Mavrovo was our choice. The sheer fact that nature in this area is protected within the frameworks of the National Park “Mavrovo” was sufficient proof that it is an area with beauties, rich in flora and fauna. This action was accompanied with mountain-race i.e. The National Competition of Macedonia. This was an excellent occasion to get the two disciplines i.e. the mountain climbing and running closer one to another.
This activity required us to make huge preparations. Thanks to both the numerous collaborates and the several sponsors as well, everything was ready for the start. In the early morning, five buses left Skopje and headed to Mavrovo. The rainy weather over the previous days seemed to prevent some of the registered participants, but yet the largest part of them came and we hope that they did not regret it.
The beautiful nature of Mavrovo
Preparations for the start of the action
The buses arrived at 8 o’clock. The weather was pretty good. There was no rain, and sunshine appeared occasionally. The climbers started climbing along the steeple track that led to the sheepfold “Trifkova Koliba.” There, they had some rest, some of them walked in the nearby surrounding whereas a large group decided to take the longer track, circle road, heading to the part of the mountain where the race was taking place. In the meantime clouds appeared fog fell down, the weather turned cooler and the visibility decreased significantly. Now and then the weather got better and then got worse again. We could not help the day being the way it was.
Along the steep track to the sheepfold “Trifkova Koliba
The beautiful terrains of Bistra
On the road to the part where the race was taking place
When the group of mountaineers arrived at the control stop of the race where there was a table and umbrella, water and some snacks from the sponsors, they had some rest and retrieved their energy with the products that were left right after the competition that ended. It started to rain, and the rain got heavier and heavier. With fast pace the group descended down the mountain, following the beautiful mountain road, crossing over 4-5 brooks. At this time of the year everything was green. The mountaineers, some of the pretty wet and the others drier due to them having a more quality equipment, at 14.00 hours arrived at the ski-center “Zare Lazarevski”
Meanwhile, at the foot of the mountain was underway the second part of the programme i.e. of the National Competition in mountain running. The race represented qualifications for the forthcoming Balkan Championship that is to take place in Bulgaria. At the start line of the race there were 42 competitors plus three competitors for whom this represented a longer training through the mountain with a length of 31km; however these three competitors ran in the first part of this race together with those who competed in this part.
This event was opened on behalf of the Mayor of the Municipality of Mavrovo and Rostusa Mr. Mukrem Mehmedi and the major organizer of this race i.e. the Athlete Federation of Macedonia, the representative of which was Mr. Dejan Angelovski. Soon, everything was ready for the start. The competitors were eager to run through the mountain, and we, the organizers wanted this race to start in a short notice so that the period of good weather conditions was used to the fullest extent.
At 9.45 am the Mayor announced the start of the race. The competitors had a start that appeared as if they were ejected from behind the start line. The track at the beginning passed along a wide mountain road, where now and then appeared small streams of water as a result of the heavy rain over the previous days. The track turned left, in the direction of the Sandaktas peak, again along a mountain road, crossing over a few smaller brooks in which were impossible not be stepped in, due to which everyone got their feet/snickers wet. Additional difficulties were some nettles and low bushes that were remains of the big cleaning done prior to the race. There were falls and slipovers. In fact, all these beauties gave mountain runnig special charm, something that is not part of the urban races. Afterwards, there was a steep terrain through the beautiful breech wood, where competitors ran on a carpet of fallen leafs. Soon, they got on a cleaner terrain, arriving at the control stop, where there was small patch of the civilization in the mountain, umbrella, a table, plastic bottles with water, lemon, banana, sugar cubes, candies….then right back to the start.
It was projected that the female-juniors should have run only upwards i.e. 5.2km. Unfortunately, there was only one competitor in this category. Juniors and female-seniors ran upwards and back to the starting point i.e. 10.4 km. Male – seniors continued their “male ultimate fight” by having another climb to the control-stop i.e. 15.6 km. Here ended the race for them. Then, as for dessert, they had to go back to the starting point again. At the second climb more of them experienced the rain that was pretty heavy. However, the brave competitors finished the race with a big smile on their faces.
he first of the seniors after finishing the first leap – short refreshment and again upwards
Retrieving energy from the “buffet-bench”
Finish of the first female senior