18th School Marathon of Pokljuka (SMP) and Cross country skiing and biathlon cup for primary schools (NSC)
On Saturday, the 18th of January 2014, there was 18th School Marathon at Rudno polje of Pokljuka. The event was uncompetitive in its nature. The participants were children of primary and secondary schools from all over Slovenia. Simultaneously there was a Cross country skiing and biathlon cup (new this year).
The event was this year for the first time a part of 3 rd World Snow Day, which is held by International Ski Federation (FIS). In 35 states there was a record of 619 event organizers who prepared events for children in behalf of FIS project Bring children to the snow. After 18 years, Slovenian school event finally entered the world map of International Ski Association in the area of children programs. After 3rd place in FIS SnowKidz Award 2012, this is again a confirmation of international importance and quality of School Marathon of Pokljuka (SMP) and Cross country skiing and biathlon cup for primary schools (NSC).
The opening of the event was quite ceremonial with eminent guests. The participants were greeted by Mr. Milan Rejc, the principal of Primary school in Gorje, the mayor of the county Gorje, Mr. Peter Torkar, secretary general of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, Mr. Dr. Tone Jagodic, and the Director of Sports Association of Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Gabrijel Gros. The participants were also greeted by former Slovenian cross country skier from Olympic Games in Vancouver 2010, Ms. Petra Majdič. She also ran along with the participants on the short track of 2 km and supported them.
The program was curtailed by the rain which turned to be very heavy towards the end of the event. The participants were instantly completely wet. However, we managed to carry out all of the activities planned. Cross skiing runs of 2.5 km and 10 km, hike with cross country skiis and snowshoes (new this year) to the Mount of Javornik, mountain hikes to Mounts of Zajamniki, Uskovnica, Praprotnica and alpine skiing on the ski resort of Viševnik. For cross country skiers there were short entertaining events, presentations of Slovenian army, police, biathlon, ski jumps (new this year), building of snow sculptures and sport animations in the snow. The booth of Sport of the Youth-Olympic Committee of Slovenia-Petrol worked as a fan group since people were cheering for the participants and sending them best wishes. Imagination of children has no limits and the spirit of approaching Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, was present as well. Every participant received a small wooden ratchet from the company Petrol which also donated gift cards worth of 80€ for five schools with the largest number of participants and “Touch screen” mittens for all of the participants. Thanks again to the Olympic Committee of Slovenia and the company Petrol, the two great sponsors of Sport of the Youth. All the skiers who successfully finished the race received a commemorative medal. Everybody received a cup of warm tea, prepared by Slovenian army and a cup cake donated by the company Žito Gorenjka Lesce, which also contributed a lovely mascot, a girl named “Gorenjka”. The ending of the event where trophies were given and the drawing for a giant chocolate took place was short since the participants were all wet and cold.
The event School Marathon of Pokljuka totally achieved its purpose. Many competitors were trying to gain state titles in cross country skiing and biathlon which was organized by Ski Club Ihan, headed by Mr. Matjaž Pavovec. There were 1616 participants and competitors registered. At the end, 1217 wet heroes were enjoying winter beauty of Pokljuka. At the event, there were 62 Primary schools and 5 Secondary schools participating, which means 67 schools altogether. All the people present learned a great life lesson due to the bad weather conditions; whoever dresses appropriately does not get cold nor wet.
Primary and secondary schools with most participants received trophies. Primary schools - 1st place: Mirna, 103 participants; 2nd place: Jurij Dalmatin Krško, 78 participants; 3rd place: Bogojina, 47 participants. Secondary schools - 1st place: Gymnasium Kranj, 49 participants; 2nd place: Gymnasium Brežice, 25 participants; 3rd place: Secondary Medical School of Ljubljana and Secondary school of Domžale, 2 participants.
Main award for school teams, a giant chocolate weighing 7 kilograms, donated by Žito Gorenjka Lesce, was given to primary school of Dobova.
We are very pleased by the fact that there was such a large number of participants despite the bad weather conditions and that our rescue unit did not have any work to do. Great thanks to all the people who helped in any way at this event.
You can take a look at the reports, TV articles, photos and video-recordings from the event on the web page of Primary School Gorje: http://www.osgorje.si/index.php/solski-pokljuski-maraton
Wonderful greetings from Pokljuka and a kind invitation to the next year`s 4th World Snow day, the 19th Marathon of Pokljuka and Cross country skiing and biathlon cup for primary schools, which will be held on Saturday, January 17th, 2015.
Leader of event:
Translation in English: Brigita Skufca and Tadeja Hudovernik
Foto: Pavel Zupan and Iztok Bregar, editing: Nenad Pilipovic
Video: Channel A; Slovenian national TV