10,000 October Guests for Hvar: Welcome Spartan World Championship!

Paul Bradbury

February 17, 2024 – A massive boost to Hvar’s post-season tourism, as well as yet one more example of Croatia’s Premier Island’s adventure tourism credentials – Welcome Spartan World Championship.

For many, the island of Hvar is destination of beaches, luxury and nightlife. It is all things, but it is so much more. No island in the world has more UNESCO heritage (6), no island in Croatia has more indigenous grape varieties (7), and nowhere in Europe has an older public theatre. The superlatives go on.

But Hvar is also a phenomenal adventure tourism destination, consistently attracting the best global talent in a variety of disciplines – they come for the challenging terrain, the mild climate, the stunning island. And we will come to all that in a little while, but let’s start with the press release that explains why there will be 3,000 athletes coming to Hvar in mid-October, bringing with them an average of 2.2 spectators. And not just this year, but initially for the next three years – 10,000 tourists on the island in mid-October – how cool is that going to be for a late tourism boost.

To the details…

The world’s largest extreme-wellness event, the World Championship in Spartan races, is coming to Croatia, on the island of Hvar!

The upcoming SPARTAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HVAR, CROATIA, which will be held from October 10 to 13, 2024 on the island of Hvar, in the city of Hvar, was revealed at the announcement press conference held at Hotel Zonar in Zagreb. The Spartan World Championship will be one of the biggest sporting events to be held in Croatia and the region.

The expected number of over 3,000 competitors from more than 30 countries worldwide speaks in favor of this, as well as the fact that the event will have national and international TV coverage in more than 40 foreign broadcasting markets.

On Thursday, October 10, 2024, with the Nations Parade and the ceremonial opening of the event, the four-day spectacle will begin in which athletes will compete in three different Spartan race formats – 100M, SPRINT and SUPER. Although the biggest motivation for each of the competitors will be the desire to be crowned world champion, it is important to note that a generous prize fund of EUR 100,000 is provided, which is the largest prize fund in the history of the Spartan World Championships. Special excitement is certainly brought by the 100M race, which, precisely because of its dynamic and attractive character, will be part of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028.

The press conference witnessed the exceptional support of those without whom the realization of the event would not have been possible, including Tomislav Druzak, State Secretary of the Central State Office for Sports, Rikard Novak, Mayor of the Town of Hvar, Stipe Čogelja, Deputy Prefect of the Split-Dalmatia County, and Joe De Sena, Executive Director of Spartan among others. Their enthusiastic approval reflects the monumental importance of the event.

Mr. Tomislav Druzak, State Secretary of the Central State Office for Sports, commented on the arrival of the world championship in Spartan races to Croatia through the prism of the strategic goals of the Government of the Republic of Croatia: “From the beginning of the mandate, this Government has recognized the importance of holding large sports events and all the positive things they bring, from sports promotion, to economic benefits and ultimately their great contribution to the development of year-round tourism, which is one of our important strategic goals. So far, we have co-financed more than 120 large sports events worth around 40 million euros, and this year alone we will allocate 13 million euros for this purpose. This includes world and European championships, as well as all competitions that have made Croatia recognized in the world as a sports nation. Spartan World Championship Hvar, Croatia is a competition that positions Croatia in another sport, and with its organization, it will certainly strengthen the image of our country as a country of sports and an excellent host.”

The mayor of Hvar, Rikardo Novak, emphasized the transformative impact that the event will have on the city and island of Hvar. “I am extremely glad that the city of Hvar has been chosen as the host of the Spartan Race World Championship and that we will have the opportunity to show the beauty and hospitality of Hvar, Dalmatia and Croatia not only to the competitors, but through media coverage, and to spectators around the world. The positioning of this race, to the island, and also in the month of October, is the realization of the sustainable tourism plan and strategy implemented by the Ministry of Tourism, which aims to shift the focus from the main tourist months to the pre- and post-season, and I believe that this race will emphasize the potential that the island has outside of the summer months I believe that this race, in addition to the logistical and financial support of the City of Hvar and Hvar Tourist Board, will also have the support of the local population, not only through participation in the logistical part, but that everyone will recognize the energy brought by the organizers and participants, and that they will actively participate in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle life. This event is a real example of how sports, tourism and the local community can be connected, and I hope that this is the basis for future cooperation and sports events on Hvar.”

SPARTAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HVAR, CROATIA will attract international athletes and adventure enthusiasts, creating an effect that will benefit different sectors, from hospitality to local businesses, confirming Croatia’s status as a leading global sports destination.

Valent Sinkovic, a famous Croatian Olympian and one of Croatia’s biggest sportsmen- promoters, believes that the World Championships on Hvar will greatly contribute to the promotion of our country: “I am delighted that the Spartan Race World Championships will be held on Hvar and I think that this event will really to put Croatia on the map as a top destination for obstacle course racing. I believe that this competition will be a fantastic opportunity to promote our country around the world. I can’t wait to see how everything will look like this fall!

The vice-prefect of Split-Dalmatia, Stipe Čogelja, also shared his opinion on the significance of the arrival of this international sports spectacle in Split-Dalmatia county: “We are extremely pleased to support the Spartan World Championship, another top event of exceptional importance for tourism promotion and the recognition of Split-Dalmatia county at the world level. Such projects certainly contribute to the extension of the tourist season and are part of our county’s strategic commitment to the implementation of green transition and sustainable tourism, which we started with the opening of the Center for Education and Visitors in Dugopolje and the accompanying brand Skrivena Dalmacija.”

CEO of Spartan, Joe De Sena, points out his satisfaction with the fact that, along with the Spartan Race in Sveta Nedelja and Spartan Trail in Dubrovnik, the Spartan World Championship is also coming to Croatia: Spartan World Championship Hvar, Croatia is certainly one of the most important events in our, Spartan’s, global calendar of events for 2024. The location where it will be held, the town of Hvar, amazes me with its spectacular beauty and unique environment. I believe that one of the best Spartan events ever will take place on Hvar. The sea, the mild climate and the incredible hospitality of the people in Croatia will be an unforgettable experience for all the competitors of the event, which is extremely important to me as the owner of the brand. This event represents the pinnacle of our work and dedication, and we look forward to it”.

Holding the Spartan World Championship Hvar would not be possible without the wholehearted support of the event’s main partners, which project manager Jurica Barac did not fail to mention: “We face the challenge of organizing the Spartan World Championship on Hvar, but without the support of the event’s key partners; first of all, the Government of the Republic of Croatia, or The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the city of Hvar, the Split- Dalmatia County and our commercial partners would not have faced this challenge. Their dedication and commitment are already showing a key role in the preparation and organization of this great event. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our partners for their support, which will will be necessary in the subsequent stages of planning and realization. Without their contribution, bringing the Spartan World Championship to Hvar would not really be possible, so I am looking forward to successful cooperation that will enable the realization of this spectacle.”

The holding of the world championship in Spartan races on Hvar is planned for 2024, 2025 and 2026, while for the current year the Government of the Republic of Croatia has approved co-financing of the project in the amount of 1.5 million Euros, which covers a significant part of the total cost of holding the event of almost 3 million euros. The hotel chain Suncani Hvar and Carwiz are one of the first commercial sponsors who recognized the significance and value of the event, and it is with their support that the realization of the world championship will be at the top level.

Entrance to the event will be free for spectators, while those who are eager to be part of the spectacle will have the opportunity to become event volunteers or register for competitions in amateur competitions and disciplines.

See you, in October, in the city of Hvar!!!

Fantastic news, the latest strong endorsement of Hvar’s credentials from the sporting world. There have been plenty of others:

One of the world’s top cycling teams, Bahrain Merida (now McLaren) could be found on the roads of Hvar in December three years in a row for their winter training camp.

The 16km open sea Faros Marathon, one of the toughest swimming races in the world – and won that attracted Olympic and World Championship gold medallists – took place each August for almost 50 years in Stari Grad.

The Otillo Swimrun Hvar race was successfully held several years in a row.

May will see Ultraswim 33.3 on Hvar.

And basketball fans can look forward to the popular Pro 3x 3 tournament.

And if you are feeling energetic, why not take part in the annual Hvar Half Marathon, surely one of the most picturesque road races in the world, from Stari Grad to Hvar Town via the old road. Sea views on both sides!

And there is sailing, kayaking and a host of other activities to keep you in shape, in addition to relaxing on the beach. So next time you consider your visit to Hvar, don’t forget that it is the complete island, with a different type of tourism every month of the year.


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