, people recognising me and congratulations, the fact that I can say: ‘ I DID IT!!!, he proudly exclaims, reflecting on his love for the sport.

Filip has an intellectual impairment and Down syndrome and competes in the II2 competition class in the Virtus competition. Filip’s parents reflect on how Down Syndrome has profoundly impacted Filip’s and his family’s lives.

Down Syndrome has profoundly impacted every aspect of our lives. The multitude of challenges associated with this genetic condition has made every task extremely difficult, requiring an immense amount of determination and resilience to overcome. From navigating daily activities to striving towards long-term goals, the journey is often filled with many obstacles that are overwhelming for all of us.”

“The intellectual impairment further complicates matters, making it challenging, if not impossible, to fully understand the complexities of the world around us. Yet, despite these hurdles, we continue to persevere, driven by a steadfast commitment to overcoming adversity and achieving our aspirations.”

Despite facing challenges, he continues to inspire others with his resilience and commitment to success.

Filip posing on the podium at Almaty 2024. Photo Credit: IDSport

Philip gives credit to his beloved dog, Hera, an Alaskan Malamute, who sparked Filip’s interest in running, sports and fitness.

After undergoing extensive physiotherapy, my focus shifted towards sports and fitness. However, the pivotal moment came with the introduction of my pet dog- Hera, into my life. Known for their high energy levels, Hera’s need for activity motivated me to start with short walks and gradually progress to longer ones. Eventually, we ventured into the mountains, tackling ultramarathons together. In 2021, I completed my longest distance yet, covering 74 km without Hera by my side. Additionally, we participated in numerous dog trekking competitions, further fueling my passion for running and outdoor adventures.”

While training presents its challenges, Filip finds strength in his coach, Ewelina Zbijowska, and his club Start Bielsko. Filip’s ultimate goal in life is “to be the winner in anything he does.” His unwavering determination and commitment to success serve as an inspiration to all who encounter his story.

Filip Walachia’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and unwavering determination. As he continues to chase his dreams, Filip’s story serves as a reminder that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.