Ucka Trail : Trail Running in Croatia

04 Feb 2013 08:39
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview

Hello, on September 14th, you’ll be organizing the Ucka Trail. Can you tell us where it is located?

The Ucka Trail race will be held in Croatia, Kvarner region. Race is almost completely passing through Nature park Ucka, leading competitors to his highest peak – Vojak, 1.396m. Start and finish are on the sea level in the small place called Moscenicka Draga.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

The race has a history since 2003. It was held 10 times in adventure run format (running on unmarked trails and variety of terrains with navigation elements – very popular in Croatia). This year we have decided to make a classic trail running race to attract as many runners and running enthusiasts outside of Croatia, and present them Nature park Ucka and its trails. Beside this we want to present Moscenicka Draga as ideal place for an active holiday.

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

The race runs through forest trails and narrow paths with just a few kilometers of macadam and paved roads, leading competitors via East slopes of Ucka mountain and passing over his wide ridge.

Ucka Trail is a trail running competition, as well as a unique endeavor through preserved landscape of Ucka Nature Park, thus giving a chance to see and feel places where history, tradition, ancient legends and myths have been interlaced with natural beauties, making this competition so special and unforgettable.

Moscenicka Draga
Credit : Ucka Trail

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

On the start we are expecting around 300 participants from Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and hopefully other European countries, since the race is being held in the late summer period. The race has two categories (41km and 25km) wich gives us the opportunity to attract different types of runners and athletes: trail runners, mountain runners, triathletes and hikers.

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

Yes. The Ucka Trail has 2 distances : Green – 41km and 2,400 m total vertical ascent and Blue – 25 km and 1,300 m total vertical ascent. Both are being held on Saturday and start at the same time.

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

September is the ideal month to visit Kvarner. Tourist season has just ended (no more traffic jams), summer is almost over, the air temperature is around 25ºC and the sea is ideal for swimming (around 20-23ºC).

On the summit Ridge
Credit : Ucka Trail

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

In addition to the race, plan is to organize a lightweight hiking tour for 3 hours. The tour is designed for hikers and persons accompanying competitors. Of course, at the end of the race the announcement of winners is followed by a party on the beach and swimming at night :)

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

2 small medieval towns near Moscenicka Draga, Moscenice and Brsec, are worth the visit. Brsec offers excellent diving and sea kayaking, and swimming locations. Above Moscenicka Draga there is convenient climbing area that offers a great view of the bay and islands. In Moscenicka Draga there are several good restaurants. If you like fish and seafood I recommend you the “Nostromo” restaurant-tavern.

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

Ucka Trail is a unique fusion of sea and mountain, Mediterranean climate, various forest floras of green and blue, with beautiful views of Kvarner gulf, islands and Istria on the west.

view from Ucka
Credit : Ucka Trail

Interview with Elvir Sulic, director of Ucka Trail race. Elvir’s hobby and business are inseparable. Whenever their the outdoor competitions, climbing expeditions, adventure races or team building events he enjoys every moment spent in nature, as an organizer or participant :-)