The Slovenia Times

Running is Just the Beginning



Dusan Mravlje is the pioneer of ultra-marathon running in Slovenia. He has been fascinating people with his extraordinary performances for nearly 20 years. He won the foot race across the USA in 1996 and he did the same five years later across Australia, when he covered 4,800 kilometres in 361 hours. He also ran from Lisbon to Moscow and he likes to pay tribute to special occasions in his own unique way. In April this year, he ran 551 kilometres across Slovenia (from Lendava to Nova Gorica) to celebrate Slovenia's accession to the EU. However, Mravlje is not the only Slovene capable of covering more than 42 kilometres in one day. In September, for example, there is an event where every one can try to walk/run 75 kilometres between Celje and Logarska dolina. This year, the event attracted 155 men and 22 women. The fastest athletes covered the distance in less than six hours. The Ptuj Running Club organizes a run along the Slovenian borders. It is not meant to be a competition; it is just a form of celebrating Slovenia's Independence Day on June 25th. The idea itself emerged in 1991, when the country gained independence. There are usually several teams of three or four runners, who each take turns running for an hour. It usually takes them five days and four nights to circle round the country. Mountain running is not a Slovenian conception but Slovenes took to it like a duck to water almost as soon as it had become an internationally recognized sport in the 80's. Today, mountain running in Slovenia is recognized by the National Athletics Association. The National Mountain Running cup, national championships, including championships for juniors and seniors, as well as a whole range of individual events take place every year throughout the country. Slovenia is also one of the only countries to have taken part in every world championship, which was first held in Italy in 1985. Create your own event Some enthusiasts have combined running with other activities, the triathlon being just one of them. The first triathlon event in Slovenia was organized in Bled in 1984. It attracted as many as 345 people, which is still a record for a triathlon event in Slovenia. In the same year, the Steelman took place in Bohinj and it has gained quite a reputation since then. It is special because it incorporates kayaking in place swimming. It was cancelled this year, as it has been on several occasions, for financial reasons, however, some enthusiasts gathered anyway and organized an unofficial Steelman event of their own. Miro Kregar devised his own super-triathlon. In just 62 hours and 29 minutes in 1994, he swam 22 km, cycled 902 km and ran a further 207 km. He was also the first Slovene to take part in Hawaii's legendary Ironman event. Sprint triathlon is the most popular form of triathlon in Slovenia as it is shorter which encourages more people to attempt it. The duathlon (cycling and running) is another variant for those who have inferior swimming abilities but like to taste the combination of the two aerobic sports. Some organizers have even taken a step further. The Adventure race is probably the ultimate test of a person's outdoor abilities. It is held in Stajerska and Koroska at the end of June and combines mountain biking, mountaineering, caving, rafting and swimming. It is a relay event where teams of four people have 3 full days to cover 240 kilometres. If you want to learn more about the country's running events, check out the details on and select tek.


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