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The record-breaking Soča Outdoor Festival at the confluence of the Tolminka and Soča rivers

The ninth Soča Outdoor Festival ended in Tolmin, more precisely at the confluence of the refreshing Soča and Tolminka rivers. The total number of registered competitors stopped at 1,800, and together with companions and visitors, over 4,000 sports and nature lovers enjoyed the wonderful natural environment in the Soča valley.

Sport, fun, nature – this is how we would briefly describe the last Soča Outdoor Festival, which was hosted between July 1st and 3rd in an idyllic setting at the confluence of the Soča and Tolminka rivers. The competitors, who competed in the Continental 10km, Adidas Terrex 15km, BiteMe 25km and I Feel Slovenia 45km trail runs, in the MTB marathon, and in the sup competition on the Soča River, were awaited by ideal weather – even the high June temperatures calmed down over the weekend and remained below 30 degrees Celsius.

Participants from 15 different countries, almost half of them are foreigners

The share of foreign participants has grown by as much as 10 percent since 2019 so this year Slovenians were ‘only’ less than 60 percent. Even the local hosts, the municipality of Tolmin, and the destination Soča Valley accept the festival as part of a quality tourist offer, as visitors extend their visit to the wider area for more than just three days, as long as the festival lasts. The local accommodation availability was completely occupied during the festival, and the athletes, at least those who were not fighting for the highest places, also took the time to enjoy (and photograph) the wonderful views of the Soča valley, the Tolminka riverbed, and the surrounding mountains. Jan Klavora, director of the festival: “After two years, when we fought with many measures against the spread of covid, I am really happy that the festival took a breather as we all wanted. The team and I tried our best to make this an event tailored to everyone, primarily the competitors, but on the other hand, our beautiful nature and the locals, who are largely involved in the festival, are not harmed because of the festival.”

How to include care for nature in an event with 4,000 visitors

As every year, the organizers put great emphasis on caring for nature. Thus, T-shirts for all competitors were made from recycled material, participants were offered a camping site, group transportation by bus was organized, the use of public transportation, sharing transportation among participants was encouraged, and the option of a vegan meal was included in the diet. Jana Apih, event’s sustainability manager: “In cooperation with the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology from the University of Maribor, we assessed the environmental impact of the festival and found that the largest share of CO2 emissions is caused by transportation to the event. Food represents a smaller part, but we are still happy that we were able to increase the share of the vegan meal to 40 percent. By choosing vegan pasta compared to pasta with meat sauce, the carbon footprint is reduced by as much as 91 percent. Many other measures have already been introduced in previous years, such as pouring drinks into competitors’ own reusable glasses at refreshment points, separating waste, and saving water and electricity. We will find out how many kilograms of CO2 less the festival released compared to previous years, after a re-analysis, but I can already say that we are getting a lot of support from the participants in our efforts. The Soča Outdoor Festival is the first sports event that follows the guidelines for green events prepared by the Slovenian Tourism Organization. With this, we want to influence not only the participants but also the organizers of other events.”

What can we expect from the tenth edition in 2023?

The jubilee tenth Soča Outdoor Festival will be held in 2023. Can we expect anything special? According to Peter Dakskobler, the head of the competitive part of the festival, they will not change the basic concept, they will continue to pay attention to athletes and nature. However, they would like to include sports and start organizing active holidays, which would include guided tours around the area, various workshops, and education about sports and nature protection.

Results (unofficial)

I Feel Slovenia 45km – men (85 competitors)

  1. Petr Jiri / Czech Republic
  2. Matej Nidorfer / Slovenia
  3. Tadej Skitek / Slovenia
  4. Marko Abram / Slovenia
  5. Martin Štendler / Slovenia

I Feel Slovenia 45km – women (28 competitors)

  1. Zsofia Vincze / Hungary
  2. Marija Šekoranja / Slovenia
  3. Szilvia Lubics / Hungary
  4. Uroša Trobec / Slovenia
  5. Katja Pušnik / Slovenia

BiteMe 25km – men (204 competitors)

  1. Bojan Grbić / Croatia
  2. Nejc Uršič / Slovenia
  3. Uroš Kožar / Slovenia
  4. Aleš Žulovec / Slovenia
  5. Josip Toljan / Croatia

BiteMe 25km – women (123 competitors)

  1. Dominika Ahačič / Slovenia
  2. Katarina Pišotek / Slovenia
  3. Nadja Tratnik / Slovenia
  4. Jana Vovk / Slovenia
  5. Irena Smojver / Slovenia

Adidas Terrex 15km – men (254 competitors)

  1. Denis Štenkler / Slovenia
  2. Danijel Peček / Croatia
  3. Dino Grbić / Slovenia
  4. Matej Skerk / Italy
  5. Peter Kastelic / Slovenia

Adidas Terrex 15km – women (237 competitors)

  1. Katja Hočevar / Slovenia
  2. Tia Vončina / Slovenia
  3. Mojca Turčin / Slovenia
  4. Federica Qualizza / Italy
  5. Giulia Fineschi / Italy

Continental 10km – men (176 competitors)

  1. Filippo Pagavino / Italy
  2. Tomaž Oblak / Slovenia
  3. Jernej Perko / Slovenia
  4. Andrea Babici / Italy
  5. Benjamin Melink / Slovenia

Continental 10km – women (270 competitors)

  1. Ana Kopčavar / Slovenia
  2. Alja Marič / Slovenia
  3. Kristina Vanceta / Slovenia
  4. Anica Sitar / Croatia
  5. Davorina Šuligoj / Slovenia


MTB Maraton – men (166 competitors)

  1. Jaka Starman / Slovenia
  2. Coc Gabor / Italy
  3. Uroš Breški / Slovenia
  4. Peter Vesel / Slovenia
  5. Nejc Kurinčič / Slovenia


MTB Maraton – women (12 competitors)

  1. Andreja Mlinarič / Slovenia
  2. Federica Bazzocati / Italy
  3. Alessia de Monte / Italy
  4. Debora Foschia / Italy
  5. Barbara Biasizzo / Italy

MTB Maraton (e-kolesa) – men (15 competitors)

  1. Gregor Novak / Slovenia
  2. Goran Protega / Slovenia
  3. Marko Pervanja / Slovenia
  4. Marko Biondić / Croatia
  5. Siniša Hotko / Slovenia

MTB Maraton (e-kolesa) – women (2 competitors)

  1. Barbara Horvat / Croatia
  2. Urška Bernard / Slovenia

 

You can find complete results here.

Photo Gallery - Soča Outdoor Festival 2022

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