MIKE’S ADRIATIC CHALLENGE
Only two months after finishing his biking challenge from Prague to Split, the founder of the Sport2life foundation Mike Saran decided to take on another sport challenge. This time his goal was to kayak and bike the whole Croatian Adriatic coast, from Savudrija to Prevlaka in 10 days, a route more than 750 kilometers. The challenge started on August 31st in front of Kempinski Hotel in Savudrija and ended on September 9th on Cape Oštro on Prevlaka.
The inspiration behind this challenge was twofold. Firstly, I wanted to challenge myself and with that, hopefully, inspire and challenge others to be active and push their own limits. I will hopefully inspire others to go out, to be active, to set goals and to realize they can achieve much more than they maybe think. Secondly, I wanted to explore and experience amazing parts of Croatia I had not yet seen, – said Mike.
The last training session took place only 2 days before the official start of the challenge. On a short part of the training route from Le Méridien Lav hotel in Podstrana to ACI Marina in Trogir the mayor of Split, Andro Krstulović Opara, joined Mike to show his support and to see the team off on their adventure.
During the whole expedition, Mike was accompanied by Croatian professional kayaker, Marko Kovač and Turkish adventurist Serdar Kılıç. The whole team kayaked for a total of 436 kilometers and biked for another 332 kilometers.
When you have an expedition like this it is a incredible physical and mental challenge just to finish this distance in only 10 days. But it wasn’t a race, and we wanted to make sure that we get to see places, meet people and experience the culture. I am happy we were able to achieve that. – Mike added.
Starting from Savudrija, the team visited the city of Rovinj, Brijuni National Park, biked from Fažana to Rabac as well as from Cres to Veli Lošinj, continued with kayaks to Dugi otok and Nature park Telaščica, down to the islands Žirje, Šolta, Brač, and Hvar where they biked and climbed Via Ferrata called Via Mirko.
It is really difficult to pinpoint the best part of this adventure. There were so many beautiful places that we saw. The best parts would be meeting people and learning about their traditions and culture. The kids greeting us in Veli Lošinj was especially uplifting. The support we received throughout our journey was unbelievable and I was excited to see that people were truly inspired. – revealed Mike.
The expedition continued on kayaks and bikes to and through the islands of Korčula, Mljet, Lopud and onwards to Dubrovnik where the team met with the official city and tourism board delegation. The last leg of the route was also the longest kayaking leg where the team continued on Cavtat and Molunat and to the final destination in Prevlaka, on Cape Oštro.
We had some long days, especially in the end. Korčula and Mljet were very long days. We started by kayaking at night from Mljet to Lopud, we had 1,5 meter waves in pitched dark. It was difficult, we couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if we capsized and ended up in the water. You must be prepared for those scenarios and we were. Dubrovnik was a really nice stop, I enjoyed it there and the welcome was very generous. However, the most difficult segment was definitely the last day, we had very little rest and had to paddle in the sun for the last 65 kilometers. My hands were kind of raw from all the blisters, but it didn’t matter. When you get to the end you are excited, and you are filled with so much positive energy – Mike continued.
The organization of the whole expedition was a huge undertaking. The entire journey was filmed, and we’ll be released as a documentary.
It’s not all about the kayaking and the biking. There is huge organization and logistics behind it. I very much appreciate all the support from our crew. First and foremost, our Foundation director, Boris Odak, who was involved in the planning and organized the whole route. And of course, the rest of our Sport2life team. Thank you also to our camera crew. We really wanted to capture and present the challenge to inspire others, but also we wanted to show them some of the natural beauties of Croatia. Learning about local customs and culture was a big part of this adventure, I am grateful I had to opportunity to learn about local cuisine and traditions, and to meet new and interesting people and to hear their stories. I am thankful to our team and I am thankful to the Croatian and to local Tourism Boards who welcomed us and supported us along the way. – Mike Saran concluded.
More pictures and videos can be seen on official Instagram accounts of Mike Saran @mikessaran and the Sport2life Foundation @sport2life_croatia @sport2life_czech @sport2life_turkey and on Facebook page of the Sport2life Foundation.
Special thanks to:
Grand hotel Lav d.o.o.
Croatian Tourism Board
Tourism Boards of Counties: Istarska, Primorsko-goranska, Zadarska, Šibensko-kninska, Splitsko-dalmatinska, Dubrovačko-neretvanska
Tourism Boards of Cities of: Umag, Rovinj, Rabac, Cres, Lošinj, Dugi otok, Šolta, Split, Hvar, Vela Luka, Korčula, Mljet, Dubrovnik, Cavtat
The City of Split
Nacional park Brijuni
Nacional park Kornati
Nacional park Mljet
Nature park Telaščica