Split, A Running Paradise

Split, A Running Paradise

Recent Split Marathon was a huge success, thousands of people took part in this celebration of running, some of them on full size marathon, much more for half marathon. Once again, Split was sporting capital of Croatia, and there is nothing to say but to wish them many, many years of this wonderful event.

Results are available on Marathon's web site, but even more important is that Split is now marked on world running map, as a place which gives a lot of opportunities for possibly the most massive sport. Those who will see videos from the race will see that there are many places where you can run. Every running fan can find a right route, depending on preferences - flat, uphill, trail, by the sea, hills. Just name it, Split has it all. Plus, with a climate like we have it in Split, running is possible almost year round.

Obvious choice is, as usual, Marjan Forest park. The most popular track is its "ground floor", as we sometime call it. It's paved road going around the hill, with some mild uphill and downhill. You won't be alone there, because most of local runners use that route. Just be careful with bicycle traffic on the northern side, and vehicles with a permit on the southern side. It's safe, but still don't run in a wrong lane.

If that option is too flat, go uphill. Paved road takes you all the way to the top, at 178 meters altitude, with rewarding 360-degrees view from Telegrin terrace. For example, you can start at the northern gate of the forest park, run around the hill, and then go up to Telegrin, followed by downhill back to the gate. On the map, this circle would look like this.

You prefer trail running? No problem, Marjan offers that, too. Just take any forest path from the road, and wander around the park, you can't get lost, as long as you remember which direction is the sea. Recently Marjan went through some heavy forest works, with many trees recently taken down because of bark eater infection, but most of paths there are open and safe. And don't forget the cherry on top: swimming spots are everywhere around Marjan, perfect to cool down after running, or as part of triathlon practice.

For those who like cardio challenges, there is a Skalinada - route going up the stairs from the waterfront, all the way up to Telegrin. In total, more than 800 stairs to run, depending on whether the one would take any detours, especially around Old Jewish Cemetery. Local record from the race called Marjanska Skalinada (always in Easter season) is 7 minutes 40 seconds.

On the opposite side of town, there is a perfect running route just by the sea. You can start just outside city port, and then pass by some of popular local beaches, from Bačvice to Duilovo. In total, it's about five kilometres of running. No uphill, just flat, paved surface, and you can dive into the sea whenever you want. Who can ask for more?

Split vicinity also gives plenty of opportunities, especially in trail running. Every year there is a Dalmatian Trail League, which uses some of the best trail routes around Split, and further away in Dalmatia. Top event is, by far, Dalmatia Ultra Trail.

In short, whatever kind of running you prefer, Split has it. And when someone who doesn't run, but prefer to hike, says so, trust him.