One of the world's most gruelling swimming races is won by German Olympic medallist Thomas Lurz on the island of Hvar in Croatia.
With Croatia's premier island at the height of peak season, the main focus of attention is on the beaches and night life which helped to elevate Hvar to Lonely Planet's number five destination for 2012, but there is plenty of tradition and sporting action taking place as well, with the 37th Faros Marathon taking place on August 25, 2012.
The marathon, a 16 kilometre swim from the oldest town in Croatia, Stari Grad, to the tip of the Kabal peninsula and back, is acknowledged as one of the world's toughest swimming races, and attracts a quality international field each year, including Olympic medallist Thomas Lurz, as previously reported on Digital Journal.
Stari Grad is the oldest town in Croatia and the Faros Marathon is an important part of its cultural tradition.
Indeed it was Lurz who crossed the finishing line first, posting an impressive time of 3 hours, 12 minutes, and 07 seconds, followed by fellow countryman Christian Reichert and Russian Vladimir Dyatchin, while another German, 2011 Faros Marathon winner Andrea Maurer, won the ladies' marathon.
Tomas Lurz emerges triumphant from the Adriatic after winning the 37th Faros Marathon
The annual swimathon attracts an impressive international crowd, which included competitors from 17 countries this year, with entrants as far away as Argentina, Brazil and Australia, with a diverse range in age. The grand old dame of the race is Irene Van der Laan from the Netherlands, who was born in 1960 and is competing for the 19th consecutive year, several years old than Daniel Citar and Duje Milan from Croatia, who were born in 1997.
Today's marathon is not the only one occurring on the island, which is better known for its sunshine, nature and celebrity draw, and the second Hvar Half Marathon will start this evening in Stari Grad, another event with a large international field, and won last year by a Hungarian.
Angela Maurer, 2011 winner, also triumphed in the 2012 Women's Faros Marathon.
While sport figures large on the event calendar on Hvar today, the main event will be taking place in neighbouring Jelsa, where the annual Jelsa Wine Festival, complete with donkey rides and rope climbing for the ham will attract the largest crowd on what is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year on the island.