53rd Swimming Marathon Jarak Šabac - Race of Peace

53rd Swimming Marathon Jarak Šabac – Race of Peace

The Swimming Marathon Jarak Šabac – Race of Peace, along the picturesque river Sava in Serbia, is a journey from the village of Jarak to the serene Šabac beach, “Stari Grad.” But it’s more than just a race; it’s a poignant tribute to the harrowing “Blood March” of 1941. During this dark time, 4,000 Šabac residents were compelled to trek 22 km to a German camp in Jarak. Their ordeal was alleviated by the compassionate villagers of Jarak, who risked their lives to offer sustenance and water. To honor this act of humanity, a memorial fountain stands in Jarak, bearing the heartfelt message, “For love brotherhood and water.”

This year, the 53rd Swimming Marathon Jarak Šabac – Race of Peace has seen a return to individual competition, covering the distance from Jarak to Šabac. The organization, in collaboration with the Tourist Organization and the patron, the City of Šabac, has actively involved the Serbian Open Water Swimming Federation. As a result, the 19 km marathon race now includes 3 km, 5 km, 10 km and 15 km distances as well. These competitions are integrated within the framework of the SRB OWS CUP.

The event saw a commendable turnout, with approximately 1,000 citizens cheering for the competitors and the river Sava provided an ideal setting with its calm and clean waters, registering a temperature of 27°C. A total of 74 competitors started in Jarak. 52 male swimmers and 22 female swimmers participated. This event attracted participants from five different countries – Serbia, Hungary, China, North Macedonia, and Russia. 14 swimmers successfully faced the challenges of the 19 km race.

Kristijan Stojanovski from North Macedonia emerged as the winner. Covering the distance from Jarak to Šabac, he clocked in at 2 hours, 58 minutes, and nine hundredths of a second.

“This is my first time at this marathon. I’m preparing for Ohrid, and this was an excellent race. I had a minor setback midway, but I overcame it. The water was lovely, pleasant, and clean. It was challenging, but I enjoyed it,” Stojanovski shared shortly after his victory.

Not far behind was Reka Varga from Bečej, who clinched the title among the women participants.

“I followed Kristijan at the beginning; he set a very fast pace. I fell a bit behind later on, but I’m delighted with the rhythm I maintained and, of course, the victory,” Varga expressed with pride.

Both victors are budding talents in the world of swimming. Born in 2004, Kristijan and Reka, born in 2007.

More than Just a Marathon

Beyond the race, the day was filled with various activities. The Stari Grad complex played host to a sports and entertainment program, including music at two locations and a live broadcast of the entire race. Various competitions were prepared, including kayaking, archery, volleyball, darts, and even get introduced to baskin, a sport where Šabac proudly holds a significant rank in Europe. For the culinary enthusiasts, a competition for the best-prepared fish soup was a highlight.

Mihajlo Kojić, President of the Serbian Open Water Swimming Federation said:

“I am delighted to see the return of this marathon to the Serbian open water swimming competition system, which has been functioning for 17 years as the Republic of Serbia Open Water Cup, encompassing between 20 and 25 events. I am particularly pleased to witness the emergence of a promising generation of young open water swimmers in Serbia, as evidenced by their participation in this event. In the 15 km race, nine competitors aged 12 to 16 took part and enthusiastically announced their plans for the next year, when they will challenge themselves on the 19 km course. I proudly emphasize that this marked the highest number of participants ever to start at this event from Jarak.”

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