Tatra Fest - from dawn till dusk
Passion, adventure and getting involved in the heart of the Tatra Mountains.
races / discover
In the heart of the Tatra Mountains, TATRA FEST takes place – a festival of mountain running where passion, adventure and joint activities meet. This is where we will find technically demanding ultra competition routes with some of the most beautiful landscapes. All this in a space based on partnership, connecting the worlds of amateur athletes and professional athletes.
The main event of the festival is Tatra Fest Bieg. A 65-kilometer race along Tatra trails leading through the most beautiful Tatra valleys and the highest peaks of the Western Tatras. This is a true skyrunning race with the route largely above 2,000 m above sea level. The longest ascent and descent have approximately 1,100 m of elevation. The route runs along exposed mountain trails and in the most difficult parts, railing ropes will be available. Almost 100% of the route runs within the TPN area, 82% of the route runs along the ridge and leads to the ridge, 13% of the route leads to Górny Regiel, and 5% of the route runs in the valleys.
The run has a time limit of 16 hours for the entire route. The start takes place at 5 a.m. and the finish line is open until 9 p.m. This is important for the safety of the competitors. Time limits on individual sections of the route are also strict to ensure safety in the event of bad weather or other atmospheric factors. The challenge on the route is to ensure proper hydration and provide the body with the necessary ingredients. Regeneration points are available along the route and are located in the valleys. Additionally, over 70 volunteers will ensure the safety of participants on the route and in the finish area. This is not a run for everyone. Tatra Fest Bieg is a challenge that requires extensive running knowledge and experience. The runners are usually people with extensive experience in long-distance running who know how to properly prepare and take care of themselves on the route. The reward for participating in the competition is the opportunity to admire the beauty of the Tatra Mountains from dawn to dusk.
During the Festival, there will also be a second, unique race – Tatra Race Run. – This is a tribute to the first Poles who in 1925, shocking the local community, decided to run a 25-kilometer, difficult route. This event – the Tatra Mountain Walk – caused a lot of controversy at that time. People asked questions why to do this. Tatra Race Run is almost 90 percent recreates the original route of the Tatra Mountains Trail from almost 100 years ago. At the same time, the modern route is an edition of the WMRA Mountain Running World Cup – competitors have six and a half hours to cover this distance.
In addition to sports emotions, Tatra Fest is also an opportunity to meet people who value contact with nature and a healthy lifestyle. The competition is attended not only by experienced mountain running participants, but also by their families and friends. Tatra Cross is for them, a 10 km run for everyone.
Running in the heart of the Tatra National Park.
Press release after the 2023 edition.
Last weekend, in the heart of the Tatra Mountains, TATRA FEST took place – a celebration of the most demanding mountain runs, as well as meetings with sports for the youngest. During the event, almost 600 people took part in three runs (TATRA FEST BIEG, i.e. Polish Skyrunning Ultra Championship 2023 – 65 kilometers, TATRA RACE RUN – 25 kilometers and TATRA CROSS – 10 kilometers). The three runs had a total of almost 7,000 meters of elevation gain.
Tomasz Skupień triumphed in this year’s edition of the Tatra Fest Run, covering 65 kilometers through the Tatra Mountains in an impressive time of 8 hours and 29 minutes. Karol Matyssek took second place, reaching the finish line after 8 hours and 35 minutes. Third place went to Przemysław Sobczyk, who needed 8 hours and 37 minutes to complete the route. Among women, the fastest was Agnieszka Tatarek-Konik with a result of 10 hours and 42 minutes. Right behind her, Iwona Kik crossed the finish line with a time of 10 hours and 48 minutes. Joanna Piątek was last on the podium with a time of 11 hours and 12 minutes. These are great achievements of the players who faced a demanding challenge and proved their strength and endurance in the mountainous terrain of the Tatra Mountains.
The entire tour was enjoyable. The 60 kilometers were good, but the last 5 kilometers were the hardest for me. The weather was good for running because it wasn’t hot, but there were some technical problems because it was a bit slippery due to the rain. In general, however, it was a very nice run, like every other run in the Tatra Mountains – said Tomasz Skupień, Polish Skyrunning 2023 Champion, at the finish line.
We create a space based on partnership. We connect the worlds of amateur and professional athletes, but we also open the Zakopane community and guests from all over Poland to values that are important to us: children’s education in the context of physical culture, sport and an approach to nature based on harmony and balance – says Karolina Wierzbińska, co-organizer Tatra Fest. Hundreds of children and adults took part in the accompanying events. In Zakopane, Tatra Fest Kids featured, among others, the legends of Polish Himalayan mountaineering – Piotr Pustelnik, Krzysztof Wielicki and Ryszard Pawłowski, who read fragments of their favorite childhood books to the youngest as part of the “Fairy Tales Have Power” campaign.
Photography: Jan Nyka