TRC: Hi, this is the fourth season you are organizing Zagorje Trekk. Last year, you had more than 350 competitors in three different categories, despite the cold weather and snow. According to entries, this year, your race will once again be one of the most attended of its type. What is the magic of Zagorje Trekk?
ZAT: Zagorje Trekk is a race where we present ourselves as true hosts, just as we always are – happy and hospitable. All are welcome and we think people like the good atmosphere which start at the entries and last till the end of after race party. We tend to provide refreshments to all the competitors at several check points. We think that’s why Zagorje Trekk is a recognozed race in Trail & Trekking League calendar. Those who attended our races already know what we’re talking about and the rest can find out this year. Beside rich refreshment points and good atmosphere Zagorje Trekk isn’t very “gentle” race. At the end you’ll collect much elevation gain so more demanding runners will also be satisfied.
TRC: This year we have a new start location – Zabok. Can you tell us a bit more about the new course? In which way we’ll be heading? What awaits us?
ZAT: After Krapinske tolice and Kumrovec, Zabok is chosen for a race start which is easy accessible even in winter conditions. The only problem is number of big roads in vicinity of Zabok. That’s why we’ll move the runners away from the city centre, as soon as possible and lead them to Zagorje hills. Runners in jogging and hiking category will be moving between Zabok, Začretja and road to Krapinske toplice, while the ultra runners will have to cross the Krapinica river and find a way below the highway to get towards Dubrava Zabočka and Bedekovčina. There’ll be 22 check points for ultra category, including 3 live check points and bigger feed stations and several smaller ones.
TRC: Last year few competitors participated in an unusual intervention. They received a special prize from Croatian National protection and rescue directorate. Can you tell us what happened?
ZAT: Three of our competitors (Barlović, Kordej and Brcko) were witnesses of a car accident where a lady lost a control of her vehicle and ended in a creek on the roof of the car. When they got to her, her head was already under the water. They cut off the safety belt, pulled her out and saved her life.
TRC: Wow, lucky for her. And it’s nice that they got free entry to all of the races in Trail & Trekking League. Zagorje Trekk is not the only race that your team organize. Can you draw lessons from the experience from Zagorje Trekk for other races you organize? What’s similar, and what’s different?
ZAT: We’re also organizing Lisica League – it’s not an adventure run (with maps and orienteering part), yet a trail league, and the length of the course is much shorter. We’re having spring, summer, fall and winter editions of this league. It’s held once a week, and we have shorter (4km) and longer (8km) course. We are trying to find different running locations for every course, all of them around Zabok. In a few years time, league has had couple of hundreds of runners and we have approximately 40 runners per round, from all age groups. At the end of every edition of league we have a party and prize giving ceremony. We’re using experience from organizing Zagorje Trekk, by all means.
Registrations for Zagorje Trekk end on Friday, 31 Jan, at 16:00. If you are late, feel free to turn up at start. Maybe you won’t get a T-shirt, but a place in the race awaits for you…