15. Varaždin polumaraton
Varaždin is Croatia's best preserved Baroque town and well worth a visit. The newly-restored town centre with its beautiful squares and narrow streets is a lovely place for a stroll and a coffee.
As Varaždin is very close to the borders with Slovenia and Hungary the annual half marathon is popular with runners from neighbouring countries. Last year both winners came from Slovenia. Daneja Grandovec won in 1:19:02 and Roman Kejžar in 1:07:27. Nine Hungarian men finished in the top 12.
The new and improved course, introduced in 2008, is certified and completely traffic-free. It incorporates fewer turns, and apart from a bridge (which you have to cross twice) it's very flat and fast.
The route is not particularly scenic and you don't run through the old town but you pass the castle and you see some different parts of Varaždin. Approximately 7 kilometres are on an out-and-back section of a quiet country lane.
The start is in front of the athletics track "Stadion Sloboda", a few hundred metres north-east of the town centre. The finish is on the track.
All runners get a warm meal after the race and there are plenty of prizes for the best and for the lucky ones in the prize raffle.
Venue (Map): Varaždin (87km from Zagreb, 143km from Graz, 185km from Ljubljana, 276km from Budapest)
Date: 20 September 2009 (Sunday)
Race distance: 21.1km (certified by IAAF); 5km; 400-800m (children); 800m (wheelchairs)
Start time: 9.15 (children); 9.30 (wheelchairs); 10.00 (5km and 21km)
Start and finish: Stadion Sloboda, Ognjena Price 31, 42000 Varaždin
Entries: online (only for the half marathon: name, first name, street, town, postcode, country, year of birth, sex, club, chip number, e-mail); payment on the day
Entry fees (21km): 100 HRK (ca. 13.65 EUR) for entries until 17 September; 150 HRK (ca. 20.50 EUR) for entries on the day
Entry fees (5km): 30 HRK (ca. 4.10 EUR), entries on the day only
Race centre: Stadion Sloboda (from 7.00 to 9.30)
You get: T-Shirt, medal, certificate, results list, pasta party after the race, prize raffle
Prizes (21km): prize money to the first 10 M/F; trophies (categories and teams)
Showers and changing facilities: yes
Presentation and prize raffle: 13.00
Number of finishers 2008: 243 (half marathon), 59 (5km), 40 children
Event website (in Croatian): www.marathon95.hr
No guarantee is made as to the accuracy or thoroughness of the information on this page.