Run 179 : Hungary – Budapest

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Date : 15th October, 2019

Time : 54’ 25”

Number of runners (total to date) :  1 (6398)

Run map and details :

When we’re discussing potential running routes around the world with local runners, it’s clear that many, if not most of them, prefer to run in the countryside or in a park. And for good reason. Nice views, cleaner air, no traffic, no pedestrians in the way, no stopping at red lights. The arguments are compelling.

And yet I must admit I do love a good city run. I love the variety and the excitement of discovering a city. To the extent that I often think I should become a city running guide when I finish Run the World. Ideally I’d do this around major sporting events when I show visiting fans something of the city in question and get them out of the bars and onto their feet.

But that’s the future. The present was Budapest where you can do a very fine city run – of just about any length – along the banks of the mighty Danube.

I started at the Szent Gellert Metro station at the foot of the Citadella (an old Hapsburg fortress). A quick stop for another one of my award winning panoramas (of the Danube even though I refer to it as the Buda in my voice over…)

followed by another quick stop to take a picture of the chapel at the Geller Hill cave

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and then I was off running north along the west bank of the Danube. Past the Szechenyi chain bridge before another photo stop for the Hungarian Parliament.

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And if that seems like a lot of photo stops then I can only say that it is a particularly scenic route. And that I was far from the only person taking advantage of the photo opportunities!

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I turned east on Margit /Margaret bridge for a spectacular view of Budapest at night expertly captured on the following not remotely jerky video..

before detouring off onto Margaret Island where, at almost exactly the 5 km mark, I came across the delightful Musical Fountain.

Having crossed over the bridge I started running south along the east bank when I spotted a statue of a man on a bridge. It seemed like as good a place as any for my traditional one minute plank (photo at the top of the blog).

Thank you to the somewhat surprised bystanders who heard my story and took the picture for me.

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What I didn’t realise at the time was the significance of the statue. Turns out that it was a statue of Imre Nagy, the man who became Hungary’s reformist Prime Minster during the 1956 uprising against Soviet / hard line Communist control. When Soviet troops subsequently invaded Hungary he was arrested (along with thousands of others), charged with treason and eventually executed.

The statue had originally stood in Kossuth Square next to the Hungarian parliament.

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However, it was recently moved north to Jaszai Mari Square where I came across it. (Critics say that this was as a result of the growing relationship between Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.)

From there I continued south with views back over the Danube to the Fisherman’s Bastion

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and the Citadella (not my photo as you may be able to tell)

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before finally finishing near Szabadsag Bridge.

And, yes, occasionally I had to wait at a light, or for pedestrians, and I certainly wasn’t going to set a PB. But that’s city life and it was still a brilliant run!

If you’d like to help fight cancer then I and, far more importantly, cancer sufferers around the world, would be immensely grateful for any donations to Cancer Research :

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Facts & Stats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. Hungary’s capital and largest city is Budapest.

By the 12th century, Hungary became a regional power, reaching its cultural and political height in the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Hungary was partially occupied by the Ottoman Empire (1541–1699). It came under Habsburg rule at the turn of the 18th century, and later joined Austria to form the Austro–Hungarian Empire, a major European power.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War I, and the subsequent Treaty of Trianon established Hungary’s current borders, resulting in the loss of 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of ethnic Hungarians. Following the tumultuous interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a socialist republic spanning four decades (1949[–1989[). The country gained widespread international attention as a result of its 1956 revolution and the seminal opening of its previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. On 23 October 1989, Hungary became a democratic parliamentary republic.

Hungary is an OECD high-income economyand has the world’s 58th largest economy by PPP. It ranks 45th on the Human Development Index, owing in large part to its social security systemuniversal health care, and tuition-free secondary education. Hungary’s rich cultural history includes significant contributions to the artsmusicliteraturesportsscience and technology. It is the 13th most popular tourist destination in Europe, attracting 15.8 million international tourists in 2017.

Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and has been part of the Schengen Area since 2007.

 World Bank Data

Here’s the latest World Bank data for Hungary – with the year 2000 as a comparison.

GDP $155.7 bn 2018 $47.3 bn 2000
Population 9.8 m 2018 10.2 m 2000
Primary school enrolment* 101% 2017 101% 2000
CO2 Emissions** 4.27 2014 5.47 2000
% below poverty line*** 14.9% 2014 13.5% 2004
Life expectancy at birth 76.1 yrs 2017 71.2 yrs 2000
GNI per capita $14 590 2018 $4 670 2000

*Percentage can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over and under aged students

** Metric tons per capita

***The World Bank notes that the methodology can vary between countries and over time within a given country. (While much of the World Bank data generally follows understandable trends, this number often oscillates wildly suggesting that different methodologies are frequently used over time within a given country.)

Greatest Sporting Nation Data

Finally, here’s the data from Greatest Sporting Nation on how Hungary performed in the global sporting arena in 2018:

Global Cup – 25th

Per Capita Cup – 17th

The Global Cup aggregates results from over 1000 events across 80 sports to produce the definitive annual ranking of international sporting success. The Per Capita Cup uses the same data to produce an annual per capita ranking.


About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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