Trail Running Becoming More Popular: Peace and Freedom in Chaos of Everyday Life

By , 15 Jul 2019, 17:31 PM Sport
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Getting to know yourself and the mountain, finding peace in the chaos of everyday life and an inexpressible feeling of freedom - are just some of how the racers describe this sport.

It is running on the "wild" paths, and in the case of Kolasin, as the fans in that city explain, that is to run through one of the last rainforests in Europe, cast a glance from the most beautiful Bjelasica’s gazebos, pass through the centuries-old katun, refresh with the water from the spring of Biograd’s river, and more.

In northern Montenegro, they say that it was not necessary that the “west” show them the benefits of the trail, but that it is "the lifestyle of their ancestors".

One of the more popular sports in the world, which, according to some estimates, has about 1.5 million fans, from August, through the marathon "Bjelasica ultra trail", will become an official part of the tourist offer in Kolasin.


Trail running (Photo: Private archive)

But, much earlier, Nebojsa Cetkovic, one of the organizers of the event and a participant of the big European marathons on paved paths, discovered the magic of running "using the field’s variations".

"It means preparing for a much more challenging trail. There are many uphill, stony, trails covered with grass, soil, gravel. The feeling under your feet is special. It takes a lot more effort and time. Muscles should be left to get used to it. I admit, muscle pains, even if you are an experienced athlete, cannot bypass you in the beginning."

Nebojsa and some other mountain run enthusiasts in Kolasin cannot precisely explain why they call the trail - "singanje". Only that name has become familiar, so they consider it to explain the multiple advantages and pleasures that bring them the official running track.


Trail running (Photo: Private archive)

"I'm still trying to explain “singanje”, and I have an added meaning every day. I believe that, similarly, the poets tried to explain for centuries the moment when they became one with nature. This, among other things, means freedom, love, health and the creation of a feeling of excitement. Is this not enough in the times of today? I'm not exaggerating, try it," says Nebojsa who decided to return to the sport a few years ago.

The return meant much more to him than others who decided to live healthily. It also allowed him to correct mistakes, but also to educate others.


Trail running (Photo: Private archive)

He started his personal "new beginning" with the NGO "A New Beginning".

Now through this organization, through various activities, he teaches others about the importance of leaving the comforts of your room and cafe.

"Bjelasica ultra trail" is the first major project of this NGO.

"I related to this kind of running as a boy, while I was walking with Boban Dzim Brkovic on all the forest tracks around Kolasin. The unusual beauty of my city's surroundings and the emotions that followed them made me grow into a new person and helped me later in the temptations of everyday life."

He explains poetically that running through the wilderness can teach you, among other things, "how to be silent before nature, how the paths of reason and imagination can be crossed and how to conquer the peaks that you only imagine as children."

Nebojsa and his associates are planning to show the tourism potential of Bjelasica to the participants of the mountain marathon.

"Attractive beyond the world" is the motto of the manifestation, and he claims that the justification of the attraction inside and around will find all those who, from August 16 to 18, when the "Bjelasica ultra trail" is taking place, start one of three races.

On the first two professional trail runners will be able to earn three, or two International Trail Running Associations (ITRA) points.

The "Big Bear" race is 58 kilometers long and runs from the city center to Biograd’s Lake, through katun Vranjak, along Sisko Lake and back to the city.

The second - "Small Bear" 37 kilometers long, will begin on Donji square, then through Melaja, katun Vranjak, Bikovaca and back to Kolasin.

The "Family trail" is the least demanding, and the participants will start from the city through Dulovina and Sljivovica.

Necessary special equipment

For anyone who enters the trail adventure, it is necessary to be well equipped considering the complexity of sports and terrain.

On sites dedicated to fans of this sport, they recommend that you "have as little clothes as possible, but it needs to be functional."

They recommend dry fit T-shirts and shorts/tights and compression socks. A backpack and a rain-coat are also necessary.

It is imperative to protect your head with a cap, a scarf, a visor, a tape or a cap, and wear sunglasses. Trail runners also use sticks. Since the mountain sometimes can be rough, it is smart to run with company.

The most important thing, of course, is the choice of shoes. Special sneakers are used for the track, adjusted to the environment. They need to be deeper and harder, have a thicker sole, are light and waterproof.

Text by Dragana Scepanovic, on July 14th 2019, read more at Vijesti

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