With a report from our 'Racing Correspondent' Dorka here is the delayed post on March's Balaton Super Marathon!
The annual race of the Balaton Super Marathon took place between 21st and 24th March this year. The motto of the race is "four days of miracle" and it definitely lived up to that high standard.
Although Last year we had snow and ice, this year the weather treated us well and we got sunburnt on the shores of the beautiful lake Balaton. The idea is that in four days you run around the lake. The route is 200 km in total and there are nine different races for runners to take part in. The individual race, the team (of three or four) relay, the so called Maratonfured from Balatonfured to Siofok, the half marathon between Keszthely and Szigliget (and relays of these two), the two-day individual and the two-day relay.
The distance for the main event is divided into four, each day covers 40-50 km. The race starts in Siofok and arrives back there four days later. There are professional runners of course, but the best thing is that even hobby runners can try themselves in shorter distances. There are efficient refreshment points and relay points, and a well-working chipping system.
The route follows the bike track around the lake, for this is more running on concrete than trail, but crossing little villages. It leaves out the tricky part between Szigliget and Badacsony, though the end of the third day is the steep climb up to Szigliget village. Though it is a very popular race, and you can definitely find some fellow runners to chat to if you want while running, it never feels crowded. Of course, there are cyclists and cars following the race (as relay partners have to get to one point to the next) but this only provides more supporters on the route.
Our team (Baratok=Friends) originally started in the Women's 2 category but had to be re-categorized following an injury as a man - Anthony - came to our rescue the last day. With his amazing running skills and fresh legs he pulled us in to finish 70th out of 92 teams in the Men's 2 category, with 20 hours 8 minutes. We were, of course, overjoyed. This is race that is a great fun to run in a relay. You really get the team spirit in four days, you eat and sleep together and the support is fantastic, not to mention he scenery. Highly recommended to all runners.