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Thursday 23 March 2017

(ENG) Zagreb21 - mixed feelings

Zagreb spring half marathon (Vip ZAGREB21 - Zagrebački proljetni polumaraton, 19.03.2017, #Zagreb21) was meant to be my personal best. Things looked bright at first...

1. Starting kit: shoe bag, bib&pins, T-shirt, lunch coupon, masage gel, protein milk-shake, a booklet with info about 50 running events in Croatia and nearby (in Croatian and English).

2. The bib has two chips.

3. The race course resembles a cross. Half marathon goes in two laps.

 4. The starting area.

5. The weather was perfect: 10-12C, cloudy, light wind.

6. The "menu" included HM, 5K and 4x5 relay. The bus takes the relay runners to the 5K mark.

7. Ljubljana marathon is popular among Zagreb's runners.

8. Let's move to the start.

9. Less than 1.5 th. participants.

10. But many supporters.



13. Kilometer marks were distinctive, but a little bit confusing, as marks for the first lap and for the second one looked similar.

14. Running beside the Zagreb hourse-course.

15. The 5K point is most crowded because of the relay change.

16. But support does not fade along other parts of the course.

17. The motorcycle clears the way for the HM leader.

18. The winner was Moses Masai Komon, but is it him who leads the race at this point - not sure.


20. As Komon was crossing the finish line, I'd just started my second lap.


22. Nice views not far from the finish line.

23. And after the finish line you get a medal (water, bananas, oranges, as well).


25. Zagreb21 finishers.



28. The winners.

29. HM participants could have a meal (and a beer, but that was not included into the starting kit).

31. The winners modestly eat at a staircase.

32. The medal is ceramic, very light.

My preliminary result at this HM was 1:59'13". I was ready to celebrate a new PB and recommend Zagreb 21 as a fastest track, but was discouraged by an e-mail from the organizers, which said that there had been an error in the course measurement, and the actual distance had been less than 21.1 km. Strava records from other participants show 20.4 km on average. My overall impression of Zagreb21 was good and I would recommend it as a destination for "running vacation", if the organizers properly do their homework and ensure correct distance next time.