Kazbegi Marathon a Success
Tuesday, September 13
The second Kazbegi Marathon on 10 September 2011 proved to be an exciting event. The gorgeous scenery of high mountains and Mt. Kazbegi itself was certainly a motivating factor for more than a hundred runners from 16 countries, the British and Swiss ambassadors to Georgia HE Judith Gough and HE Guenther Baechler being among them. Moreover, the conditions were quite favorable for such a challenging sports event: cloudy but good weather, not too hot, and slightly windy. And the three routes – 8 km, 21 km half marathon, and 42 km full marathon (everybody according to her or his capacity) - were well marked with flags and posts to get some cool drinks and energizing food items (bananas) as well. However, many may have underestimated the special conditions of a mountain marathon beforehand. It is quite different from a city marathon in say London, Berlin, or New York. The altitude of Kazbegi (about 1,600 m) and the steep trail up to the beautiful Gergeti Monastery (about 2,300) as well as some cold breezes from the large slopes of the mountains were challenging for the competitors. All in all, it was an enjoyable and unique event. Hopefully, this is going to facilitate tourism and local development in the extremely beautiful village of Kazbegi and its hospitable inhabitants as well. Next year some of the international creme de la creme in the marathon business – in particular our Kenyan and Ethiopian favorites – may decide to get a feeling of Mt. Kazbegi and its surroundings as well.