Last year when Tamara and I were in Kobarid in Slovenia, we absolutely loved it there. We heard then about the Soča outdoor festival and thought how great it would be to go next year.
A few months ago Tamara thought of it again and we were excited about going to Soča again and started planning our trip. We got ecstatic when we found out that if we gather 10 people, we will get a group discount and they will print our logo on the official shirts of the race and that there is also a free camp site for tents. Although I didn’t believe that we will gather 10 people, Tamara proved me differently. I still don’t know how she managed to do that.
This was also the first time that whole Run Zagreb team was going together to the same race. Well, we can talk about “together”. Festival started on Friday and lasted till Sunday; everybody from our group said that they will come on Friday, but all of that changed when they saw the weather forecast for the weekend. Rain, rain and more lousy rain. In the end only three of us (Tamara, Pavle and I) decided to go on Friday and the rest of the group decided to come on Saturday morning directly to the race.
We arrived on Friday afternoon, collected our race numbers and T-shirts and set our tents. Btw, we were the first ones on the campsite so we could choose the best location (yeahhh babyyy). After little shopping, diner and beer on the shore of river Soča we went inside our tents. Although rain started immediately after we entered the tents and it was pissing down the whole night, our tents didn’t get wet inside. Woohoo!
In the morning it was a beautiful sunny day and the rest of our little group came.
I have just one question for them “Gdje ste bilo dok je grmilo?” or where were you while the thunders were roaring? It is a Croatian joke and you can’t translate it literally, Croats will get it.
Soča outdoor festival offers four trail courses 10, 15, 25 and 45 kilometers. I decided to go for the 25 K course and I didn’t regret it. The course was beautiful and very well marked with lots of refreshment points so there was no need for us to carry backpacks or bottles of water. We ran through forests, valleys, hills, along river Soča, through a part of Tolmin gorge and some parts were absolutely stunning.
Probably the best part for almost everybody is just before the finish line when you need to run through the Tolminka River. Although the river is not deep, the current is strong and the water is cold, so there was quite a lot of surprised faces in the end, like; “well I didn’t expect that.”
As I said I decided to run 25 K course, and after quite a shaky start (I just didn’t feel like running in the first third of the race) I managed to get my “motors running” and I found my pace. I didn’t go full throttle because I was filming a lot and that was ok, because I finally had a chance to enjoy in nature’s beauty. That’s why I love trail running!
While race was organized immaculately, the festival itself wasn’t so much. Although the program of the festival was quite rich, some of things could be much better. The tents with equipment and the organizers tent were packed and closed already a few hours after the race, so it felt a like a wasteland. Also some of the things that were also on the program we didn’t see or they could’ve been done better. What I’m trying to say it that we didn’t get that festival’s vibe we were expecting.
Great and very well organized trail race. Festival not so much but it isn’t anything that couldn’t be improved till next year. Would I recommend this festival to somebody? Yes I would.