Škraping - Croatia’s Biggest Trekking and Trail Race
Like else where around the globe, and especially over the last decade or so, running events have been springing up all over Croatia like mushrooms after the rain, in all sizes and shapes. Among the many, there is a truly outstanding one - the country’s biggest trekking and trail race - Škraping. Christened so by its real founder Josip Tomic, a genuine athletic enthusiast thirteen years ago.
''Škrapa'' is a rock or a cliff by the sea. In other words, you don't go just running, but you go ''cliffing and rocking'', you run, you jump over the cliffs, climb up and down, all along the picturesque coastline of Pasman island.
The first Škraping was held back in 2006, with weak but enthusiastic local organisers, it gathered 182 enlisted participants, all so enthused and enchanted with the very particular track, spread the word around so that the event kept growing until it reached 1350 runners. In the words of the organisers, the Municipality and the Prvenj Comunal Entity of the picturesque little place of Tkon, that is the upper limit for the number of possible participants.
''Of course we'd like to have tens of thousands of people, but we are aware of our capacities. We don't have the necessary logistics for more than 1,300 people, approximately, that's about the number about which we're sure we can provide accommodation for, as well as catering and other services, transportation, and so on. We've had a lot of local infrastructure sorted out over the last several years, we've improved the old side and forest roads and made some ten kilometres of new paths and proper roads across the territory of our municipality, for at least two good causes - protection against wood fire and for Škraping!,'' says Goran Mušćet, the Mayor of the picturesque Tkon.
''It mobilises all our forces, but the purposes of Škraping are many. Taking place in early March each year, like an early harbinger, it announces the spring and the tourist season, it injects so much life into our otherwise very quiet little place, it helps the local economy, our young ones are interested and take part either by participating or volunteering in the organisation, friendships are coined, and so on. Last year we had people from eleven countries,''
Any age or limits of any other sort?
''Not really, as long as the person is healthy, one can be 100 years old and run! To support this, I always quote with special affection how some years back we organised the ''Little Škraping’ for pre-school kids. With our assistance, our local kindergarten invited other kindergartens from the island and the mainland. It's so touching to watch those little faces give their genuine effort to arrive first and win. So they also learn about the good that running can bring, about competition, about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, they mingle, share a fruit juice and a cake and make friends. Who could ask for more?'' cThere are other things happening during ''Škraping time'', too, music, fun, and the traditional and, again, another special event - the Fair of Island Products, a trademark under which some forty small private producers offer their very particular local products, from cosmetics to food concludes Mušćet.
But don't get discouraged just because you're past pre-school age! There are four different tracks, from short to long, you can choose and apply for any that you think suits your post-Christmas form.
More details can be found here, and if you want to register, click here.
Hurry up, as registration closes on March the 1st, and many of those who have participated before have already registered again! Have fun, start getting back in shape in preparation and join the 1000+ people that, just like you, want to feel healthy in the cleanest environment imaginable.