01 July 2016, 7am
Trieste Green Europe Marathon
Sun 8 May 2016
Over ten thousand people took to the streets of Trieste for Bavisela 2016: a running festival which features the Green Europe Marathon, the Green Europe Half Marathon and the Bavisela Family Run.
The two competitive races attracted runners from every part of the world, with a majority of Italian athletes. Among the long list of entrants, many came from nearby countries: Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Germany. With a strong symbolic value there was a large group of Norwegian women who raced in the marathon and half marathon. The team was captained by Vibeke Bjerg, founder of the “Femiroma” project, a truly brave woman who fought against cancer and went back to running in a very short time. She also involved other women in this project with the aim of lifting up their heads through the sport.
Runners flocked to Trieste from throughout Europe: from Belgium, France, Russia, UK, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Romania, Ireland, Serbia, Slovakia, Finland, Switzerland, the Ukraine, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Spain, Albania and Moldavia. The Bavisela festival is a very international event which seems destined to further widen its appeal across all borders. And to all continents: the event also attracted runners from the USA, Africa, Brazil, Iran and India.
The Half Marathon is the most popular race and starts from Duino – a village along the road from Trieste to Monfalcone, perched on the scenic cliffs of the coast road. Its development and history are linked to those of its two castles. The small historical centre that grew up around the castle is the where the Rilke Path finishes, a wonderful walk along the cliffs of the Duino nature reserve which offers stunning views. The path is named after the Prague poet Rainer Maria Rilke who here found the inspiration for his famous poems ‘Duinesen Elegien’, in the early years of the 20th century, when he was guest of the Thurn and Taxis princes.
From Duino runners take the scenic coastal road and pass through a natural tunnel to reach Barcola and then Trieste. The city is located between the inland limestone Karst scenery and the sea, with the air filled by the scents of the Mediterranean scrub.
The Bavisela Family Run is the most popular non-competitive event in Italy. It follows a course from Miramare Castle to the Piazza Unità d’Italia — the largest European square to overlook the sea. Every year it offers fun, sport and entertainment to thousands of people ready to cover the 7km route either running or walking. Special entry terms are offered for all associations working in the field of volunteering, charity teams, and large groups. Such groups can sign up at one time and benefit from a special entry fee.
The Bavisela includes other events such as the Doggy Run, a fun event with dogs; the Trieste SoloWomenRun, dedicated to women; and Bavisela Young, which gets over 2000 children running.
Trieste shines brightest when the sky has been scoured by the Bora wind. It is a city of Mittel-Europa where great writers such as James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Umberto Saba drew their inspiration. Different architectural styles blend harmoniously: neoclassical, libertarian eclectic and Baroque stand side by side with Roman ruins, 18th century and Habsburg buildings. Trieste has also played host to many different religions with their places of worship: the Greek Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Synagogue, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the ancient Helvetic Confession Church.
The people of Trieste have a true passion for coffee and you can drink it in the
elegant historical cafes where famous writers used to meet. Many runners fall in love with the city and return to it regularly.