Tara Marathon : The most difficult race in Serbia

27 May 2013 18:35
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview


Hello, on August 17th 2013, you’ll be organizing the Tara Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

Tara Marathon 2013 will be organized on the Tara Mountain, in western Serbia. As the Tara Mountain, almost 40 years ago, was declared as a national park, nature is almost intact. Beautiful landscapes, ancient forests, clear rivers, mountain lakes and many rare species of plants and animals are the main features of the area. Many people say that this place is “the place where beauty begins.”

This will be the first edition of the race. What were your motivations for creating it?

The desire to present outstanding natural beauties, historical monuments and rich cultural heritage, to all competitors and participants of Marathon, was the main motivation for organizing this race.

Vidikovac Tara
Credit : Tara Marathon

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

For the first edition of the race we planned to start in Bajina Basta, the beautiful small town at the foot of the mountain Tara, on the banks of the Drina River. In front of the competitors is 96 kilometers of very difficult track, with a total climb of 4,500 meters. The best way to describe the route is to say that the route is a mix of hot macadam with plenty of attractive mountain trails. It will be a great challenge for all competitors.

The route is rich with quick downhill and steep and long climbs, so the strategy and distribution of power on track will play a very important role. On the entire length of the route, the competitors will find great viewpoints, rivers, lakes, historical monuments, beautiful landscapes…

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

We hope that on Saturday, at the start of the first Tara Marathon, there will be around 300 runners eager for new challenges and exploring new, uncharted areas. Except professional athletes, we expect a significant number of amateurs from Serbia and abroad.

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

During the Marathon weekend, we organize two more races: Tara Challenge (53 km and a 2,600 m elevation gain) and Tara Cross (27.4 km and 1,300 m).

Manastir Raca
Credit : Tara Marathon

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

Marathon is held during the summer, in August, when temperatures during the day on the mountain, reach 25 – 30°C (77-86°F). We hope for a beautiful, sunny day and the first twilight about 8:00 PM. During the night the temperature in the mountains falls to about 10 – 15°C (50-59°F).

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

In addition to the race, we planned lots of interesting happenings, before and after the Marathon. Riding school, as well as mountain bike tours are designed for all the days of Marathon weekend, starting with the Thursday, August 15th. On Saturday we have planned an interesting hiking tour, and a great music party at the town square, in Bajina Basta. On Sunday, after the victory ceremony, we organize a 13 km river rafting on the Drina from lake Perucac to Bajina Basta.

Credit : Tara Marathon

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

The warm hospitality of the people, excellent national cuisine, beautiful nature will touch you in your heart. During the day you can enjoy one of two large lakes and the city swimming pool on the banks of the river Drina.

You can visit some of the numerous viewpoints on the mountain like Crnjeskovo, Banjska stena, or explore the history of this beautiful area. In the evening, lots of fun can be found in many bars and restaurants with great food. Amazing views of the green waters of the Drina River, Local food and drinks at the restaurant "Studenac”, with a great Marathon, will make this weekend a weekend to remember.

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

Dear runners, become a part of history with us in the first edition of Tara Marathon! Take the challenge, face the mountains, and beat yourself, in the most difficult race in Serbia. Become a part of the place where the beauty starts!

Interview with Nikola Zivanovic, general manager of the Tara Marathon. Nikola who is 33 years old is a runner, a Mountain runner…