Dear cyclists, friends of sport.
Twelve years have passed since I first took part in Marathon Franja. I have participated many times since then; always with great pleasure. Marathon unites two elements, both essential in our lives: exercise and socializing. I would occasionally observe with great interest how groups of cyclists form, all working in unity, rotating the heads of groups. Last year I even participated in such a group, leading cyclists much younger than myself. Fortunately, as I have been a recreational sportsman for all my life, I maintain a good level of fitness. I used to do plenty of gymnastics and running; nowadays I am an avid cyclist and cross-country skier.
It was for this reason, that I gladly accepted the role of the honorary president of the Organizing committee.
Promoting healthy life style, physical fitness and vitality is an important task. A task that lies in the foreground of Ministry of health and the organizers of Marathon Franja: to remind us all about the importance of physical activity and exercise. The more aware of this we shall be, the less health related problems and doctors’ appointments we will have. Which, said tongue in cheek, will reduce queues for medical procedures.
Allow me to finish by saying that good health is the foundation for a good and relaxed lifestyle and for economic and social advancements in society. Even if an ever increasing tempo of life doesn’t always allow us to take time for exercise, try not to neglect this important aspect of life. Invest in what has always been considered the greatest treasure of all- our health!
I am looking forward to meeting you at the Marathon Franja!
26. marathon Franja
Children usually become of age at eighteen, mature at around twenty-one and are considered (by their parents) to be adult when they are twenty-five years old. Franja is different. Last year, we celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday. She has not been around for much more than a quarter of the century and already she is considered to be a mature, wise lady.
She was born in a different century, even millennium, and in a different country. She refused to be bothered by that. Her religion have always been friends of cycling. With no exceptions. There has never been any doubt about her mission.
Rightfully so. Marathon Franja Barcaffe is a legitimate part of Slovenian sports’ history. It has, in fact, grown to be logistically the largest and most demanding recreational sporting event. In due time it will perhaps be weighed against legendary skiing events such as Vitranc, Pohorje or Planica… Who would know?
Audacious plans? True, a name too quickly famous is quite a heavy weight. But Franja has been evolving since her birth. No one dared to believe she will one day be a candidate member of the biggest and most renowned recreational cycling series on the planet- the UCI’s Golden Bike series. Even our Italian colleagues, organizers of other marathons within Alpe Adria cycling series, acknowledge Franja as the best organized event in the series.
Franja with its vivid history is a living proof that Slovenians are a cycling nation. Even if we might be lacking proper cycling roads, thousands of recreational and a fistful of successful professional cyclists, keep on proving that.
I hope Franja will draw more such special people every year.
A seed, planted by Mr. Zvone Zanoškar and his colleagues, is growing beautifully. They need not worry- a new generation that has taken over, knows their way. Franja will remain an event honoring cyclists. A celebration of good spirit, fair play and a gathering of people who feel special after having conquered 97 or 165 kilometers.
As Franja is entering her second quarter of a century, I wish you, my cycling friends, all the best! Good luck and a lot of back wind!
Andrijana Starina Kosem
A word from the Mayor of Ljubljana
Recreational sporting events, such as Marathon Franja, promote healthy and active lifestyle and allow people to socialize.
Such is the reason for which we encourage events that enrich the lives of our citizens. Ljubljana welcomes all participants, offering them warm friendliness and hospitality.
Mayor of Ljubljana
It is with great privilege that I am able to greet you, dear friends of cycling at the Marathon Franja Barcaffé. It has been the biggest and most renowned recreational sporting event since its launch, 25 years ago in Slovenia. It is an event with an extraordinary historic background, affirmed image and a wider social connotation. It has become a necessity in a majority of Slovenian recreational cyclists’ itineraries (and in recent years, foreign cyclists in increasing numbers). As such, the event is a wonderful tool for popularization of cycling in our region.
Since the early days of its institution, the marathon has been organized by very strict standards, which, in recent years, we have constantly been improving. With the greatest emphasis on safety of all participants. The event has evolved into a cycling festivity, in which many civil and national institutions are taking part. Much to our content, there is an increasing number of foreign cyclists that are deciding to participate and thus spreading a good word about the marathon in the region.
This year we decided to apply for a membership in world’s best recreational marathon series- the UCI Golden bike series. So in many ways, this year’s edition is a test for us all. Much like every sportsman needs motivation in order to continue his strive for ever better results, so do we- the organizers of sporting events. We would like to take another step in making the event even better, bigger and more appealing to cyclists. By joining the Series, we will adopt even higher standards in organization and thus add to the popularity of cycling in the region and in Europe.
Dear friends, I wish you a wonderful ride!
Marathon Franja director