Podgorica translates as ‘under the little hill’. True to namesake, a cypress-covered hill watches over the buzzing capital and its inhabitants which make approximately a third of the national population. The city is always humming with events and activities that have become trademarks of the country. One of these events is the Podgorica Marathon which was established in 1996 and still enjoys success, now onto its 23rd year.
The feeling persists that this isn’t just a race about winning but bringing the city closer together as well as those who travel from further afield. You don’t have to run to get involved. Many choose to volunteer; taking photos, providing translation services and serving refreshments to runners during and after the race. This provides the opportunity to learn about the cultural importance of the event and be an essential part of spreading the spirit of the marathon throughout the day.
It isn’t difficult to see why the marathon is so coveted having had such success in the past. Since 1996, the annual sports event has been on the calendar of the European Athletics Association and the city has hosted the Balkan Marathon Championships. Not only has it established itself as a hub for the sport but the natural Montenegrin surroundings paint a beautiful course for participants. Just 50km from the Adriatic Sea and framed by the lower slopes of the Dalmatian mountains, it is a scenic marathon like no other.
Thanks to its long running success, Podgorica continues to enthuse participants throughout the city, country and neighbouring countries as not only a sporting event but one of culture and tourism. A showcase of the efforts Podgorica make to ensure this is a place where citizens cheer each other on.