24. Nike Budapest Nemzetközi Félmaraton 2009
In last year's edition of Hungary's largest half marathon more than 6000 runners flooded the streets of Budapest. The race is held four weeks before the Budapest Marathon. Both events are organized by BSI, the Budapest Sportiroda ("Budapest sport office").
The attractive and traffic-free route takes in many landmarks and is mostly flat and fast, but it includes two bridges and a few turning points. Along the course there will be lots of live music.
The entry fees are quite high but you get free entry to the Széchenyi Baths to ease your legs after the race. There are large discounts available for those who have previously participated in a BSI event.
The start and the finish are in the Városliget (City Park) close to the Széchenyi Baths, which are widely known for its palatial architecture and men playing chess in steaming hot water. The race centre is in the thermal spa complex.
You run the first 3km just straight along Andrássy út, Budapest's longest and grandest avenue. After crossing the River Danube you run along the embankment with the Buda Palace and the Citadella towering on hills high above the course.
At the old Gellért Baths you cross the Danube again to run back to the city centre and along the magnificent 268m-long parliament building. From the turning point at Margit sziget, an island and popular recreation ground in the river, you run back to the parliament and from there to the finish in the leafy City Park.
In 2008, the half marathon winners were Pasquale Roberto Rutigliano of Italy (1:07:22) and Hungary's Beáta Rakonczai (1:14:38).
Date: 6 September 2009 (Sunday)
Distance: 21.1km (certified by AIMS); half marathon relay (2 runners); 3.5km (fun run)
Start time: 10.00 (half marathon and relay); 10.15 Fun Run
Start and finish (Map): Olof Palme sétány, Városliget (City Park), Budapest
Entries: online, by e-mail, fax or mail; entries on the day at the "Local entries" desk
Entry fees (21km): 35/40/50 EUR (until 4 July/until 30 August/until 6 September)
Entry fees (relay teams): 60/70/80 EUR
Entry fees (fun run): 8/10/15 EUR (until 4 July/until 3 September/until 6 September)
Timing: Champion Chip - use your own chip or rent a chip (no fees but 1000 HUF deposit)
Race centre: Széchenyi Baths in the City Park (Saturday 5 September from 12.00 to 18.00 and on the day from 7.00 to 9.45)
You get (21km): start package, chip for timing, finisher bag, medal, free entry to the Széchenyi Baths after the race
Showers, changing facilities, baggage storage: yes
Number of finishers 2008: 4930 (21km), 305 relay teams
Event website: www.budapestmarathon.com/en/halfmarathon/
No guarantee is made as to the accuracy or thoroughness of the information on this page.