Their time will come

Blaguško jezero (Slovenia), 18 April 2009

Blaguški tek: sprint finish (Photo: Copyright © 2009 Hendrik Böttger /

It doesn't look bad for the future of running. A large number of young runners showed great ambition to reach the podium in the international multi-terrain races at Lake Blaguš.


Good to see so many young runners in action! More children than adults dashed around a very scenic off-road course at Lake Blaguš (Slovene: Blaguško jezero) which is situated in the rolling hills of north-eastern Slovenia. Overall, 129 children, many of them from Hungary and Austria, ran distances between 300 metres and 2 kilometres and showed great ambition to win over their rivals.


Blaguški tek: children's race (Photo: Copyright © 2009 Hendrik Böttger /


Young runners also tried hard in the women's 6k and the men's 9k race but experienced elite athletes ended up on top of the podium. The races were held on a 3-kilometre-long multi-terrain loop course. The route includes a 500-meter uphill section on an asphalt road.

In the men's race, Jože Čeh (38), who has represented Slovenia many times in European and World Mountain Running Championships, took the lead after 500 metres and dictated the pace. After the first lap, there were still six runners in contention but then one after the other dropped from his heels. At the end, Čeh won with a comfortable margin of 15 seconds, ahead of David Valenti (27), who is also at home in the mountains.

In the women's race, the highly talented Maja Mencigar (13) showed another strong performance which earned her third place behind Eva Tratnjek (23). First woman home, however, was the 53-year-old world class masters athlete and ultra runner Jožica Šiftar.



  Men Women
1. Jože Čeh 29:37 Jožica Šiftar 26:05
2. David Valenti 29:52 Eva Tratnjek 26:20
3. Zdenko Klemenčič 29:59 Maja Mencigar 26:44


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