The wildest Slovenian trail run hosted runners from 23 countries
Last weekend, Kočevje turned into the Slovenia capital of trail running and hosted many domestic and foreign lovers of running in nature. The running event Kočevsko Outdoor Festival hosted by I Feel Slovenia is considered the wildest run in Slovenia, as it takes runners into the wild and mysterious forests of Kočevsko.
The varied festival program attracted numerous runners and visitors to Kočevsko, so that the final number of visitors was around 3,000. Of these, just under 1,000 were runners from as many as 23 countries who tackled the wild trails on the Vzajemna Fox Trail 10 km, Be Active Športna Oblačila Lynx Trail 15 km, Salomon Golden Trail National Series Wolf Trail 30 km and I Feel Slovenia Bear Trail 60 km. The youngest runnerswere able to take part in the Yaskawa children’s run of 400 m.
After the run, visitors and runners enjoyed the beer festival and other festival events by Lake Kočevsko. In the evening, the group ViaEntropia warmed up the visitors, and was followed by the Styrian punk band Alo!Stari as the highlight of the evening.
Although it was only the 2nd edition of the trail running event, it was organized by an experienced team, which also organizes trail running events Julian Alps Trail Run by UTMB and Soča Outdoor Festival. The organizing team is very happy with the fact that they have managed to introduce the wild Kočevsko trails and nature closer to a larger number of people and prove that this part of Slovenia is also more than interesting for running in nature.
As co-organizers, locals from the Public Institute for Culture and Tourism Kočevje were also involved in the project, and with their local knowledge, were an indispensable member of the team.
Interesting stories from this year’s edition:
Running the 60 km route barefoot:
Ivi Hrastovec is considered one of the best Slovenian ultra trail runners, but this time he tackled the longest challenge barefoot. And he didn’t do badly by any means, because for most of the race he ran completely in the front among the best runners, who were wearing shoes. As he mentioned, the friendly forest and meadow ground in the Kočevsko forests is one of the more pleasant for barefoot runners.
Running 60 km at the age of 75
A special inspiration for all male and female runners can also be a couple who took part in the 60 km pairs race. Their story gets even more special, as we take a closer look at their age. He smiled through I Feel Slovenia Bear Trail 60 km at the age of 75 and she at the age of 67.
Uroš Kožar, Kočevsko Outdoor Festival hosted by I Feel Slovenia race director:
“This was another successful edition of Kočevsko Outdoor Festival hosted by I Feel Slovenia, which attracted numerous trail runners to Kočecje. The entire organizing team had a few rather tiring days, but all the effort is paid off when you see happy and satisfied faces of runners and other visitors at the finish line. We are very happy that we can organize a truly wild trail running experience for runners, which is certainly the most authentic and mysterious right in Kočevsko. We are very happy with this edition and are already looking forward to the next one.”