With History in the Background
The first Cracovia Marathon started on the 11th of May, 2002 from the Main Market. This recurrent street run from the beginning is organized under the slogan ?With History in the Background? (pl. ?Z historią w tle?) accompanying the event until the present day. Already the first edition of Cracovia Marathon on the start gathered over 900 participants who came to Krakow from various parts of Poland and the world.The idea to organize the marathon appeared in mid ‘90s, when, following the example of other Polish cities, the authorities of our city wanted to organize an event comprising running leading among the most beautiful coins of Krakow. This idea returned in 2000, with a group of institutions and individuals ready to support the organization of the run. A year later preparations for the first Krakow marathon under the auspices of the Mayor of Krakow started. Since 2009, the Sports Infrastructure Management Board of Krakow is responsible for the organization of the Cracovia Marathon.
The first route of the Cracovia Marathon led through the streets of the Old Town, Vistula Boulevards, around Błonie, and the finish line was located on the Main Market. Runners had to run along this route twice to achieve the marathon distance: 42 km and 195 metres.
In next editions not only the route changed, but also new competitions were introduced regularly, the value of prizes increased. Moreover, Cracovia Marathon attracted more and more participants from various parts of the world. At the third marathon, a new category of running competition was introduced for half-marathon distance which allowed the organizers to encourage less persistent runners to participate in the event.
The start of the fourth edition of Cracovia Marathon was located on Krakow's Błonie, where nearly twice as many runners were present as at the first edition. Additional novelty of this edition was demarcation of new route, leading through Nowa Huta. Media event of the 4th Cracovia Marathon was the inclusion in its programme the Marathon and Half-Marathon Members of Parliament World Cup. Members of Parliaments from 11 countries, various parts of the world, started shoulder to shoulder with the marathon's participants. The 4th Cracovia Marathon is remembered also for a tragic chapter in its history. Piotr Gładki, who, as the only Pole who was the first on the finish line at the Cracovia Marathon died tragically in a car accident two weeks after his triumph. To commemorate him, every year prior to the main run, Piotr Gładki Mini Marathon is organized at the distance of 4.2 km.
The 5th Cracovia Marathon also introduced organizational changes. The route was the same, but the marathon and half-marathon run were not joined anymore. However, the disabled participated together with runners on the marathon distance. An exceptional event was the first start of participants on roller blades; since then it is organized as an accompanying event in the framework of Cracovia Marathon.
Next Cracovia Marathon was organized as a two-day event. The first day was dedicated to attractions and accompanying events. Thanks to localization on Krakow's Błonie, the Cracovia Marathon city every year is transformed into an exceptionally attractive place not only for the participants, but also for their fans, thanks to competitions and events.
The seventh run gathered over 1800 participants from 30 countries; showing increasing interest in the event not only in Poland but also abroad. However, only the eighth edition of Cracovia Marathon brought the contemporary record concerning the number of participants: on the start line there were as much as 2211 runners.
The ninths edition of Cracovia Marathon was already organized under the supervision of Sports Infrastructure Management Board of Krakow and it took place between the 24th and 25th of April, 2005. The 9th Cracovia Marathon (CM) was an exceptionally good event - there were almost four thousand participants in total in all competitions! All participants of this two days long event were very satisfied and they appreciated the organization.
The jubilee, 10th edition of Cracovia Marathon was also prepared and conducted by the Sports Infrastructure Management Board of Krakow; it brought the best in its history records. Two months before the event the number of registered participants was over two thousand. At the end, on the start line of the main run there were almost 3400 runners. Piotr Gładki Mini Marathon and the roller blades marathon had record number of participants. The winners of the last edition of the marathon were Cosmas Keyva Mutuku from Kenya, who beat his life record (2:12:20) and Tatiana Gamera-Szmyrko from Ukraine (2:28:14). The 10th Cracovia Marathon which took place between the 16th and 17th April, 2011, was an exceptional event - both due to the jubilee, number of participants, but also due to a great number of attractions and the number of supporters who created fantastic atmosphere.