Dubrovnik Half Marathon: putting Croatia on the running map

The walled city of Dubrovnik in Croatia is one of the most visited destinations in the Mediterranean and for very good reason as well.

For runners, the city now has one additional lure: the Dubrovnik Half Marathon on 1 May which was held for the first time last year.

“This event is a result of a long-standing collaboration between Dubrovnik and its twin city of Monterey, California,” explained race director Alen Boskovic on the roots of a race which has already become one of the foremost events on the Croatian running calendar.

Indeed, the inaugural edition proved a resounding success from a participatory standpoint with runners from five continents and 34 countries toeing the start-line last year in the heart of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the participants who travelled the furthest was Michele Crim whose long trip from Monterey certainly wasn’t in vain. “We had the opportunity to be a part of an amazing race in a breathtaking city,” she enthused.

Race organisers are expecting to attract a similarly international field for this year’s edition of the race which coincides with the start of the peak tourist season in May.

One especially attractive aspect of the race - particularly if you watch the Game of Thrones - is the course takes in King's Landing, one of the main filming locations of the globally popular fantasy television series.

But you don’t have to be a fan of the show to appreciate the spectacular architecture and scenery along the course.

The reputation of the half marathon - the pinnacle of the event - is such that it has already been given a five-star endorsement by European Athletics but the race is preceded by a series of shorter races which fits into the all-encompassing ethos of the event.

“‘More than a race’ is a motto which promotes both sport and healthy lifestyle, all within the spectacular milieu and scenery of the ancient city of Dubrovnik,” explains Boskovic, who was keen to make sure the event was accessible for runners of all ages and at all levels of fitness.

Culminating with the half marathon, the “Du Motion - Dubrovnik Runners’ Days” is a two-day running festival which includes a range of shorter races including the “Run the Wall” race held along the ancient Dubrovnik walls; a kids’ race held on Dubrovnik’s main street of Stradun; and a humanitarian citizens’ “5K-Fun Run” race.

And as an added bonus, the race organisers have ensured registered runners will gain a free entry into the city’s museums, free public transportation as well as special accommodation offers.

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