An athletic start to the year on January 1, 2017 in Varazdin, as the traditional New Year race at midnight takes place for the 39th year.
More than 300 runners from nine countries braved sub-zero temperatures in Croatia’s northern city of Varazdin to welcome in 2017 with a competitive race through the streets of the pretty Baroque city on the stroke of midnight for the 39th year in a row.
The race, the first in the world to take place the moment the new year is ushered in, has been taking place in Varazdin each year since 1977, and this year’s event had some 305 competitors taking part in two races, one of 6.4km, the other of 3.2km, in temperatures of -5 Celsius.
With the rest of the country focused on New Year partying, as the clock struck twelve, the race got underway to accompanying fireworks, as Varazdin welcomed 2017.
The winners of both races were from abroad, Serb Olivera Jevcic the winner of the women’s 3.2 km race in 10 minutes 31 seconds, and Kenyan Hillary Kiptum Maiyo Kimaiyo triumphing in the men’s 6.4km race in 18 minutes 57 seconds.
It was quite an evening in central Varazdin, despite the cold, with the sizable crowd warmed up in the final minutes of 2016 by a live concert from popular Croatian band Vatra, a concert enjoyed by a budding TCN correspondent of the future.