Another 14 days separate us from the largest outdoor festival in Herzegovina – Ljubuški Outdoor Festival, and on that occasion we spoke with Josip Ramljak, secretary of BK Ljubuški.
The Ljubuški Outdoor Festival as a whole is a set of sports and recreational activities that will connect and revitalize the scattered cultural, historical and natural heritage along the competition routes.
Paragliding competition, racing, cycling and trail trails are connected by the river Trebižat, which in addition to its hydrological potential also inherits two natural pearls: the Kravica and Koćuša waterfalls. The route also connects national cultural monuments, the Roman military camp in Gračine and the fortress of Herceg Stjepan Kosača, which represent a special treasure of this festival. The festival will promote sports and a healthy lifestyle in a natural environment through a series of lectures. Also, all associations engaged in outdoor sports and recreational activities will have the opportunity to present their activities during the festival at the Kravica waterfall. This innovative and unique event in BiH will certainly be a significant incentive for the development and promotion of active destination tourism in the Ljubuski region, but also in other areas in the region for the development of similar activities.
Can you tell us how the idea of organizing an event of this type came about?
LJOF or full name Ljubuški outdoor festival was created as an idea of a group of enthusiasts and lovers of outdoor activities, namely good cooperation and socializing of runners, cyclists, paragliders and the city administration of Ljubuški resulted in something that should become a recognizable brand in the region and further enrich tourist offer of the town of Ljubuški.
What will LJOF offer visitors in its premiere edition?
In its premiere edition, LJOF will offer several racing races, two bicycle races, a competition in precision landing (paragliding), hiking to the nearby peak Vrlosinj, a landscape photography workshop, a speleo workshop and a sport climbing school.
Registration fee for participation in the competitive part of the program is 20.00 KM, while the workshops are free for all participants. By paying the registration fee until 15.05.2021. all competitors will be provided with a starter pack containing an official LJOF T-shirt, a finisher’s medal and a sponsor’s gift package.
The first LJOF will be held from May 28 to 30, 2021, and the three days of the festival represent the unity of sports, healthy living, entertainment, positive spirit and awareness of nature conservation. This eco-project is intended for all lovers of good time, competitions and outdoor activities.
Can you tell us a bit more about the festival program itself?
The festival begins on Friday, May 28, 2021 at 17:00 with the official opening. The opening will be followed by expert lectures on active tourism. Also on the same day, next to the Kravica waterfall, “stands” of various associations engaged in sports and recreational activities in nature will be set up.
Saturday 05/29/2021 official competitions start, and on that day runners and paragliders are on the program. Running fans will try a couple of distances, and have a choice of Half Marathon “Two Waterfalls”, a 10-kilometer race called “SKUNASTICUS” which starts from the military camp Gračine, a children’s race called “KIDS RUN” 1 kilometer long where all these races they have a common finish, and these are the Kravica waterfalls. As we mentioned earlier, an attractive competition in precision landing “KOSAČA” organized by Paragliding Club Ljubuški will be held on the same day, and all pilots will take off from the airfield near the tower of Herceg Stjepan, while the goal will be to land as close as possible to the center in Ljubuško polje. .
Sunday 30.05.2021. is reserved for cycling enthusiasts, and that is the main reason for our conversation today. We have two trails ready, one for those a little more prepared under the name XCM Stipe, 41 kilometers long, and XCM Mara, 21 kilometers long, for those who want to enjoy the beautiful landscape without getting very tired.
Tell us a little more about Marie and Stipe. Why Stipe and Mara? 🙂
And it’s a special story, we were sitting at a club meeting where we were thinking about how to separate the trails for those more prepared and those who enjoy a light ride – recreational riders. Following a few names and event names of other clubs in the region, we noticed that they all mostly have some unique names.
Stipe and Mara are names associated with this area, ancient, sounding names and there is no hamlet or place that does not have one Mara or one Stipe. As a real man, Stipe was a little more determined and he is a stronger marathon, so his race is even harder. While Mara on the other hand is polite, gentler, nice and she drives a lighter race and that is essentially that kind of story we revolved around. That is how Stioe and Mara were born.
As I mentioned above, the XCM Stipe is a race designed for the slightly more prepared, but again not too demanding so everyone should be able to drive it within the 3:00 hour time limit.
The race is 41 kilometers long with a total altitude difference of 710 meters. The start is at the Koćuša waterfalls, and along the entire route we pass by the natural and cultural sights of Ljubuški with the goal at the beautiful Kravica waterfalls.
XCM Stipe is a race that scores points for the BiH Premier League, so we can already see from the reports that the cream of the MTB scene in BiH is coming to Ljubuški. Karić, but as I have already said, many interesting names are coming and we can already see that the XCM Stipe will be a very interesting race.
The XCM Mara is reserved for children and amateurs who want to drive a shorter and much less strenuous race.
This race is also scored for the Premier League in BiH, but in the categories of younger cadets and cadets, as well as amateurs aged 12-16. The others who take part in the race drive recreationally, but their time will be measured and the official result will be published on the Ljof website.
As we learned from the previous question, you already have a lot of applicants. Can you tell us what number it is and how many participants in total you expect in Ljubuški during the festival?
So far, we have registered a total of 540 competitors in all disciplines. 120 competitors have registered for the bicycle races and we expect that we have mentioned a good and attractive race before and we hope that everyone will enjoy from the first to the last kilometer of the track.
Do you have a message to end the conversation?
Here, in front of the Ljubuški Cycling Club, we invite everyone who is still thinking about visiting Ljubuški and its surroundings to do so on the last weekend in May, more precisely from May 28 to 30, 2021, visits to Kravica Waterfalls and Ljubuški Outdoor Festival. Of course, it is not obligatory, but it is great if they decide to participate in one of the workshops or try one of the competitive disciplines. We can certainly guarantee good fun and enjoyment of the natural and cultural beauties of Ljubuški and Herzegovina.
Public company Parkovi Ljubuški d.o.o. and associations: Cycling Club Ljubuški, Paragliding Club Ljubuški, Croatian Athletic Club Ljubuški, GSS station Ljubuški and Photo Club Focus are the organizers and holders of the event Ljubuški Outdoor Festival with the support of the City of Ljubuški and the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism BiH.