Interview Focus on a race

Budapest International Marathon

08 Apr 2010 08:24
Jean-Loup Fenaux

Árpád Kocsis
Árpád Kocsis has been the race director of Budapest Marathon since 1986. The company organises road races in Budapest and in the country in Hungary, also an ultra race around Lake Balaton, from various small distances to a complete marathon.

The objective is to increase the base of amateur runners in Hungary and to make running accepted as a free time, hobby suitable for recreation and preservation of health.

As an amateur runner Árpád Kocsis has run a number of half marathons and completed 4 marathons around the world, the first one in 1984.

This will be the 25th edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?

The first marathon in Budapest war organised in 1986. The reason was primarily to create an event for runners, to increase the base of mass running in Hungary, to show the capital to runners, to present Budapest and Hungary with a high standard event and to increase tourism.


What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The route of the Budapest marathon is a scenic one, almost uniquely in the world, it leads past buildings and monuments which are part of the World Heritage (e.g. Andrassy út, building of the Opera House, the Buda Castle). As Budapest is being divided by the Danube, the route leads through a number of beautiful bridges and also, along the Danube the beautiful historic buildings can be seen.

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

The objective is to attract amateur runners from all over the world. A number of shorter distances are also being organised on Sunday beside the marathon, so that companions, families and children can also come and do sports. The other distances are a unique 30 km distance where runners of this join the marathon runners at the 12.195th km of the race and finish the race together. It is possible to run the marathon distance in a relay of 3 or 5 runners.

Budapest Marathon Runners - Parliament
Credit : Budapest International Marathon

Also there is a 7.5 km Minimarathon, a 3.5 km Fun Run and a walking distance. The number of participants only on the marathon distance is around 3000 people, about half come from abroad from approximately 50 countries. Overall, on the day of the marathon about 15,000 people come and run with us!

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Usually at this time of the year the basic temperature in Budapest is 14-21°C with some mild possibility for rain.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

As mentioned above the marathon is also called a Running Festival, with the objective to invite the whole family. Lots of programmes for children, exhibitors of different healthy products, etc. await the runners.

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Budapest before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Sightseeing in Budapest (after the marathon) maybe the best on a hop on hop off bus, but our travel agency is more than willing to organise any programmes for the interested parties. A boat trip in the evening on the Danube also provides an unforgettable experience.

Credit : * Maurice *

As Hungary is famous for its wines, a wine tasting in the cellars of either Budapest or Eger. It is also worth visiting the Parliament in Budapest or the Opera House, a unique experience, buildings which are one of the most beautiful ones in Europe. Being also famous for its baths, it is also worth visiting one of the thermal baths in Budapest. What is more, entry to the Budapest Szechenyi Bath is included in the entry fee of the half marathon or marathon.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Budapest International Marathon?

Budapest Marathon is a medium size marathon which is large enough in number of runners to enjoy running and get enough motivation, however, not so crowded and suitable to achieve a PB.

Thank you Árpád