This weekend the lovely town of Ston near Dubrovnik was the hot spot for a very interesting and commendable event. Many athletes and race enthusiasts met at the foot of the Ston Walls eager to take part in at least one of the several races organized along the second longest wall in the world.
The Ston Wall Marathon was held this year for the 13th time in a row as a part of the Zero Waste Blue project. The main goal was to reduce the negative effects on nature during the organization and execution of sporting events. One of the first noticeable changes at this year’s race was a ban on plastic, where plastic cups were replaced by biodegradable ones. In addition to preserving out beautiful nature, the event wanted to point out the importance of protection of the historical heritage from the negative effects of mass tourism, ever so increasing nowadays.
Two races were held this weekend, the 4 km and 15 km race. During these unique races, runners climbed the steep stairs of the Ston Walls from Mali Ston up to the jagged stone towers and fortresses. After reaching the top they bounced downhill overlooking compact Ston roofs, with a breath-taking view of the mirrored surface of Europe’s oldest saltworks. The 4 km race ended in Ston, with triathlete Luka Đurović from Dubrovnik being first to cross the finish line. The braver amongst them rushed further along the narrow road between the saltworks and the sea to the south, towards the very peak of Pelješac peninsula with the goal of returning to Ston after having run all 15 km. Željko Cota from Dubrovnik was the first one to fulfill this difficult task, becoming the winner of the 15 km race.
Thanks to this project the monumental walls will continue to attract numerous runners, promoting this breath-taking destination while emphasizing the importance of preserving the environment and human health.
Photo/Video: Zvonimir Pandža