Sabac Swimming Marathon
The Peace Race
This race has an incredible and historical background going back to 1941. Unlike any other swim race in the world.
The marathon is held in memory of the "Bloody March" of 4500 Sabac residents, who ran a 22-kilometer-long run to the German camp in Jarak under the threat of death in September 1941. Anyone who stumbled on this road was killed. Many of the "running columns of death" survived thanks to the locals from the village of Jarak who gave them water and bread while risking their lives. As a sign of gratitude, at the entrance to this village the residents of Sabac raised a memorial to the fountain, which reads: "For love, for brotherhood, for water".
It all started almost by chance. In 1970, a group of young men from Sabac competed in swimming on the banks of the Sava river. This competition was noticed by students from Sabac Hometown Student Club. The very next year, in 1971 they organised a tournament.
As years passed by, the Marathon grew and gained in importance. Every year in August, the Sava river boiled under the swings of Yugoslav swimmers and swimmers from all around the world.
The route and distance has changed over since the start in 1970 and the number of participants has also increased from year to year.
In 1982, the traditional Jarak-Sabac marathon turned into a manifestation of friendship, the organizers decided to extend the route from the Srem village of Jarak to the Old Town beach in Sabac, and the route became 18.8 km.
Since then, the name of the marathon was renamed "The Peace Race" (memorial marathon) in memory of the "Bloody march". Even in the years of war from 1991 to 1994, the organizers continued to operate this incredible swim. The majority of participants were from Sabac and only a few were from other places.
But in 2004 the Swimming Marathon became part of FINA World Cup, and the world's best marathon swimmers came to participatge in the race.
The event expanded from just swimming to include many additional sports and cultural events.
In 2007, Sabac Marathon entered the calendar of Fina GRAND PRIX races. The Marathon and Sabac swims have become recognizable both in Serbia and beyond.
As the years have passed, and the attitudes, desires, needs and views of people changed. But one thing has always stayed a part of the "Jarak-Sabac" marathon: the wish and determination of the residents of Jarak and Sabac to rescue the memory of the tragic march and recognize the heroic work of the locals of Jarak and Sabac with this world class swimming marathon.