Sunday, November 11, 2012

Marathons in Croatia: Hungarian Wins the First Hvar Half Marathon

László Tóth from Team Benedek wins the inaugural first Hvar Half Marathon in the August heat, beating teammate Tamás János Nagy on the old Stari Grad road
Marathons in Croatia: Hungarian Wins the First Hvar Half Marathon - Paul Bradbury (http://)
The inaugural Hvar Half Marathon on August 20, 2011 was dominated by Hungarian runners, who finished first and second in the race in one of Europe's most spectacular running routes.
Strong Competition from Hungary
László Tóth from Team Benedek crossed the finishing line in the main square in Hvar Town in a time of 1:17:00 after a gruelling climb up the hilly route on the old road from Stari Grad to Hvar. He was closely followed by Benedek teammate Tamás János Nagy who came in 16 seconds later. The first Croatian to finish was Zoran Žilic in third, while the women's race was won by Matea Matoševic who finished seventh overall with a time of 1:24:37.
The race, which started at 18:00 to avoid the worst of the summer heat, attracted a very international field; the 83 finishers came from nineteen countries, including entrants from South Korea, Mexico, Australia and Finland.
Sharp Ascent, Stunning Views
The race started in the ancient town of Stari Grad, founded by the Greeks in 384 BC, before heading to Hvar via the winding old road through the villages of Selca and Brusje. The route was particularly challenging in the initial stages due to the quick ascent from sea level to 400m. What runners suffered in exertion was more than made up for in the stunning views along the route, with a backdrop of the Adriatic Sea on both sides as they ran.
The first five in both the men's and women's race received medals, trophies and cash prizes, while all participants were treated to a celebratory meal in the Hotel Delphin.
The Faros Swimming Marathon
While the Hvar Half Marathon is a new phenomenon on the island, the concept of marathon racing is not, and all eyes will turn to Stari Grad next week for a more demanding marathon with tradition and pedigree, and attracting a very international field - the Faros Marathon. No need for running shoes here, the Faros Marathon is a 16km swim from the Stari Grad harbour to the tip of the Kabal peninsula and back. The 36th Faros Marathon will take place on August 27.
Hvar is a popular tourist destination best known for exclusive Hvar Town, haunt of numerouscelebrities, as well as being the sunniest island in the Adriatic. It is however also emerging as an important destination for sports activities both in and out of the water.

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