On Saturday, August 1, the municipalities of Plužine (Montenegro) and Foča (BiH) organized the first international mountain race “PP PIVA – NP SUTJESKA TRAIL” with the support of the European Union which gathered runners from seven European countries. More than 100 participants from BiH, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, UK and France competed in the 42km Strike (Marathon) category and the 25km Proletarian (Challenger) category, as well as in the 12km and 4km categories.
The starting locations were different. Competitors from the Strike category started from Čemerno, while competitors from the Proletarian category started the race from the Suha canyon. The location of the finish line and the announcement of the winner was at the central monument in Tjentište.
Dane Krstulović-Opara from Split was first in Strike category, while Snežana Đurić from Kragujevac won first place in the Proletarian category. After the announcement of the winner, Krstulović-Opara addressed the audience and emphasized that there were hard ascents and steep descents, but it is beautiful when you climb up and look at the Trnovacko Lake. He said that the nature here is fascinating and that, according to him, this area can hardly surpass anything, and that the vacation should be spent here, and not at sea coast.
The competitors pointed out that the race, although strenuous, is excellently organized and that the area of the National Park “Sutjeska” and the Nature Park “Piva” is ideal for this type of sport and recreation, as well as for active vacation. They also stated that the race trails were marked in detail, and the organizers made an effort to choose the most attractive areas in order to best present the tourist potentials of this cross-border area. Members of the Mountain Rescue Service of the Republika Srpska from Foča, who were deployed at checkpoints, were in charge of the safety of the participants.
The organizers of the race made an effort to comply with all measures of the competent institutions during the current coronary virus pandemic, due to which the number of participants is significantly lower than expected. However, the organizers state that they will strive to make this race a tradition and to gather an increasing number of sports, adventure and adrenaline lovers during the years.
The race was organized within the first edition of the Trekking League 2020, and is one of the activities of the project “Tourism, Adrenaline and Rafting Adventure (T.A.R.A.)” funded by the European Union under the Cross-Border Cooperation Program BiH – Montenegro.
The project is jointly implemented by the Municipalities of Plužine and Foča, in cooperation with the Nature Park “Piva” and the Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Foča with the aim of developing and promoting the cross-border area as a unique destination for active tourism. The realization started on December 1, 2019 and will last for two years, until the end of November 2021, and the project plans to hold another international mountain race for next year.