Dracula Half Marathon: 14 October 2007
A perfectly flat course on Timisoara’s large boulevards, ideal for a PB and a very good finish place as the field wasn’t either big or too strong.
Around 200 runners in the “Dracula” Half-Marathon race and 50 in the Marathon, competitors from over 20
countries including Japan, South Africa, US and Holland, took part in the 8th edition of “Timisoara Maraton”, the only Romanian event on the AIMS year planner. A Champion Chip was provided.
The “Dracula” name comes from the fact that, as capital of the western region of Banats Timisoara is the biggest city in Transylvania. Full sunshine but a bit cold and breezy at ten in the morning. START at the “Huniazilor” Castle with its crenels, very close to the old posts stating “Timisoara the 12th November 1884 – The first town of Europe with streets illuminated by electric light”.
There was a big loop from and to stunning Opera Square – the birthplace of 1989 Romanian Revolution – and crossing twice the Bega Canal, duplicated for the Marathon event. FINISH on the pedestrian stretch
between the fabulously majestic Orthodox Cathedral and The Opera House. We passed under the arcades of the old Ottoman fortress and by the Timisoara “1718” Breweries and tram plant, as Timisoara was in the 18th century the first European town with trams pulled by horses.
A lack of atmosphere on the course and scarcely any marshalling but well protected by Police and community officers, as it was traffic free event. The festivities were nicely staged and the prizes, hundreds of euros for the first four male, female finishers in the Half and Marathon race, were a bonus. There were incentives for finishing under 70, 80 and 140, 160 minutes respectively. The half-marathon was won in around 76 minutes and I finished 9th in the male classification in under 90 minutes.
The race was started by Rolf Maruhn, der
Bundesrepublik Deutschland Consul in Timisoara. Timisoara, officially nicknamed “Little Vienna” for its architecture and style, has great character, being a vibrant, safe, clean and truly cosmopolitan city of over 400.000 inhabitants. There are many public gardens, green areas, big Universities and a lovely canal with boats and cruises plus belts of parks with outdoors swimming pools on its sides. The nightlife is more than attractive, with a lot to pick and choose from. Not expensive – recommended as a breakaway in one of the hidden marvels of Europe.
Report by: Mihai Comsulea
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