24. Plitvički maraton 2009
The marathon through the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia features a tough course. Most participants run at least ten minutes slower than on a flat route. Nevertheless, it's well worth the effort!
The route takes you to parts of the national park which tourists hardly ever see. You run through densely wooded hills, lovely meadows, remote villages, and along the famous crystal-clear blue-green lakes.
The difference between the lowest and the highest point on the course is about 250 metres. The climbs are not really steep but very long. Between kilometres 7 and 19 it's almost all uphill. Apart from a very short section the race is on asphalt roads.
And beware, Plitvice is an area of extreme weather conditions. At the beginning of June, it's usually nice and very warm (fortunately, a great deal of the course is in the shade) but heavy rain, strong winds and temperatures of six degrees Celsius are possible as well. In 2006, some runners had to drop out of the race with hypothermia. Others wore warm gloves and hats.
The full marathon is the main race but usually more runners take part in the 5k and 16k races.
The event is great value and there are lots of prizes. Finding accommodation in the area shouldn't be difficult. There are several hotels and guest houses in and near the park, and the road from Karlovac to Plitvice is lined with "Sobe" (rooms) and "Zimmer frei" signs.
Venue (Map): Plitvice National Park
Date: 7 June 2009 (Sunday)
Race distance: 5km, 16km, 42.2km
Start time: 9.30
Start and finish: at the Hotel Plitvice
Entries: online or by e-mail; payment in the race centre
Entry fees (5km): 80 HRK (ca. 11 EUR)
Entry fees (16km): 100 HRK (ca. 13.75 EUR)
Entry fees (42km): 120 HRK (ca. 16.50 EUR)
Race centre: Restaurant Poljana (Saturday, 6 June from 16.00 to 21.00); on the day from 7.00 to 9.00 in the start/finish area
All runners get: T-Shirt, pasta party on Saturday evening, lunch after the race, free entry to the national park; finisher medal (16k and 42k)
Prizes: 42km: first 10 M/F and first 3 in the categories; 16km: first 5 M/F; 5km: first 3
Presentation: 15.00 in the start/finish area
Number of finishers 2008: 251 (7km), 288 (16km), 178 (42km)
No guarantee is made as to the accuracy or thoroughness of the information on this page.