In warm conditions, the 18th edition of the Vidovdan Road Race, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, was held on Saturday (28) in Brcko, one of several Bosnian cities that are now on its way to recovery after being hit last month by massive floods.
Hungary’s Aniko Kalovics and Serbia’s Darko Zivanovic led the women’s and men’s 10km races respectively from the outset and held on to take the victories.
After 4km, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Srdjan Samardzic sped up and moved into the lead, motivated by the home support. Zivanovic had a bit of a crisis at 7km, but her overcame it with a mile to run and regained his lead, winning in 32:12.
Much to the delight of the home crowd, Samardzic finished six seconds behind, while Serbia’s Sasa Stolic clocked 32:33.
From the beginning, four-time Olympian Kalovics ensured there would be no surprises in the women’s race.
On two occasions – at 4km and 7km – Croatia’s Mateja Matosevic tried to catch up with the Hungarian record-holder, but there was no stopping the 37-year-old, who won in 35:28.
Matosevic eventually crossed the finish line a distant second, 29 seconds behind Kalovics, followed by Hungary’s Tunde Szabo, who ran 36:41.
The focus of this year’s race was very much on the humanitarian aspect and most of the athletes who won prize money donated it to charity. By doing so, they helped raise enough money to provide 500 school packages for children whose houses were taken away or destroyed by the flooding.
Before the race, families who were affected by last month’s flooding and who were situated in a city sports hall for more than a month received humanitarian aid from the race director and race sponsors.
As is tradition, the 10km races were preceded by children’s races as more than 5000 youngsters took part.
Organisers for the IAAF
1 Darko Zivanovic (SRB) 32:12
2 Srdjan Samardzic (BIH) 32:18
3 Sasa Stolic (SRB) 32:33
4 Zoran Zilic (CRO) 33:22
5 Anton Rudolf Pavelic (CRO) 33:45
1 Aniko Kalovics (HUN) 35:28
2 Mateja Matosevic (CRO) 35:57
3 Tunde Szabo (HUN) 36:41
4 Zita Kacser (HUN) 37:51
5 Rahima Zukic (BIH) 39:04