23rd Ljubljana Marathon Will Take Over The Capital This Weekend

By , 24 Oct 2018, 17:00 PM Sport
23rd Ljubljana Marathon Will Take Over The Capital This Weekend Wikimedia - Annniken CC-by-4.0

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STA, 24 October 2018 - More than 26,650 runners have signed up for the 23rd Ljubljana Marathon to be held in the capital this weekend. The organisers are hoping for records in both women's and men's competitions. They are also hoping to win the top road race label by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). 

The biggest running event in the country will take place on Sunday, 28 October, preceded by races for children and youth on Saturday.

Runners will be looking to beat the 42-kilometre course records set by Ethiopian Limenih Getachew in 2015 (2:08:19) and by Kenyan Caroline Cheptanui Kilel in 2009 (2:25:24).

The organisers expect this year's winners to run under 2:07:00 in the men's competition and under 2:24 in the women's.

Since the quality of the event's organisation has been rising by the year, they are also hoping for the AIMS top quality label. Two years ago, the marathon carried a bronze label, last year it won silver and this year it is aiming for gold.

"This entails meeting certain criteria, as the AIMS demands top organisation on all levels from security to healthcare but also a line-up of top runners from at least four countries, including one from Europe ... The event must be broadcast in at least five countries outside the host country," the head of the organising committee Andrej Razdrih told the press on Thursday.

Gabrijel Ambrožič, who is in charge of foreign runners at the marathon, said that a week ahead of the event the criteria for the golden label concerning the international lineup had been met.

The big name of this year's marathon will be Ethiopian Sisay Lemma, who ranks sixth in the world this season. He clocked 2:04:08 at the end of January to finish fifth at an extraordinary marathon in Dubai. Several female runners also have their personal records below 2:24:00, one of them even below 2:21:00.

Arguably the best among Slovenian runners, Rok Puhar, will compete in the 21-kilometre race.

The prizes remain the same as in the past years, at EUR 30,000 for the 42-kilometre races in both men's and women's competitions.

As in the past, the event will be campaigning for zero or minimum waste.

As a prelude to the marathon, a fair of running gear will be held at the Gospodarsko razstavišče fairgrounds on Thursday, 25 October.

The marathon will officially start at 6 PM on Saturday with the presentation of the best runners and a fund-raising run.

Sunday's action will start at 8:30 AM with the 10-kilometre competition, to be followed by the 21- and 41-kilometre events at 10:30 AM. Five minutes before the main race, the 21-kilometre race for paraplegics will start.

The organisers also pointed to the economic effects of the marathon, noting that at this year's marathon in Tallinn, Estonia, 1,300 foreign runners who were in the city for 2.7 days spent 250 euro a day, which sums up to EUR 2.6m, of which the state got half a million through taxes.

"In Ljubljana, we've got over 5,000 foreign runners, which means the economic effect of the event on the city and the state will be huge," Razdrih said.

The Ljubljana Marathon website can be found here, while a large format version of the route can be found here.

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