Already in its eight year, Maratonul Vinului is the first charity mountain bike race in Romania. This year MARVIN takes place on Saturday, 12th May 2018 in the town of Urlaţi, in Prahova county, among the rolling hills and vineyards that characterise the area. The race starts at 10.00 AM for the 4km kids race and at 11.00 AM for the 18km, 36km and 54km courses.
The XCO format race consists of multiple laps of an 18 km course. Besides the two competitive races, of 36km (2 laps) and 54km (3 laps), participants also have a third choice: a single lap of 18 km, without official timing and with no podium places, which is recommended for less experienced cyclists.
What’s more, this year young children will again have their own dedicated race: young children of up to 12 years of age will be able to race on an approx. 4 km track (1 lap) designed especially for them in the beautiful setting of Urlaţi’s Bellu Gardens; older children (13-18 years) will be allowed to race on the standard 18 km course.
As cycling is a sport to be enjoyed by all the family, as usual there will also be a separate, less demanding event of 10 km, which is free to enter and accessible to everyone: children, parents and grandparents.
Right from the outset, Maratonul Vinului has aimed to combine the promotion of cycling as a healthy and environmentally-friendly way of life with the idea of giving to charity in the form of donating any profits resulting from the event to local charities.
Part of the benefits obtained from Maratonul Vinului 2018 will be donated to the Bucuria Ajutorului Foundation in Urlați.
Established in 2012, the Bucuria Ajutorului Foundation works to encourage local children from poor families not to drop out of school early and to combat the problem of social exclusion by providing educational and psychological support to 25 children from the area.
Every day the children go to the centre, where they receive food, clothing and school materials and are helped to do their homework in the warm and friendly atmosphere created by the enthusiastic staff.
The Foundation’s day centre has its own vegetable garden, orchard, poultry and animals (including a pony that is much loved by the children).
In 2016, Maratonul Vinului made a donation to the Bucuria Ajutorului Foundation in Urlați of 1,100 euros, funds that went towards the building of a football pitch that was completed just before Easter this year. With our help and that of a number of other sponsors, Father Manuel was able to build, within the grounds of the Bucuria Ajutorului’s centre at no. 64 Valea Cângului St., Urlaţi, a 200-square metre football pitch for use by the children who visit the centre to enjoy their childhoods and get away from the worries and problems of life at home. Five years ago, these children were at risk of dropping out of school. Now, however, they come here of their own free will to do their homework, enjoy a meal and play at the centre. None of the facilities here – the canteen, the laundry, the football pitch and the other amenities, not to mention a daily meal for all of the children – would have been possible without the help of the people with big hearts that Father Manuel is seemingly able to attract like a magnet from all over. The latest improvements to the centre to have been made this year involved the paving with rubber tiles of the edge of the football pitch to ensure the safety of the children.
In 2015, Maratonul Vinului contributed 1,600 euros towards the acquisition of new equipment for the Bucuria Ajutorului canteen, which serves a daily meal to over 30 children from poor families in Urlati.
In 2014 Maratonul Vinului donated a solar water heating system worth 2,ooo euros. This new system provides the centre in Urlați with a free source of renewable energy. What’s more, it works during winter, too.
We also supported this charity in 2013, when we were able to help cover a part of the cost of installing a new roof at the foundation’s centre in Urlați. More about the Bucuria Ajutorului Foundation on their Facebook page.