With less than a month left to register for the Dubrovnik Half Marathon the Dubrovnik Times caught up with the race director Alen Boskovic. Last year was the first time that Dubrovnik has organised such an event and it was an overnight success. With runners from all five continents in the first race the race organisers, with Alen at the helm; have their work cut out to move a step further. With the crystal clear Adriatic Sea, the stunning historic architecture and the guaranteed sunshine runners in the second Dubrovnik Half Marathon will have plenty of things to keep their minds off their aching limbs. Boskovic has a sporting background, he was a professional water polo player and represented Croatia at the Olympics, but the move behind the scenes to organising has proved to be a whole new challenge, a new chapter in his life.
How was the idea of a half marathon in Dubrovnik first born?
The very beginnings of a half marathon in Dubrovnik are closely connected to Dubrovnik’s sister in California, Monterey. Fred Muir, the former Monterey City Manager, and Wally Kaster, the race director of the Big Sur Marathon in Monterey, gave the idea to make a similar event to the marathon in Monterey in around 2005. I took a few years for this idea to blossom, but in 2010 when the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahusic, was visiting Monterey the idea picked up more steam. We agreed that the team from Monterey would help with their “know how.” Unfortunately Kaster had some health problems at that time so he couldn’t travel frequently to Dubrovnik, so following their recommendations we teamed up with the Next Events production team, a team that promotes the Portland marathon.
How did you become involved with the marathon and eventually find yourself in the race director’s chair?
When the idea of the marathon was growing the members of the American board came to visit Dubrovnik in 2013 and wanted to get the Dubrovnik Running Club involved in the project, this was my first involvement. In my role as the General Secretary of the Dubrovnik Sport Association we were asked to provide support for the marathon. I was asked by Miho Katicic, the Dubrovnik councillor for education, sport and social welfare, to be part of the team and join in the event.
Read the whole interview here.