Kvarner newsletter / no 50

Run and Enjoy
Are you getting ready for the Opatija Marathon?

If you enjoy running marathons, the one in Opatija will show you that this enjoyment can be even better. And there's still enough time to prepare for it, because this year the fifth "Run and Enjoy" international athletic and tourist event is scheduled for 22 July.

If the word marathon only reminds you of running, you have probably never experienced Opatija's "Run and Enjoy" event, which traditionally takes place on 22 July, the Day of the Town of Opatija. For the fifth year in a row, Opatija will be the meeting place of numerous European professional and recreational athletes and fans of such sporting events. The organisers announce a true sporting and entertaining enjoyment.
The "Run and Enjoy" is a marathon event that combines sport and tourism. The event will include several races suitable for various types of participants: families with small children, groups of friends, and of course athletes who like to run and enjoy. According to the organiser, the 'Marathon 2006' athletic club, the races will take place on some of Opatija's most attractive locations.
The start is in front of Opatija's fountain, and the finish is in the Croatian Walk of Fame, between the stars of renowned Croatian athletes Janica Kostelić and Krešimir Ćosić. Three races have been announced. The Citizens Race will have a length of 6 kilometres and will take place on a part of the famous Lungomare seafront promenade. The participants in the Main Race will have to run the entire length of the Lungomare promenade from Opatija to Lovran and back, which will surely be a unique experience of running right by the sea in the total length of 18.4 kilometres. This might sound demanding, but it will definitely also be a very pleasant experience – this is probably the best chance to become acquainted with the beauty of Opatija.
While grown-ups run their races in Opatija's famous Croatian Walk of Fame, which was inspired by the Hollywood Walk of Fame, children of pre-school age will have the chance to participate in the 25-metre Baby Marathon.
With regard to the attractiveness of this event, organisers expect many athletes from the region. Last year's race was attended by numerous participants from Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Serbia, and of course Croatia.
After the race there will be an entertainment programme with majorettes from Opatija, zumba dancers from Rijeka, and members of the Zora folklore ensemble from Opatija, who will present all the beauty of their folk costumes.
This athletic event will be sponsored by the Town of Opatija and the County of Primorje-Gorski kotar, with a great support by the Opatija Tourism Office and the Kvarner County Tourism Office.