Monday, April 15, 2013

Running in Slovenia 2: Ljubljana marathon course

As I mentioned in my previous post about a touristic run through this small European capital yesterday, I continued on to run one loop of the Ljubljana marathon course, that is a half-marathon, on Sunday night.

As opposed to the previous run, this one has nothing picturesque at all. One section, ironically the only non urban area when we cross through the park of Tivoli, is even dangerous as there is no sidewalk, the road is narrow and quite busy. This is also the only slightly uphill section of the course, the rest being really flat with long and straight avenues like at Chicago (without the skyscrapers though, replaced with amazing views of the nearby Alps and its white chain of snowy peaks.

While I imagine roads are closed on race day for runners to use, apart for the road through Tivoli, the rest of the course, like most of the avenues in Ljubljana, has large sidewalks if not well marked bike paths which make running a pleasure and safe activity. Not though that I found Slovens very disciplined when it comes to wait for the green signal before crossing intersections in crosswalks.

With such a flat course, I was curious about the competitiveness of this event. To my surprise I discovered that the October 2012 edition was won in 2:09:40 by a 19-year old Ethiopian. The first European was a local Sloven who placed 10th in 2:23. All the other runners were from Africa, 3 from Ethiopia (top 1 and 2), 1 from Uganda (top 3) and 5 from Kenya. Out of 18,000 runners.

Credit to this route I found on and of course the official course map on the marathon website (but not so readable when it comes to street names).

And here is my run trace on Garmin Connect.

At 300m elevation, this seems like an ideal marathon event, both for a great performance as well as a great touristic destination. For those in Europe especially, not the date, October 27, 2013, and they seem to still take registrations!


Anonymous said... me dis pas que tu vas revenir le faire!

Christine @ Taste of Divine said...

Hey there! Ljubljana really looks like a wonderful little city. I will be living there for year, and will do the marathon if I am in town. There doesn't seem to be many race reports about this race out there, but it looks like the views can't be beat!

Stritar said...

There is actually a paved bike path parallel to that road that goes through the Tivoli that is quite safe and used by local runners. It is about 100m in the wood and it looks like this: