2,500 Runners Compete in 29th Zagreb Marathon

By 10 October 2021
2,500 Runners Compete in 29th Zagreb Marathon
Marin Tironi/PIXSELL

October 10, 2021 - The 29th Zagreb Marathon was held on Sunday, October 10, with 2,500 runners!

Cool weather with temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius, dark clouds, and some rain created ideal conditions for Zagreb marathon runners on Sunday, reports Jutarnji List.

As a famous face on Croatian trails and roads put it:

"The weather was great!"

Tea Faber was among the 2,500 runners on Sunday morning at the start of the 29th Zagreb Marathon on Ban Jelačić Square and the first to cross the finish line in the women's competition. And with a personal record - 2:51:17. Men's marathon winner Ivan Dračar recorded the best result in his career, also the tenth of all time in Croatia (2:24:30).

Tea and Ivan were the main heroes of Sunday's event and the new champions of Croatia, but as the director of the Zagreb Marathon Marko Jakopović emphasized, this is not only a festival of top running but also the promotion of recreation and a healthy lifestyle. That is why after last year's 'corona break,' it was nice to see the river of runners on the streets of Zagreb again. The number was again limited due to that unfortunate pandemic, but the most important thing is that racing life is slowly returning to normal.

"A phenomenal feeling; this is my second marathon and second victory. Two weeks ago, I was the first in Split, now in Zagreb. The conditions were ideal, the track was flat, everything suited me," said Ivan Dračar, a 25-year-old from Imotski in the Zagreb Mladost jersey.

AK Dubrovnik member Tea Faber is a familiar face amongst Croatian runners because there is almost no weekend that you will not see her at a race.

"To win in your city, with a personal record and the title of Croatian champion, is indescribable. I love running; I live for sports; it’s my way of life."

It is worth mentioning the excellent marathon debut of the second-placed Petar Bratulić (2:26:32) and the eighth-place of Bruno Erent (2:37:58). He became the Croatian champion in the 20 km walk last Saturday; a day later in Budapest, he broke the Croatian record in the 35 km (2:55:49), and seven days later, he ran a marathon.

The 10 km runners were the first to start mastering the Zagreb asphalt, and the best were the members of AK Svetica Dorian Miškulin (30:29) and Olympian Matea Parlov Koštro (33:43).

"The temperature was even ideal, but that wind bothered me a lot. I tried to hide behind the other runners, but I was left alone at one point, so it was hard. I used this race as tempo training, considering I only did the first block of basic training. I am currently collecting a lot of kilometers, I am not doing anything fast, so I am satisfied," said the 21st marathon runner from the Games in Tokyo.

Her club colleague added: "I won, the personal record is there, so I have to be satisfied. Two years ago, I was second at 10km; as a kid, I ran 5km; I come every year, it’s a tradition. So now I have come to the first victory; I hope I will continue in that rhythm, ha-ha."

On Sunday, the only foreign winner was Kenyan Solomon Koech, the fastest in the half marathon (1:04:55). Among women, in first was Croatia's second Olympian Bojana Bjeljac, a member of Dinamo-Zrinjevac, who entered the finish line with a time of 1:12:04.

"When we went through Maksimir, the wind was blowing in my chest, and that slowed me down a lot. The trail has changed; there are more uphills, especially around British Square, which doesn't suit me. But 1:12 is solid as preparation for a marathon. Now we are continuing with the preparations, I have to fulfill the norm for the World (2:29:30) and European Championship (2:32.00), I will try to take off minutes in December in Valencia," Bojana pointed out.

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