On Saturday, September 9, 2017, the long-awaited Focus Natura sports competitions took place. These were organized to make participants aware of the importance of conserving natural values in protected natural areas, promoting exercise (running in nature) and a healthy lifestyle for a wide segment of the population, with the involvement of the local community.
The competitions started at 9:30 – half marathon start and from 15:30 – Cross Country XC start, in Biliești, Ciușlea, Rădulești having the start and finish at the entrance to the Merișor Forest Nature Reserve – Cotul Zătuanului from Biliești). The routes overlapped with the thematic path entitled „The Secret World of Merișor Forest and Black Forest” and connected the 2 protected natural areas (Merișor Forest Natural Reserve – Cotul Zătuanului and Pădurea Neagră Natural Reserve).
The half marathon was attended by 15 competitors, the winners being:
• 1st place – Bălan Daniel
• 2nd place – Dumitru Robert
• 3rd place – Morărescu Paul
And at Cross Country XC there were 25 participants, with winners on:
• 1st place – Dumitru Robert – competitor who participated in both competitions
• 2nd place – Balcu Marian
• 3rd place – Baclea Lucian Adrian
The two competitions have mobilized a large number of volunteers, 23 people (mostly high school students), full of enthusiasm, who was happy to help a good organization of the event.
Being at the first organization of such events in protected natural areas, we were pleasantly surprised to see how well they were received by participants and volunteers. We want to turn Focus Natura competitions into an annual tradition, and we are already making plans for next year. At each competition we will try to promote another protected natural area.
The events were organized by ACDB in partnership with the Vrancea Environmental Protection Agency, with the support of the Partnership Foundation and MOL Romania, within the Focus Natura project: Merișor Forest – Cotul Zătuanului and Lunca Siretului.