Bence Balzam is an open water swimmer from Serbia who finished fifth at the 2013 Jarak-Šabac Marathon Swim, formally known as the Plivački maraton Jarak-Šabac ("Peace Race"), a professional 19 km marathon swimming competition that is held in the Sava River in Šabac, Serbia. He competed in the 10 km race at the 2017 FINA World Swimming Championships in Lake Balaton, Hungary.
History of the Jarak-Šabac Marathon Swim
The Jarak-Šabac Marathon Swim (Medunarodni Plivački Maraton) is a 19 km race in Serbia organized by Serbia's Vojislav Mijić. The race along the river Sava is the distance between village Jarak in Srem and city of Sabac at the beach “Stari grad”. A marathon run has been held in memory of 'the Blood march when 4,500 Šabac citizens in 1941 were forced under the threat of death to run 22K from Šabac to a German camp in Jarak. Anyone who couldn’t run was shot. Many prisoners survived thanks to people of the village Jarak which gave them water and bread. By helping they risked their own lives.
To show their gratitude, citizens of Šabac built a memorial drinking fountain at the entrance in the village with inscription: 'For love, for brotherhood, for water'. Milorad Rajsic was the pioneer of this race who worked long and hard to create an event that draws international competitors from around the world.
But this history of marathon swimming in Šabac started almost accidentally. A group of young men in 1970 raced each other along Sava’s banks. Their informal race was noticed by students from Homeland club of Šabac. The next year a formal competition was organized. One foreigner, Ate Sikes Frans from Holland, took part giving the marathon an international character. Years passed by and marathon gradually gained significance.
In 1982, the distance was set at 18.8 km. In 1987, the local tourist association started to organize the marathon. Then came the years of international sanctions and war, but the marathon continued to exist during 1991 to 1994 and continues to prosper to this day.
- The Tradition Continues At Plivački Maraton Jarak-Šabac
- Swimming To The Finish
- Jarak-Sabac Marathon Swim
- Open Water Swimming website
- 2011 Results
- A Short List of Marathon Swims
- FINA Pro Race In Serbia Cancelled
- The Incredible History Of The Peace Swim (Plivački maraton Jarak-Šabac)
- Marathon Swimming
- World Open Water Swimming Association