The Marathon Franja BTC City – the main cycling event in Slovenia – is a race that was first run in 1982, as organised by Rog, the famed bicycle manufacture and the name behind the Pony brand. The marathon got its name from a secret hospital from WW2 that the cyclists still ride by. It’s a hospital that was named after Dr Franja Bojc, and which took care of Partisans, members of the Allied forces, civilians and others who needed help during the fight against fascism.
Now, almost four decades later, the marathon has grown to a long weekend of activities for cyclists of all ages and abilities, with a festive atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.
The main event (Marathon Franja BTC City) takes riders along a 155km route, and this is joined by 97km race (Triglav Little Marathon Franja), as well as an 83km Barjanka event that takes riders through the beauty of Ljubljana’s swamp. In addition to these, and in keeping with the inclusive nature of the whole weekend, there’s a 22km event called the Hofer Family & School Marathon for Everybody, and finally a 1.2km race, the Vzajemna Kids Marathon, aimed at those aged from 3 to 7. More details of each race can be found on the website.
The route of the main race
All the races start and end in BTC City, the vast complex of shopping malls, food courts, offices and logistics centres just outside of Ljubljana, with the focal point being the road in front of Hall A. In addition to the start and finish lines, here you’ll find a cycling expo, making it a great destination for everyone who rides a bike, and not just those in the race
The fun starts Friday, 7 June (2019), and lasts all weekend. You can see the fees for each race here – the price is lower the earlier you apply – and the online application form is here, with applications for everything (apart from the time trials) open until the race itself.