Categorized | Marathons, Primary, Running Races

25th Spar Budapest International Marathon

Posted on 13 April 2010

The race information was provided by Judit Kulcsar, International Marketing and PR Manager of the Budapest Marathon Organisation. This race has grown over the years and 2010 is the 25th anniversary of the marathon.   Last year’s race had over 3000 participants.   If you have not visited Budapest, Hungary it has been named by many as  “The Paris of Eastern Europe” and is a spectacular city.  If you are considering a “destination” race  including vacation/holiday consider the Budapest International Marathon and enjoy the people, food and Hungarian culture.    I have visited Budapest and it was an amazing city which created many life-long memories.  Budapest is easy to navigate by foot and there are plenty of taxi’s as it’s a metropolitan city for those looking to save “their legs” for race day.

Date:  September 26, 2010 – Budapest,Hungary,  e-mail address:

Race start time 10:00 AM, the average weather temperatures range from 14-21 degrees Celsius (57 degrees  to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for the U.S.A. athletes since we have not converted to the metric system!) there can be chances of rain.

The current race director has been handling the race since 1986. He is an an endurance athlete and has completed several marathons and half marathons.

Entry Fee:   55€.  The athletes get a T-shirt, a finishing medal and refreshment on the course (water, iso drink, some sweets, something salty, depending on the sponsors) and an arrival pack.

Race Expo – There is no “classic” expo, rather a race center including a section with sponsors and some exhibitors.

Is there anything that makes the race memorable? –  The beautiful course travels around the long buildings of World Heritage.  Also, the course travels along the Danube River with nice views. After the race runners are entitled to a free entry to the Szechenyi Spa.  The spa’s in Budapest are world renown and definitely worth visting.   The marathon course changes somewhat from year to year according to the different construction project work in Budapest. 

Check out the following “about the race” video:

Pre-race dinner – There is a pasta party on the day prior to the race, usually two different pastas.

Growth of the race –  the race has experienced a steady growth over the 25 years with significant expansion beginning in 1998.  Runners come from about 50 countries, the major countries are Finland, UK, Germany, France, Italy.  

Airport close to the race venue – Budapest International Airport.

Hotels:   There are a number of hotels with different categories close to the race start.  Refer to the website for discounted hotels ( 10-20% discount from the daily rates).

What is there to do for the kid’s –  The marathon also includes a Running Festival with lots of activities for children. There are shorter distances  suitable for children (e.g. 3,5 km, walking distance). The race is organized near a park where kids will have many activities.  Also, consider a boat trip down the Danube River for a different perspective of viewing the city.

Logistics info:  The race start and finish are in the same area.

Specific training advice to prepare the runner for the race – The course is flat and fast – so build up training kilometers/miles and get ready to fly!

Traffic issues – The race is organized on a course closed to traffic.  There is a time limit  (5 hour 30 minutes).  After the elapsed time, the roads are open to traffic and runners are not allowed to continue after the time limit.  They are transported by a bus in order to observe safety.

Advice for first-time marathoner – A very good marathon for a first time runner, flat course, quite fast, lots of enthusiastic staff.  First time marathoners receive a “sign”  that will be pinned to the back of their running shirt to inform everybody that they are first timers.  This alerts fellow runners so they can cheer and provide motivation for them while passing by.

Aid Stations – Refreshment stations  each 4 km, if the weather is hot there are extra water stations. The refreshment stations offer water,  iso drink, dried food,  something salty, bananas,  glucose. 

Are there an abundance of bathroom facilities or porto-potties at the start/finish and out on the course? There are porto-potties and the start, finish and throughout the course.  

The course is clearly marked with km signs throughout so athletes can monitor their times.  You will not get lost!

Grocery Stores  - No grocery stores nearby.  However, there is a buffet to buy food.

Water or coffee at the starting line – Water will be available at the start to top off your fluid levels.

Other items of interest – there is a race photographer on the course and athlete’s can purchase finisher pictures after the race.  Also, plenty of cell phone coverage on the course for those of you who need to “stay connected” during the race.

Why should an athlete consider this race?   The Budapest Marathon is a medium sized marathon which is large enough (in number of runners) to enjoy running with others while receiving fellow athlete motivation.  It’s suitable to achieve a personal PB/PR.  It’s a fantastic race with a nice scenic route,  well organized, with friendly, smiling people to make lifetime memories!

One Response to “25th Spar Budapest International Marathon”

  1. fkris says:

    I did this race last year as the first marathon of my life (together with my wife). I can confirm, it's a very good organized race with excellent atmosphere. A memory for life…
    See you all there in 2010 too!

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