Tartu Marathon sports events are getting more popular – almost 30 000 participants


Compared to last year, there were almost 3500 people more, who were skiing, cycling and running at Tartu Marathon events. Although the number of participants decreased during the coronavirus pandemic years, it can be seen that both children and adults have begun to participate in sports events more and more.

Tartu Marathon in 2022. Author: Hendrik Osula.

This year's Tartu Marathon sports year started on the ski tracks thanks to the beautiful winter. Before the Tartu Marathon, participants could put themselves to the test on the Open Track and Relay Marathon races. A week later, kids races took place and adults skied on the route between Otepää and Elva. In addition, people could participate virtually. Beautiful winter brought a lot of joy and there were a total of 5981 participants.


Charity event Heateo Jooks and Tartu Forest Marathon were waiting in the beginning of May. During the charity event, 473 people participated, and almost 7000 euros were collected in cooperation with Tartu University Hospital Children's Foundation to conduct therapy classes for children. This year, the forest marathon turned out to be very popular especially among children. There were almost 2500 of them in total and a little over 2000 adults. If we add up the numbers of people who participated virtually, we get 4516.


At the end of May, cyclists got together at Tartu Rattaralli. Almost 3500 children and adults pedaled at the main races, and more than 1100 bike lovers joined the virtual ride. A total of 4609 kids and adults took part in the road race.


Next on the schedule was the Tartu MTB Marathon, which started with kids races, followed by a bike ride from Otepää to Elva. 4561 riders took part in programmed events and 799 from virtual race, which makes the total amount 5360.


The beginning of October was dedicated to running events, and the Friday Night Run, with almost 1300 runners, made a beautiful introduction. Tartu Linnamaton put a nice end to the season, where more than 5600 runners came together with real and virtual participation.


According to Oliver Kivimäe, the project manager of the Tartu Marathon events, a good surprise this year was the large participation of children. "We are very happy that there were, for example, almost 3000 children at the Tartu City Marathon. Kids participation in other events is also on the rise, which is only positive, because according to different studies, children's movement habits are unfortunately quite bad, and hopefully we have the opportunity to change that," explains Kivimäe.


According to Indrek Kelk, the chief organizer of Tartu Marathon events, we can be satisfied with the season, but could always do better. "Unfortunately, the coronavirus years have changed people's movement habits, and not in a very positive way. It's nice to see that it's slowly changing, but the situation could definitely be better," says Kelk. He emphasizes that in the overall picture, the biggest role of sports events is to motivate people to exercise regularly. "This has also been shown by our participant surveys, that registering for sports events provides motivation to move consistently. We would like to change the way of thinking that you always have to do better and better results, because you don't. It is important to go and exercise in the fresh air and do it regularly," he notes.


The new season of Tartu Marathon will start with the Tartu Relay Marathon and Open Track races in February, followed by the 49th Tartu Marathon with kids races. It is also still possible to participate virtually in all five events.


You can already register for the 2023 Klassik series HERE.