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A surprisingly hot spring half marathon with participants from 13 countries

On 29 April, about 100 runners gathered to conquer Run Croatia’s 3rd annual international half-marathon on the island of Pag. They came from all over Europe and represented 13 different countries, ranging from an American who lives in Moscow to a Croatian returning to her home island. 
Franci Volkar (Slovenia), with ŠKD Mekinje, took first place with a time of 1:20:08, and Blaž Car-Pavlić (Croatia) trailed just behind him at 1:20:19. Robert Petrovčič (Slovenia) with AKPivka came in third place. For the women, Elisa Devetti (Italy), with Ursus FXD Trieste took first place with a time of 1:53:46. She was followed by Tanja Vötsch (Austria) with Team Ausdauercoach and Anita Gregorc (Slovenia). Full results can be found here.pic2go (34)
“I couldn’t do better. He was just better,” said Car-Pavlić, the second place winner, of Volkar. “I already knew two kilometers before the end that he would win.”pic2go (16)
Upon crossing the finish line and receiving their medals, participants posed for photos with friends and family. They enjoyed beverages from Studena, DukaFit, Ožujsko, energy bars from RawBite and a hearty lunch while awaiting the awards ceremony.
Many runners cited the beautiful sea view, olive trees and fresh-smelling air as highlights of the run, and lamented the heat, which was unusual for this time of year.pic2go (30) 
“The whole day was really relaxing, starting with the boat ride [to the start line] in the morning,” said Iva Vucković, a runner from Croatia. “The people were nice and it was just really peaceful.” pic2go (20)
Several participants mentioned plans to visit neighboring Zadar and take advantage of the long holiday weekend before returning home. 
“Now we’re going to chill,” said Car-Pavlic, who was “just stopping by” while on a road trip with friends.pic2go (32)
pic2go (31) 
During the awards ceremony, participants won prizes ranging from Croatian cheeses and prosciutto to vouchers for Croatia Airlines and a spa weekend. The “runners high” was apparent as some practically danced their way up to the stage, and the atmosphere remained jovial afterwards with PleteRI, a rock group from Rijeka performing and runners celebrating with friends.
“We’re so thankful to all our volunteers, the firemen, police, local authorities, our partners and the Tourism Board of Novalja for making this third run a successful one,” said Iva Hafner, co-founder of Run Croatia. “It was inspiring to see Lun and Novalja being conquered by the neon colors of our participants who came to Pag for a run-cation. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming more runners- local and international- next year.”
Author: Melody Bartholomew

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