|Date||2nd weekend of October|
|Distance||Marathon, 30K, 10K, Marathon relay, 7K, fun run|
The Budapest Marathon is an annual marathon and sport event hosted by the city of Budapest, Hungary since 1961. It is normally held at the beginning of October or the end of September. Since 1984, Budapest Sport Iroda (BSI) has organised the event.
Like many sports, running in Hungary was limited to professional athletes only. With the growing popularity of marathons in other countries, in 1984 BSI decided to hold a "marathon for everyone", where amateur runners could participate too. The event would be held in spring. A half marathon and a shorter race for school children was also held alongside the event. This would continue until 1996, when the Budapest Half Marathon became an independent race.
The first edition of the marathon consisted of two loops, 21 km each. 625 men and 25 women from 18 countries reached the finish line. The results of the race can still be found on the marathon's official website. The official sponsor of the event was the IBUSZ travel agency, which remained for the next ten years.
In 1986 the Budapest Marathon became an AIMS member, the first one in Eastern Europe. The prize for winning the race was a trip to New York to participate in the New York City Marathon, provided the winner finishes under 2:18 (man) or 2:40 (woman).
In 1987, with full AIMS membership, the race attracted more international participants and the number of runners passed 1000. This was also the first time that every finisher received a medal.
The marathon was not held in 1994 and 1995 due to financial difficulties. In 1996, the marathon event was moved to autumn, while the half marathon remained in spring. The sponsor was changed to Kaiser's-Plus.
In 2009 Spar bought Plus, which meant the marathon's name was also changed to "Spar Budapest Marathon", which it remains. This year saw over 13,000 participants, with 2,388 running the full length. The number of people increased every year, so in 2016 there were over 28,000 participants, with 4,969 running the whole marathon.
The Budapest Marathon is managed by BSI, led by Árpád Kocsis. BSI is an acronym for "Budapest Sport Bureau". The organization always needs to delicately position itself to produce profit, while at the same time keep politicians happy. Almost every marathon has either the mayor or a minister as the "main patron" of the event. Budapest has a loud group of people that don't want the race to be held in the city center (due to the road closures that inevitably occur), which forces BSI always to be close to the party currently in power.
The course of the marathon changes every year, but the main routes usually remain. The race center is situated at the Városliget (City Park). The race starts in Hősök tere (Heroes' Square), and due to the large number of participants a "zoned start" is implemented, where each subsequent zone starts a little bit later. It takes more than 15 minutes for the runners from the last zone to cross the starting line.
The marathon passes through two UNESCO World Heritage sites. It also crosses the Danube several times. There are many music performers along the route. While there are usually crowds along the route, there are several "crowd support points" where large groups of people cheer. These points are well organized (usually near metro stations) so that people can go from one point to another quickly and find their friend or family member that is running.
Each year, the organizer prepares a video (available on Youtube) where you can see the entire track in 5 compressed minutes.
After the race is over, competitors can bathe their aching feet in the Széchenyi thermal bath (usually for free thought this can change).
Among men, the time of 2:15:04 time from 1984, set by Zoltán Kiss, is still a record. Among women, Simona Staicu has the best time ever, she was able to stand on the podium four times and in 2010 she completed the distance in 2:37:47.
Key: Course record Hungarian championship race
|Edition||Year||Men's winner||Time (h:m:s)||Women's winner||Time (h:m:s)|
|1st||1961||Sándor Molnár (HUN)||2:28:20.2||Not held|
|2nd||1962||József Sütő (HUN)||2:23:05.8|
|3rd||1963||Sándor Molnár (HUN)||2:28:21|
|4th||1964||Istvan Kun (HUN)||2:24:14|
|5th||1965||János Huszár (HUN)||2:19:55.8|
|6th||1966||Andor Bruder (HUN)||2:33:36|
|7th||1967||Denes Simon (HUN)||2:22:19|
|8th||1968||Janos Szerenyi (HUN)||2:26:13.2|
|9th||1969||Gyula Tóth (HUN)||2:26:51|
|10th||1970||Nikola Simeonov (BUL)||2:21:56.2|
|11th||1971||Gyula Toth (HUN)||2:21:46|
|12th||1972||Ferenc Szekeres (HUN)||2:22:38||Sarolta Monspart (HUN)||2:59:53.2|
|13th||1973||Jozsef Babinyecz (HUN)||2:17:45||?||?|
|14th||1974||Martin Schröder (GER)||2:15:13||?||?|
|15th||1975||Jürgen Eberding (GER)||2:15:36||?||?|
|16th||1976||Ryszard Kopijasz (POL)||2:16:21||Sarolta Monspart (HUN)||2:48:22.2|
|17th||1977||Jerzy Finster (POL)||2:15:41||Sarolta Monspart (HUN)||2:48:59|
|18th||1978||Ferenc Szekeres (HUN)||2:16:38.8||Ágnes Sipka (HUN)||3:02:21|
|20th||1980||János Szekeres (HUN)||2:14:25||?||?|
|21st||1981||Zoltán Kiss (HUN)||2:18:52||Liane Winter (GER)||2:51:22|
|22nd||1982||Zoltán Kiss (HUN)||2:15:32||Antonia Ladanyi (HUN)||2:38:29|
|23rd||1983||Antoni Niemczak (POL)||2:14:15||Ágnes Sipka (HUN)||2:44:33|
|24th||1984||Zoltán Kőszegi (HUN)||2:14:32||Karolina Szabó (HUN)||2:33:43|
|25th||1985||Sandor Szendrei (HUN)||2:13:11||Ilona Zsilak (HUN)||2:37:44|
|26th||1986||Peter Antal (HUN)||2:14:48||Ágnes Sipka (HUN)||2:28:51|
|27th||1987||Stephan Freigang (GER)||2:14:37||Birgit Stephan (GER)||2:32:20|
|28th||1988||Attila Sulyok (HUN)||2:17:59||Andri Avraam (CYP)||2:41:50|
|29th||1989||Klaus Goldammer (GER)||2:20:58||Andri Avraam (CYP)||2:41:55|
|30th||1990||?||?||Anna Kamkalova (RUS)||2:52:05|
|—||Not held from 1991 to 1995|
|31st||1996||Endre Laczfi (HUN)||2:19:50||Erika Csomor (HUN)||2:56:29|
|32nd||1997||Martón Lajtos (HUN)||2:22:02||Éva Petrik (HUN)||2:46:50|
|33rd||1998||Gergely Rezessy (HUN)||2:15:38||Judit Nagy (HUN)||2:40:09|
|34th||1999||Gergely Rezessy (HUN)||2:19:31||Erika Csomor (HUN)||2:44:39|
|35th||2000||Mykola Rudyk (UKR)||2:19:32||Erika Csomor (HUN)||2:41:57|
|36th||2001||Tolosa Gebre (ETH)||2:18:45||Judit Nagy (HUN)||2:39:04|
|37th||2002||Gergely Rezessy (HUN)||2:18:41||Ida Kovács (HUN)||2:38:18|
|38th||2003||László Nagy (HUN)||2:24:39||Judit Nagy (HUN)||2:41:56|
|39th||2004||Jackton Odhiambo (KEN)||2:24:17||Simona Staicu (HUN)||2:38:17|
|40th||2005||Jackton Odhiambo (KEN)||2:22:03||Katalin Farkas (HUN)||2:49:31|
|41st||2006||Tamás Tóth (HUN)||2:25:03||Judit Nagy (HUN)||2:59:49|
|42nd||2007||Tamás Tóth (HUN)||2:24:40||Judit Nagy (HUN)||2:47:10|
|43rd||2008||Gergely Rezessy (HUN)||2:24:21||Judit Nagy (HUN)||2:45:32|
|44th||2009||Moses Chepkwony (KEN)||2:25:18||Andrea Szederkényi-Takács (HUN)||2:44:34|
|45th||2010||Ashenafi Erkolo (ETH)||2:23:14||Simona Staicu (HUN)||2:37:50|
|46th||2011||Elisha Sawe (KEN)||2:25:58||Judit Nagy (HUN)||2:54:47|
|47th||2012||Gábor Józsa (HUN)||2:21:06||Tímea Merényi (HUN)||2:49:30|
|48th||2013||Gábor Józsa (HUN)||2:22:58||Simona Staicu (HUN)||2:42:26|
|49th||2014||Tamás Nagy (HUN)||2:27:15||Simona Staicu (HUN)||2:51:08|
|50th||2015||Dániel Soós (HUN)||2:25:21||Tímea Merényi (HUN)||2:45:11|
|51st||2016||Gábor Józsa (HUN)||2:22:39||Simona Staicu (HUN)||2:50:30|
|52nd||2017||Gábor Józsa (HUN)||2:20:22||Tünde Szabó (HUN)||2:42:49|
- List of winners
- Budapest Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians (2011-10-03). Retrieved on 2011-10-16.
- History of the marathon from the organizer's website (in Hungarian)