Hungary is the aspiring to become the new running capital of Europe, according to runinbudapest.com. The English version of the long-time run organising sports club has a very fancy list of runs on offer for travellers who prefer getting acquainted with the city the faster way.
This year there are still plenty of opportunities to run half marathons or marathons in Budapest. The date is approaching for the WizzAir Budapest Half Marathon. On September 10 runners may participate in the biggest half marathon in Central Europe. They claim this is “essentially a running sightseeing tour” of Budapest, since the course leads through the city centre, down the Andrassy boulevard and across the Lánchíd bridge, while runners may also admire the view of the Buda Castle from the embankment of the river Danube. The 21 kilometres may be ran individually or with friends in a team of two or three. Last year there were more than 2200 foreign runners from 77 countries. Most runners came from Britain, Slovakia and Poland, but there were also participants from remote countries such as Chile, Indonesia, or Singapore.
The highlight of the Budapest runs each year is the SPAR Marathon, where alternative distances such as a 30-kilometre run are also available. The two-day running festival on October 14-15 isn’t only about the famous 42 kilometres, but also about family and friends, including all sorts of events related to running or just moving outdoors. This run also leads through the city and 6000 people out of the 27000 participants enjoyed the sights at the marathon distance. The organisers are quick to reassure that these runs won’t be overcrowded since the starts take place in several waves.
Source: Flickr – ChadBriggs
Nearing the end of the year, runners may once again take over the Lake Balaton and complete another marathon between November 25-26 at the K&H mozdulj! Balaton Marathon. The runs start from Siófok, the most touristy city of the lake that’s just an hour’s drive from the capital city. Last year there were about 5500 participants at this spectacular run, where half marathon and other distances are also available.
Closing the year a superfun run in Budapest is a real must-go. The Rossmann Mikulásfutás or Santa Run takes place on December 3. and each year attracts a happy crowd unafraid to move outdoors in the winter. And in fancy dresses, too: the participants are expected to dress up as Santa Nicolaus, the Hungarian version of Santa Claus who brings small gifts to children on December 6. The short run is paired with charity each year, with an option for participants to help children in need.
Luckily, all of these runs are organised each year so no worries if you can’t be there this time, there will be plenty of occasions to participate in these and plenty of other runs in the capital city or other locations across the country next year.