This weekend, Zagreb hosted the European City Race Tour orienteering race for the first time!
As we’ve already reported, it’s a competition held throughout the year in major European cities, and this year, in addition to Zagreb, the hosts were Rome, Barcelona, Liverpool, Porto, Graz, and others. The organizers of the competition, Orienteering Club Vihor, planned the event to take place during European Mobility Week in Zagreb. There were over 250 participants, arriving from 50 clubs and 22 countries (mostly European, but there was a Canadian racer as well).
And it was not just one race that was held in Zagreb. First, on Friday afternoon, there was a training competition, a fun relay that got some of the participants introduced to Jarun lake. On Saturday, there were two races, one held near the never-finished hospital in Blato, and the other one held at Jarun lake. Fun fact: the locations of those two races are around 500 meters apart, as the crow flies, just across the Sava river, but it’s almost 10 kilometers to get from one to the other by car.
On Sunday, the big race was held with the start at the Ribnjak park, and the finish line at European Square (Europski trg) in the center of the city. The participants needed to find check-points all over the center, mostly in Upper town (Gornji grad), near the Cathedral, on Dolac market, in Tuškanac woods, etc.
The elite category of racers saw the victory of a Croatian competitor, Matjaž Štanfel from OK Sova (Beli Manastir), second place was won by Luka Filetin of OK Kapela (Zagreb), and Dmitry Vorobyov won the last place on the podium. The female elite category had a somewhat similar result, Vinka Vukmanović from OK Kapela won, Antonija Orlić from OK Bjelovar was second, and Bulgarian Siliya Gincheva was third.
The junior categories were mostly won by Croatian competitors, while the veteran categories saw more international competitors and international podium-placements.
The organizers from OK Vihor are delighted with the feedback they’ve received from the participants regarding the preparation of the races and other organizational details. Next year Zagreb will host a five-day-long competition, South East European Orienteering Championship, and organization of a European City Race Tour event was an excellent intro for the preparation of that competition.