With over 20,000 participants, the event firmly established itself as Hungary’s largest free-time sports gathering. Runners from 815 municipalities in Hungary and 93 countries joined in the festivities.
This event has been a longstanding tradition in the Hungarian sports calendar since 1984 and has a tradition of excellence. This year’s festival gained added significance as it aligned with the “Budapest 150” celebrations, marking the city’s 150th anniversary. Mayor Gergely Karácsony, the event’s chief patron, expressed his pride and delight in hosting the SPAR Budapest Marathon. He called it a “feast of running enthusiasts” where human physical performance met the gift of nature and creative talent.
The classic 42.2 km Budapest marathon route offers one of the world’s most beautiful urban marathon experiences. The route ran along the picturesque River Danube, passing by two UNESCO World Heritage sites and iconic landmarks. These include the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street, Andrássy Street, and the Opera House.
Entry figures nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels, with runners coming from many countries. Notable entries included 360 runners from Great Britain, 300 runners from France, and 250 runners from Italy. Neighboring countries such as Slovakia and Romania were well represented, while runners from Poland, Germany, Spain, and Ireland signed up. This year’s event drew participants from as far afield as Brazil, Japan, Canada, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe.
The first SPAR Supermarket opened in Hungary in 1992, following the acquisition by ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) of a majority stake in General Kereskedelmi Rt. SPAR Hungary is one of the country’s largest employers, with a network of company-owned and independently run stores operating nationwide.