Looking ahead | 20 April 2019 The Great Batumi Night Race, Georgia
Lively port, lively race Rich culture, breathtaking landscapes and a night-time finish In November 2016 two gentlemen met in Tbilisi, Georgia. Niko Sheklashvili, General Manager of the Colosseum Marina Hotel, and Peter Gottwald, freelance race director and organiser. Both had the same idea: they wanted to put on a race in Batumi. As simple as that the Great Batumi Night Race was founded. Batumi is a beautifully situated city on the Black Sea, a lively port with approximately 160,000 citizens in the Georgian region of Adjara. The impressive massifs of the Caucasus rise up directly behind the city. After the meeting in Tbilisi intensive planning and organising culminated in the first edition being held on 21 April 2018. More than 600 runners started the half marathon and the 10km race. It was a terrific premiere and reward for 17 months of hard work. The runners start in the evening at 19.30 and run into the sunset: a perfect route with the beautiful palm-lined main street, through the cosy old town, past the harbour and along the esplanade directly beside the Black Sea beach. The course is not only attractive but also extremely flat. The first three runners finished in 65 minutes and within 30 seconds of each other. An increasing flow of runners crossed the spectacularly illuminated finish line. Finishing after nightfall makes this race unique because Batumi unfolds its appeal and great attractiveness most especially at night. Beside the race in Tbilisi the Great Batumi Night Race is the second AIMS member event in Georgia. The race contributes to running as a health-orientated sport for all as well as to elite competition. It also has a strong charity dimension.
The main sponsor and the host of this event is the hotel Colosseum Marina â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one of the leading hotels in Batumi. The team, the sponsors, other dedicated employees and approximately 100 volunteers deliver the event with great commitment and deserve high praise.
In 2019 the race will take place on Saturday 20 April. The team will come up with some innovations to give runners another unforgettable experience. Looking further ahead the organisers are proud that AIMS has shown confidence in the event and venue by voting to hold their 23rd World Congress in Batumi in April 2020. The Great Batumi Night Race is a great sporting event but it also offers the opportunity for runners and guests to get to know a very special and wonderful country. Georgia, with its rich culture, ancient traditions, hospitable people, breathtaking landscapes and wonderful cuisine, is one of the ancient countries and is fast becoming one of the most popular touristic destinations anywhere in the world. The organisers are looking forward to welcoming runners from all over the world for an excellent race in 2019. n batumi-marathon.com Distance Running | 2019 Edition 1