The Belgrade Marathon saw its 37th edition this year. Held on 28th April, this (g)raceful event was the most successful round since its inception in 1988.  

The streets of Terazije, the boulevards of New Belgrade, and the Belgrade bridges were swarming with runners from 72 different countries. This international expo of perseverance, willpower, and endurance put our capital city high on the list of top sporting manifestations this year.  

BrightMarbles Group has been the technological partner of the Belgrade Marathon several years in a row.  

Hence, we bring an exclusive overview of this year’s festivities.  

The Most Massive Edition of the Belgrade Marathon 

According to the official press release, more than 13,000 runners registered for this year’s races. Compared to 10,500 participants in 2023, it’s a major increase (some scientists might call it a quantum leap). 

What’s more, 3000+ runners came from abroad, meaning that Belgrade hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions were visited by a significant number of participants and their team members. 

In the words of Darko Habuš, the General Manager at Belgrade Marathon: 

“Everything looked fantastic! We can say that we’re more than content with the event we’ve organized. I’d also like to thank the entire team behind the Belgrade Marathon. Those people have been working hard during the last 365 days to prepare this unique race. We also had a lot of spectators along the route, supporting our runners, and the stands by the finishing line were brimming with people.”  

Organizational Specifics 

The three main events on the 28th of April were the marathon race (42 km), the half-marathon (21 km), and the 10 km race.  

The additional events were the relay half-marathon race, organized in two categories: open category for the general public, and corporate category, where companies competed in teams of four, and Fun Run (2.4 km).  

For health and safety reasons, those three races started at different times. The marathon started at 8:00 am, the half-marathon runners were divided into several separate groups, starting one after another in the interval 9:30-9:45 am, and the 10 km race commenced at 11:00 am.  

The author of this article participated in the 10 km race, and I can say from my perspective that those delayed starts were a great idea. The running feel was comfortable and there wasn’t any dangerous congestion where athletes might trip over, fall, or get injured.  

Also, there were stands with water and medical assistance along the race, so everyone could grab a refreshment or ask for medical help/advice along the way.  

It’s important to note that the weather was sunny but hot and a bit sultry. Hence, all the professional marathon runners who broke their personal records, and all amateur, recreational enthusiasts who finished their races deserve cordial congratulations.  

BM Insight: As a company that passionately advocates inclusion, business and technological accessibility, and equal rights for all people, we’re honored to nurture a professional partnership with a company that pays special attention to these categories. There were numerous elderly citizens, people with disabilities, and other special categories of runners participating in various races this year. Our common goal is to advance our tech and organizational efforts to make the Belgrade Marathon even more accessible and inclusive.  

An Overview of Winners per Categories 

Let’s now check out the winners of marathon races this year.  

The Kenyan Emmah Cheruto Ndiwa and her compatriot Gilbert Chumba won the marathon races, with their respective times 2:31,31 and 2:11,48.  

Mohammed El Ghazouany from Morocco ran the 21km race with the time 1:05,25. The Kenyan athlete Valentina Jebet is the winner of the women’s half-marathon race with the time 1:15,11.  

Christos Brentas from Greece was the fastest male runner in the 10km race (32:04), and his female counterpart was Serbian Nevena Jovanović (37:24). 

Children’s Marathon Race 

The Children’s Race is another milestone of the entire BG Marathon manifestation. This year, it was held on 20th April in the beautiful surroundings of Belgrade Zoo. Children from dozens of Belgrade kindergartens took part in qualifiers weeks and months before the race.  

The first three participants from the final race and the slowest runner (colloquially named ‘Super Snail’) were also this year’s promoters of the Belgrade Marathon.  

In most previous years, Beogradski maraton d.o.o. – the legal entity behind the entire event – would partner with renowned track and field sportspeople and world record holders to promote the central event.  

The decision to engage kid runners in promotional activities is an interesting drive toward relying on the local community and supporting domestic talent.  

BrightMarbles and Belgrade Marathon’s Lap of Honor 

BrightMarbles is a software development company that cares about the community in which it lives and with which it thrives.  

So, being a Belgrade Marathon’s tech aide fits into our view of the world. In the beginning of our collaboration, we started developing the Belgrade Marathon mobile app and relative web app from scratch. Thanks to the effort of our developers, now you can register for the event through the web app, track the runners on the map during the race, check out the routes, and use other practical features. Each competition number came with a built-in tracking device, so that runners and/or their fans could follow their results and progress in real time. It took some niche-specific knowledge to enable this functionality, but our engineers have successfully integrated the tracking solution into the mobile and web app.  

We’ll keep improving the existing functionalities for the next year’s event while introducing some handy new options for an even better in-app experience.  

BGD Marathon Tech Platform by BrightMarbles

Apart from the app itself, we’ve built their entire technical platform, enabling both the Belgrade Marathon and its competitors to enjoy the benefits of having a full-fledged, digital experience and smooth customer journey.  

This project also helped us understand the technical side of sporting events. We can share from our work so far that such manifestations require substantial software logistics, from the registration procedure and visual appeal to cybersecurity features and mutual interconnectivity of different features. Together with the Belgrade Marathon management and tech crew, our engineers, designers, and back office pros have made things go smoother for people who used the app.  

As our CEO Boris Berat puts it in the interview he gave to Forbes Serbia:  

“The key is in the combination of innovative approach, technological knowledge, and continuous improvement. Each project is a unique story, and the main effort is in finding the perfect blend of these elements.” 

With all its diversity and tradition, and the bright future ahead, The Belgrade Marathon is an effort-worth event that we’ll keep supporting.  

In addition to various running events, we also had a chance to present our services and mingle at the Running Expo. Having gathered business and sports professionals in the period April 25-27 in Hall 5 of the Belgrade Fair, it was a special occasion for various stakeholders and regular visitors to learn more about the Belgrade Marathon itself and current affairs in the biz (&) sport world.

Held under the tagline “It’s time for running”, Running Expo 2024 raised the bar even higher in terms of the knowledge-sharing and networking we all experienced during those three days. We can only say we’re proud to have been long-term partners of the Belgrade Marathon and all its accompanying manifestations, looking forward to our joint actions in the following years.

Mibsters on the Run 

Before we draw the curtains on the BG Marathon 2024, we’d like to highlight our employees – our Mibsters who have successfully participated in the 37th Belgrade Marathon.  

The first is his running majesty Imre Čileg, who ran the whole 42km. So, he’s not only a brainiac developer and the master of office puzzles, but he’s a also a powerful runner. 

Our vCISO Branko Džakula ran the half-marathon race, having proven that he chases software bugs and personal records with equal zest.  

Brane Opačić – one of our propelling tech officers – also finished the half-marathon race with flying colors. As he’s both a software developer and a trainer, he embodied sports and engineering just perfectly.  

Darko Petrović is the third member of our half-marathon triumvirate. A pundit DevOps engineer, he weaved the scorching asphalt and hot air into a great result – another proof that DevOps keep things smooth and seamless in everything they do.  

Now we get to the 10km race crew: Filip Kecman, Marko Ignjatović, Mihailo Dimić, and Pavle Bobić are our running rookies. Based on their results this year, we’ll most probably see some of them conquering longer distances in 2025.  

The Final Round 

Most people in Serbia know where were when Novak Đoković won his first Wimbledon in 2011, or where they watched the final match at the 2002 World Basketball Championships. Sport is an important part of the local community. This interest in sporting events, combined with enhanced international promotion in the last couple of years and our techspertise, has helped the Belgrade Marathon survive the years of crisis. Now it’s the most prominent marathon race in the region and the largest regional sporting event in general.  

BrightMarbles will keep holding its back in everything technical, while sharing some practical organizational and logistical tips from our expertise. As we have several important values in common, we’ll continue building this unique business partnership in the future.  

Last, but not least, we expect even more competitors from our company hitting the streets of Belgrade in late April 2025.  

About Author

Pavle Bobic is a resident content marketing strategist and business writer at BrightMarbles Group Holding. A long-term holder of master’s degree in the English language and literature and once-teacher, he has been producing content in biztech, IT, fintech and eCommerce since 2013. His expertise drills deep into the correlations between information technology, business development, and financial technology, with a pinch of SEO on the top.