The Halfmarathon Running Trail
Total Distance: 23.2 km Elevation Gain: +1110 m APs: 2 PCs: 6 Start time: 9.30 am
Time limit: Crucea Crencii – 4h, Șesu Cald (Finiș): 7h
What’s new in this year’s Apuseni Marathon trail running courses? They entirely cross areas as hikers like them: more quiet and closer to nature.
No more climbing on Buscat at the beginning, but don’t get lazy, it won’t get any easier!
A new section is introduced to both the marathon and halfmarathon races, which goes around the Boului Mountain, crossing from the Tisa Valley to the Boului Valley. Why they call the latter as such, it remains for you to discover during the race. While you will be on the ascent, let your imagination run wild!
What could we not miss ? Obviously, the final ascent of the Pietrele Mărunte, and for marathoners, the circuit in the Scarița-Belioara nature reserve.
As in previous editions, the route of the Half-Marathon is common with the 1st and 4th sections of the Marathon, linked by a “strap”, of around 2 km between the PC points above Știolne and PC Bocșești.
The route starts in the opposite direction on the forest road (military road) towards Muntele Mare, but immediately turns left, descending towards Valea Vadului. It’s a fairly steep trail, which in previous years cross runners climbed to the finish.
After about 4.4km downhill you reach the first checkpoint, PC Valea Vadului. This takes you onto a section of the route from previous years, the place where cross country runners now turn right.
PA1 Valea Vadului is not far away, at km6. Get here quickly, we estimate that within 10 minutes you all pass. But put a bookmark in your mind from the start, from here to PA2 Crucea Crencii there are 11.3km. To stay or not to stay? Because it’s going to get crowded. Yes, the portion that follows is downhill and speedy, but it’s also quite a long climb up the Boului Valley. That’s right… the water will be with you for a long time.
From PA1 you turn right across the water and then follow a road that climbs through pasture obliquely to the left into the ridge on the Boinic Hill. Then descend on the opposite side on a path that passes through the Zăpodie/La Zăpozi huts, turn slightly left to go around the marshy area and cross the Tisei Valley. You reach the Tisa Valley CP.
From here comes the new section, with the Boului Mountain encirclement, no longer passing directly to the Știolne huts. Follow the Tisa stream downhill and at km10.8, where it flows into the stream with a worthy name, leave the Tisa and climb towards the PC above Știolne, at km14.3. The PC Tisa-Boului valley will take care to guide you. So you’re almost halfway, and it’s also the furthest point, but the hard work is just beginning.
At the PC above Știolne the marathoners turn left towards the reserve, but we descend to the Știolne huts and then run forward-right for another 1.2 km, on the natural curves line, to the PC Bocșești huts. We are at km 16.2 of the half-marathon race where we will meet again the route of the Marathon race.
We will then cross about three marshy springs and reach a few more huts and a gater: PA2 Crucea Crencii, km17,3. Another 4km of hard climbing to the Pietrele Mărunte, it can take you an hour to get to the top.
Turn left uphill to the Stăuina Runcanilor clearing, turn left into the forest, soon right again along a forest lane. You come out into a mountain hollow full of junipers through which the path leads you to PC Pietrele Mărunte, km 21.2. You have about 2 km to the finish.
Go downhill, smoothly to the right, pass a wooden hut, reach the “military road” (Colţul Rotund) and on the right, in a smooth descent, you reach the Finish. If the descent path from the Pietrele Mărunte CP doesn’t allow much overtaking, being narrow, winding and rocky, the last kilometre – the military road – is a sprint.
You have run or re-run one of the most beautiful mountain running trails, which took you through places where you felt “wandering through the past” and where you ran “in a mountain beat”!
We look forward to seeing you, year after year, with the love we have for all people who love and practice outdoor activities and who respect the cleanliness and tranquillity of the mountain!
Written by: Dinu and Marlene MITITEANU