The course of the 1st Krka Half-marathon has received international certificate

By robert 0

The course of the 1st Krka Half-marathon, announced for 14 April 2018, that will run from the Puljane Eco Campus to the Burnum, has received the official AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) international certificate.

AIMS is an association of more than 400 of the leading distance races in the world, from over 100 countries. Certification of the course means that the race results are credible and recognised worldwide. Once the course is measured and the AIMS certificate issued, the certificate is valid for five years, unless the course is changed.

This half-marathon, 21.098 km in length, will run through the northern park of Krka National Park, which is a lesser known landscape of magnificent natural, cultural and historical heritage. The race starts at the Puljane Eco Campus, the future interpretation, education and volunteer centre. As part of the project Unknown Krka: hidden treasures of the upper and middle course of the Krka River, a large centre is being constructed here for researchers and volunteers, children and youth, and above all, for true nature lovers, yearning for knowledge and the opportunity to view the national park through “scientific” glasses.

The Puljane Eco Campus is situated above the Miljacka waterfall, which consists of three travertine steps. Though it is not open to visitors, this waterfall is special in many ways. This is where the waters of the Krka River are here joined by the waters of the Zrmanja River, flowing through the Miljacka spring. This spring is a direct connection between the two rivers, and a unique hydrogeological phenomenon. About a hundred metres downstream of the waterfall, on the right bank of the river, there is the cave Miljacka II, which is home to numerous endemic and protected subterranean animals. Among them, the most attractive is the olm, one of the most distinctive species in Europe, and the long-fingered bat, with a colony of over 4000 individuals, making it one of the largest in Europe.

Krka National Park is proud of its wealth of cultural and historical heritage from all eras of human life along the Krka River. In the area of the former Oprominja, the district of the renowned Knin County and today the area of Promina and Miljevci municipalities, there is the strategically important fortress of the Croatian noblemen, a remnant from the tumultuous medieval period. The race passes through the settlement of Oklaj, near the Nečven fortress, which was erected on the edge of the canyon on the left bank of the Krka River, three kilometres downstream of the Miljacka waterfall, and was once owned by the famed Nelipić family. On the opposite side of the canyon stand the remnants of the rivalling Trošenj fortress, owned by the great Croatian Šubić family. Allegedly, these two fortresses were once connected by a hanging bridge, and if they pay attention, runners will be able to catch a glimpse of the fortresses as they pass through the village Nečven.

The race then drops to the river itself, at Ćorića Lake (Bjelober, Brljan Lake), which is 400 metres wide and 1300 metres long, following which there is a long climb to the finish line. The lake was created in part by the growth of the travertine barriers of the Brljan waterfall, though mostly due to the construction of the dam for the Brljan reservoir needed for the Miljacka hydropower plant. The lake waters spill over Brljan falls only during periods of high water. At the Brljan fall, the of the travertine barrier is about 300 m in length and about 180 m in width, with a total drop of 15.5 metres. Upstream we find small lakes, cascades and thresholds. The waterfall is surrounded by lush sub-Mediterranean vegetation, small pastures and cultivated fields. It is loveliest in spring when it turns green, and the vegetation has not yet obscured the view of the travertine cascades. A path has run through the canyon and over the falls since ancient times, which is seen on the Bukovac side, with the ruins of the Roman military camp Burnum, which is the finish line of this 1st Krka Half-marathon.

A gem of antique history, the Roman military camp Burnum once stood on the right bank of the Krka River, at a site where the most important roads crossed during Roman times. It was constructed in the 1st century AD, and today, remnants can still be seen of the arches that once belonged to the building of the military commandery (pretoria), and the well preserved amphitheatre. Burnum was the seat of the 11th legion, Claudiae Piae Fidelis and the 4th legion Flaviae Felix of the Roman Army. Due to its strategically important position, allowing for control over the river crossing, this was the starting point of military actions inland, all the way to the northern borders of the Roman Empire. The Burnum amphitheatre was constructed in the early 1st century AD. In about 77 AD, the Roman Emperor Vespasian personally gave funds for its reconstruction. The structure is an amphitheatre with four entrances, and it could receive from 6 to 10 thousand spectators. This time, the amphitheatre will receive all the runners having successfully completed the 1st Krka Half-marathon.

*this text was originally published on the official website of Krka National Park.