Many runners carry out their running ambitions firstly as road runners, but when they cross the line and go into the forest, the trail running completely overwhelmes them, because the nature gives them unique energy. Competitiveness is of course present at trail/ultra trail competitions, however there's also a lot of encouragement among runners and it's not rare to run quite some kilometres together.
At the finish line there's always pure joy&passion and the runners congratulate each other mostly because they managed to conquer themselves.
We have asked famous slovenian trail runners who first started running as road runners and then found their love and passion in trail running, enjoy your reading!
Peter Macuh first became a road runner during the military services at the age of 19. He was mostly attracted to road marathons at the time and since then he had run all the Ljubljana marathons and many others. At the end of 80' the mountain marathon began to develop and he was immediately drawn in. To this day he's still a passionate trail runner, mostly ultra marathons, the 100k or rather 100 miles. As he likes to say, trails give him passion for running, soulmates to hang out with, pure happiness and a mind reset.
Toni Vencelj trained for many years on the road, mostly 10k and 21k. His biggest goal was to run the marathon under 2h and 30 min, which he missed three times only for a little. He later shifted his trainings to longer distances with a purpose to run 100k on the road. And so it happened that he started to run more and more in the forests and in the mountains and he unintendedly distanced himself from the asphalt. The excellent ultra trails resaults with distances as 100k or more gave him additional motivation. Toni says himself he was always competitive, on the road marathons as well as in trail marathons, but he claims that with trail running he suffers less injuries and time goes by faster.
Bojan Ambrožič began as a short distance road runner (for example Tek štirih srčnih mož okrog Bohinjskega jezera or Teki Gorenjskega pokala). His first mountain run happened by accident and ever since he is addicted to nature. At this time he takes part in longer and more demanding challenges for which he gained experince in the last decade. He feels great in the nature and running to him means an escape from everyday stress.
Jana Bratina firstly ran 10k at cross country competitions, she later added also the 21k distances. Regarding her enviroment running in the nature was something usual, so she always prefered trails over roads. Jana's great love are the mountains and running through and across them gives her a feeling of complete freedom.
Andrej Mederal has actually started running in nature when he climbed the forest paths and hills as a fitness base for training karate, which took place from autumn to spring. After ten years of sports, he worked as journalist at 3rd Marathon of Ljubljana when he decided: "I will run it the next year!" Andrej is proud to say that this year Ljubljana marathon was his 20th marathon. He also acknowledges that his love is, nevertheless, a mountain run and a walk in nature. In recent years, he has begun preparing and participating longer ultra races, where the main aim is personal pleasure, socializing and not the result at all. In this process he feels, so far, unknown energy from which he draws power for daily life. There are always rises and falls, and Andrej adheres to Trubar's thesis: "Stani inu ubstati / to live and survive"
Lucija Krkoč started running as a child in road races in Slovenia and Italy, from 5 km to 12 km. She continued with racing competitions and competed for the Olympic standard in the marathon and for national titles of 10 km and 21 km. She actually got familiar with a trail running in the beggining of her running carrier, coz she is living in a perfect place for trail running - Vipava Valley. She was later intorduced in mountain running races by her coach Edvin Kosovelj. Lucija now likes to choose between all running categories, road, trails and mountain running. But trail running is at the top of her agenda. She admittes that nature means a lot to her and long trail run in a pure and silent nature clean herself mentally and physically and so fulfill with a new energy after a busy days.
Katja Drobež always jokes to wake up when she was 30 years old. Until then, she didn't deal with any sport, she just studied and red. Her appetite for running quickly crawled under her skin and caused major personal transformation. After ten km runs, halfmarathons and marathons, there was also a longer distance, such as the European Road Ultra Marathon cup. Later, she went from the asphalt to the forest. The running, besides walking into the hills, became part of her life. She was going after a lack of time, and she was surprised that it was easy. The shoes and the heavy backpack were so replaced by the trails and running backpacks; instead of a sandwich, she took only a handful of nuts. That's how miles of trails are rapidly disappearing under her feet. Katja admits: " somewhere on those forest paths, I am lost in beautiful views, found my soul. I'm in love with the mountains." like she says, I don't train running, but I live it. Looking for beautiful mountain on the map is part of the routine and running after the summit is a an award. There are never enough trails, and no one is like previous one. The results are just a number that he forgets pretty fast. That's why there's never enough stories. The longer the distance, the more demanding the terrain, the heavier the weather conditions, the more epic they become. Katja describes his stories so beautifully that you easily get tears in the eyes, " every run is so beautiful for me, it's almost gaudy. Every day spent on trails, it's more beautiful to me than anyone else. Every new summit is more powerful than already conquered. Every new view is more breathtaking. Maybe everything outside of this doesn't even have much, maybe all this beauty comes from me. From the feelings of joy I experience when I'm part of nature. "
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