For a sixth consecutive year, Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko was the starting point for the annual Pirin Run mountain running and biking competition, which took place in Bansko on 26 June 2016. The event was organised by the Municipality of Bansko, the Bulgarian Athletics Federation and the Marathon Association. It was supported by the general sponsor, Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko, as well as Suunto, the Sport Box chain of sports shops, Salomon, Great Wall Motors, SupraVit, Perskindol, and ski.bg.
The event’s programme began on Saturday 25 June at 19:00 with a registration and briefing session at Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko. After the briefing, all teams, competitors, organisers and media representatives enjoyed a welcome cocktail snack at the hotel’s Bella Vista Bar & Lounge.
On 26 June at 10:00, by tradition, the race began from Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko as a starting point. This year, the competition featured three disciplines – mountain running with a length of 13 km, mountain biking of 26km, and a duathlon of 29 km. The total number of participants was 108, including 69 runners and 39 bikers, among which 9 duathletes.
The finishing line for the bikers was in front of Vihren Hut, 1,950 m above sea level. The runners finished at the Vihren Peak, which is 2,914 m above sea level, a height that represents a difference of 1,919 m between the start and the finish. Vihren Peak is the second highest peak in Bulgaria and the third highest on the Balkan Peninsula.
This year again Shaban Mustafa took first place among the male runners, and Antonia Grigorova was first among the females. In the biking discipline, Dimitar Mihaylov and Iveta Aleksieva were the winners in the male and female categories respectively. Dimitar Mihaylov also took the prize in the duathlon.
The award ceremony took place at 14:00 on 26 June in front of Vihren Hut. General Manager Carsten Seubert personally awarded the winners with weekend vouchers for Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko and wished all participants success in all their future sport and life endeavours. For the first time this year, the ceremony was concluded with a surprise raffle for all racers. Two lucky winners, Vladimir Gyumov and Atanas Petrov, were drawn again by Mr Seubert to receive an additional two weekend stays at the luxury five-star hotel.