Slovakia – Bratislava

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Date : 16th October, 2019

Time : 49’ 50” (fastest time in central Europe and rare sub 50 minute run)

Number of runners (total to date) :  1 (6399)

Run map and details :

The train from Budapest to Bratislava costs 9 euros and takes just over 2 hours. There’s masses of leg room, you can move around at will and I had connectivity throughout the journey. You then arrive in the city centre, a few minutes from your hotel.

If I’d taken the plane I’d have had to get to the airport two (usually completely unnecessary) hours before the flight. And it would have cost I don’t know what for an unconnected space that I could hardly fit my legs into.

The flight would also have done damage to the environment before disgorging me at an airport nowhere near my final destination.

Please, world, build lots of (very) high speed train connections. So we can all go on enjoying the benefits of travel (especially poor countries that rely on tourism) without killing the planet.

As you’ll have gathered, I enjoyed travelling by train rather than flying. I also enjoyed my run in Bratislava.

I started at the Holy Trinity Column (why are all my selfies so appalling?)

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in the historic centre before making my way down to the banks of the Danube so blau.

I then ran west past the castle

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and along the Danube for 2.5 km before turning around and heading back past my start point and the historic centre as far as the Eurovea shopping centre.

Turning round again I finished the run in the historic centre, past Ganymede’s Fountain through the main square

to the Schone Naci Statue where lots of tourists were taking photos. Some of those tourists were good enough to take a photo of my now traditional plank – before joining in the plank.

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There’s a nice story behind the statue. Schöner Náci was the son of a shoemaker and grandson of a famous clown and was inspired by the latter’s example to bring happiness to the streets of the city. He walked around the Old Town in top hat and tails, greeting women with the words, “I kiss your hand” in GermanHungarian and Slovak.

Plank over, I then ran the last two kilometres around the old town before finishing at St. Michael’s Gate.

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Bratislava’s old town is pedestrianised which, combined with the pathway along the Danube, makes it a great place for a city run. You should try it – but make sure to travel there by train!

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 :

Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter because it would be great to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!

Facts & Stats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Slovakia’s territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi) and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5.6 million and consists mostly of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, and the second-largest city is Košice. The official language is Slovak.

In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe. The area was recovered largely thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who also settled Germans who became an important ethnic group in the area. World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia (1918–1939). A separate (First) Slovak Republic (1939–1945) existed during World War II as a totalitarianclero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. After a coup in 1948 Czechoslovakia became a totalitarian one-party socialist state under a communist administration, during which the country was part of the Soviet led Eastern Bloc. Attempts to liberalize communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, which was crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.

Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy with a very high Human Development Index, a very high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil libertiespress freedominternet freedomdemocratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of a market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health carefree education and one of the longest paid parental leaves in the OECD. The country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is also a member of the Schengen Area. As part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the euro. Slovakia is the world’s largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,090,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2018 aloneand the 6th largest car producer in the European Union, representing 43% of Slovakia’s total industrial output.

 World Bank Data

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

GDP $106.5 bn 2018 $29.1 bn 2000
Population 5.4 m 2018 5.4 m 2000
Primary school enrolment* 99% 2017 101% 2000
CO2 Emissions** 5.7 2014 6.7 2000
% below poverty line*** 12.6% 2013 13.3% 2004
Life expectancy at birth 77.2 yrs 2017 73.1 yrs 2000
GNI per capita $18 330 2018 $5 500 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 Slovakia performed in the global sporting arena in 2018:

Global Cup – 35th

Per Capita Cup – 18th

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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