У пошуках рисі - "Risnjak Trail"

In search of lynx - "Risnjak Trail"

First acquaintance with mountain races I happened on “Goverla Race”, after which there was no opportunity to repeat this experience. But I have dreamed for a long time and wanted to do it again. I wanted to make my running adventures more diverse. The situation with covid limited our ability to implement these plans a little, but I did not give up and started looking mountain races in Croatia, where it was much easier to get to and where all the competitions still took place.

My attention among all races on mountainous terrain attracted an interesting trail series called “Kvarner Trails Series” and in particular “Risnjak Trail”, which has a relatively short distance of 30 kilometers with an elevation gain of 1733 meters and is one of the stages “Golden Trail National Series” Croatia. Participation in this running event gave me the opportunity, firstly, to take part in a mountain race abroad and, secondly, simultaneously with him in the "Golden Trail National Series". Therefore, I immediately decided to participate in this race.

Kvarner Trails Series

Therefore, participation in this running event gave me two interesting opportunities, to take part in a mountain race abroad and at the same time in “Golden Trail National Series”, so I didn't immediately think about running the "Risnjak Trail" or not, of course I did!


Registration for the competition “Risnjak Trail” was conducted on the official website of the running series "Kvarner Trails Series” – kvarnertrails.com. Everyone who wanted to leave their application here, choosing one of two distances: the main one of 30 kilometers (the distance participating in the "Golden Trail National Series") or an additional one of 17 kilometers. Also, during registration, it was necessary to pay the registration fee, which was about $30. In general, the amount depended on the time of registration (the earlier, the cheaper, the cost of early registration is 200 kuna, late - 250 kuna) and the chosen distance.

map risnjak trail

The route of the mountain race ran through the territory of the national park "Risnjak" and consisted of one circuit 30 kilometers long with an elevation gain of 1,733 meters. During the race, participants of the trail had to climb the highest peaks of the park, namely Mount Velikiy Rysnyak (1,528 meters) and Snezhnyk (1,506 meters). Athletes who ran the main distance of 30 kilometers had to carry special equipment, a whistle, isofoul, and water. There were 3 food stations on the course (at the mark of 12.3, 19 and 23 kilometers), where each of the participants could restore their strength.

набір висоти на дистанції 30 км.

The organizers set a time limit of 7 hours to cover the distance. In addition, trail distance was conventionally divided into 4 segments, each of which had a time for which the participants had to overcome them: the first segment (12.3 kilometers) – 2 hours and 30 minutes, the second segment (7 kilometers) – 2 hours, the third (4 kilometers) – 1 hour and the last fourth segment (7 kilometers) – 1 hour 30 minutes.


Immediately after registering for the "Risnjak Trail" mountain race, I started planning my own trip to Croatia. The nearest airports to the venue of the competition were the airports in the cities of Rijeka and Pula. And although the first one was closer, the flight there was more expensive. Also, the flights were only on Tuesdays, which was inconvenient. So, I chose Pula for myself, thus saving my money and nerves, because the flights took place on Thursday.


As for crossing the border, there were no surprises here. The Croatian side required a minimum of documents: a receipt for the full payment of the hotel where I was supposed to stay, a negative test for Covid-19, made no later than 72 hours before crossing the border and a printed confirmation of registration on the website entercroatia.mup.hr. There are two ways to get from the airport to the city of Pula: by taxi or by the "Pula Shuttle Bus". The cost of a taxi to the city center is approximately - 100 kuna, and by bus - 30 kuna. So I chose the latter.

Risnjak Trail

After arriving and checking into the hotel, I decided to take a walk and get to know the city. I really liked it, as it has a long history and many well-preserved architectural monuments (Ancient Roman Amphitheater, Forum, Arch of Triumph, Temple of Augustus, Town Hall, Church of St. Nicholas and Castel Fortress). The walk brought incredible pleasure. I drank coffee in the old town, admired the beauty of Pula's architecture, the sea, and the next day I went further, to the town of Delnice.

start Risnjak Trail

The distance between Delnice and Crniy Lug, which was the end point of my journey, is 12 kilometers. You can get to it from Delnice either by taxi or on foot. I chose the second option, which allowed me to walk and warm up a bit before the race, as well as see the beauty of the surrounding nature.

run trail

The organizers of the "Risnjak Trail" began to issue start packs a day before the start. So, when I got to Crny Lug, I went to the starting town on the same day to finally get my number. Saturday morning, the day of the start, started for me with a gathering running backpack, where I put the isofoil, whistle, jackets, buff and power bank. As for water, having experience “Kyiv Trail”, I knew that 1 liter of water for 30 kilometers of distance would not be enough for me. Therefore, I took 1.75 liters with me (2 bottles of 0.5 liters and one of 0.75 liters), which had been in the refrigerator for cooling since the evening.

run croatia

Having collected my things, I leisurely set off to the starting town, where the participants of the mountain race began to arrive in the morning. The usual atmosphere for such events prevailed here: some athletes received start packets, others did warm-up, the host talked about the features of the trail they would have to run on, the participants, from which countries they came, and about the sponsors of the race. In a word, everyone was waiting for the most important thing - the start, which was supposed to take place at 10 o'clock in the morning. it is worth noting that the start for the distance of 30 and 17 kilometers was joint.

sky running

So, at 10 o'clock the starting whistle blew and thus began my second and first overseas mountain race. The organizers of the trail race took the participants 2 hours and 30 minutes to cover the first 12 kilometers of the distance. On this stretch, the biggest climb to the top of Mount Velikiy Rysniak awaited us. It started about one kilometer after the start and lasted up to 8 kilometers. The height gain was 800 meters. If the beginning of the trail was on a wide road, then the ascent itself was on a narrow path, where the participants ran one after the other. It was almost impossible to pass someone on this part of the route, as there was a mountain on one side of the trail and a slope on the other.

mountain run

Near the top of Velikiy Rysniak, the route for different race distances diverged, and then the participants ran separately for 30 and 17 kilometers. After the participants climbed to the top of Velikiy Rysnyak, a 4-kilometer descent to a height of 1,100 meters awaited them. The first food point was located just at the end of this descent and before the ascent to Snezhnyk. On it, the participants could regain their strength a little, drink water or isotonics.

run Risnjak Trail

After the first food point, the second section of the trail, 7 kilometers long, was waiting for us, which the athletes had to overcome in 2 hours. The segment itself was somewhat similar to the previous one, where the first part was a climb (3 kilometers) to the top of Snezhnyk (1,506 meters with an elevation gain of 400 meters), and then a descent to 1,200 meters. At the end of the descent and before the third big climb, there was a second food station where, in addition to water, cola and isotonic drinks, you could taste various fresh fruits (banana, orange, watermelon), as well as cookies and cheese.

running Risnjak

The third section of the trail was 4 kilometers long. Athletes had to overcome it in 1 hour. On this stretch, it was necessary to climb to the top of Velikiy Rysniak again and descend from it towards the finish line. The third food point was located at a distance of 23 kilometers, where you could refuel with water, cola, isotonic drink, fruit and cookies.

run sky

The final section of the mountain race consisted of a 7-kilometer descent, of which the last 2 miles of the trail route were paved. As for me, I managed to cover the first section of the trail in 1 hour 50 minutes, the second one I spent 2 hours, and the third one in 1 hour. I crossed the finish line of the "Risnjak Trail" mountain race 5 hours and 50 minutes after the start. It was a good result, so I was pleased with myself. Separately, I would like to note that there were places hard to run without poles, if the climbs were more or less normal, there were some problems with the descents, especially if they were steep and rocky. And I also concluded that run a mountain trail in road shoes, a bad idea, especially after 21 kilometers, when the feet began to feel every pebble on the road.


Mountain race "Risnjak Trail" turned out to be quite interesting for me and left behind only positive impressions and memories. First of all, thanks mountain route (three pretty cool climbs), wonderful surrounding nature and good organization of the trail. Separately, I would like to say something about the territory of the "Risnjak" park. It is very clean and it was difficult to find any discarded garbage. Trail markings and the race route itself were passed marked tourist trail. Therefore, in addition to marking the route, there was also tourist marking to help the participants (appropriate markings on tree trunks and stones or a white-red circle). The organizers also used red and white tape and signs to determine the direction of the run, it was almost impossible to get lost.