Press Releases

UNIS/INF/91
2 August 2005

United Nations Vienna on one Track with Vienna-Budapest Supermarathon Organizers

Traditional Run Is a Highlight of the 2005 International Year of Sport and Physical Education

VIENNA, 2 August (UN Information Service) -- On 19 October 2005, the 16th Vienna-Budapest Supermarathon will be flagged off. The United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna is promoting this event as a landmark of the 2005 International Year of Sport and Physical Education. Under the theme "Run without borders!" this event helps to underline United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statement: "Sport is a universal language that can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status." The Supermarathon will be run over a course of five days, from Vienna to Budapest, from 19 to 23 October.

The race, which takes place over a total distance of 352 km, has been held annually for the past 15 years, growing every year in size and standard. In the first year, 308 competitors from eight countries participated, while in 2004, 800 participants from 13 countries took part.

The aim of the competition is to strengthen international relations, with a particular focus on the good relations between Austrian and Hungary. The idea is to further promote the friendship of the two countries through sharing cross border ideas by the means of sports. The aim of the Supermarathon is also to promote a healthy lifestyle through sports. By providing racing possibilities for long-distance runners of all ages, and by familiarizing the participants with both Austria and Hungary, the Supermarathon is not a mere race, but a sports festival for all ages.

The cross-border sports event supported the process that led Austria and Hungary  from the opening of their border in 1989 to the accession of both countries to the European Union. As the participating runners, cyclists and inline-skaters come from many countries of the European continent, the race has developed into an international event that represents a Europe without borders. The organizers also hope, however, to welcome long-distance runners from other continents.

There are a number of ways in which to participate in the Supermarathon: running as an individual; running as a member of a relay team; cycling; or even inline-skating. The entire race takes place over 352 km from Vienna to Budapest, over five days. The first day covers 93 km from Vienna to Sopron; the second day covers 116 km from Sopron to Györ; the third day leads from Györ to Tata  (61km); on the fourth day participants run from Tata to Budakeszi (60km); and the fifth and final day on 23 October, from Budakeszi to Budapest, known as the "half-marathon" for its distance of 21 km. The final half-marathon is open to general participation independent of the preceding Supermarathon, to runners who may wish to register for that event only.

***

For more information, check the UNIS website at http://www.unis.unvienna.org
or contact the Vienna-Budapest Supermarathon organizers at:

Tel./Fax: ++36-1-312 88 92.
E-mail: istvan.szabo@szupermaraton.hu
Internet: http://www.szupermarathon.hu