HEVIZIBIVALY Duathlon 2021: a unique sport event was held for the first time in Hévíz

We organised the HEVIZIBIVALY Duathlon for the first time this year. Here's what happened on 27 November!

HEVIZIBIVALY Duathlon 2021: a unique sport event was held for the first time in Hévíz

The competition was organised by the Hévíz Tourism Non-profit Ltd., the Balaton Uplands National Park, the Saint Andrew Rheumatological Hospital, the Vadlán Runners and the Vidra Water cruise team. More than 30 additional volunteers took part in the event.

A special competition

The goal of the organizers was to create a new sport competition that is also unique nationwide. They not only paired two completely different sports (rowing and running) as a duathlon but they have also chosen a very special venue. The Hévíz stream leads away the warm running water of Lake Hévíz, so despite the winter weather, you can row on a pleasantly warm, steaming stream.

The date of the competition was also predetermined by the conditions of the location, as rowing on the Hévíz stream is only possible from November to March. As the stream belongs to the local national park, canoeing is strictly forbidden outside the given period since it would disturb the flora and fauna especially in the breeding season in summer. So it is no coincidence that the late autumn date has been chosen.

The aim of the organizer, the Hévíz Tourism Non-profit Ltd. was also to draw attention to the importance of exercise, active recreation in nature and a healthy lifestyle. They wanted to prove that Hévíz is not only a paradise for lovers of healing and wellness, but it can also offer many values ​​and opportunities for athletes at any time of the year.

The competition itself

83 starting teams, a total of 146 competitors arrived at the water-gate of the Hévíz stream to get into the water by canoe, kayak or SUP, and to make their way to Fenékpuszta which is about 10 kilometres away. Participants were able to bring their own watercrafts but those who didn’t have their own were also able to rent a canoe on the spot. After completing the 10-kilometre water distance, the participants were able to leave the boats at the transfer point and change their water vehicle for running shoes. After this their task was to run back on the same route on the embankment next to the Hévíz stream to finally reach the finish line at the beach of Lake Hévíz.

The race has started on November 27 at 9 am, when the first canoe on the Hévíz stream in the direction of Fenékpuszta set off. The participants started the competition periodically, a new canoe set sail in almost every second minute. The last runner arrived back at the Hévíz Lake Bath beach area at 3 pm. All participants received the HEVIZIBIVALY Duathlon medal.


Pre-registration for the competition was open until November 19th. In the morning of November 27, 83 competitors finally set out to complete the approximately 21-kilometer distance, including rowing and then running. All together 48 two or three-member teams and 35 individual participants (28 men, 7 women) set off. We welcomed ultra-runners, kayakers and amateur athletes among the competitors. No one gave up the race, all starters covered the distance without accident, so in the end all 146 competitors received the HEVIZIBIVALY medals.



  1. BL Team (#49) with a time of 2:10:04.
  2. Tamás Kolb and Judit Maléth (#54) with a time result of 2:15:28.
  3. Tamás Horváth and Gábor Major (#8), with a time result of 2:15:42.


  1. Éva Berekalli (#79) with a time result of 2:16:35.
  2. Helga Szidónia Kőhalmi (#71) with a time result of 2:18:23.
  3. Anita Galliné Szabó (#68) with a time result of 2:26:27.


  1. Álmos Kassai (#84) with a time result of 1:42:16.
  2. József Friedrich (#89) with a time result of 1:52:58.
  3. Zoltán Csécsei (#92) with a time result of 1:55:42.

A special award was given to the fastest SUP competitor Kornél Kazai.

The success of the competition and the sincere enthusiasm of the competitors confirmed the organizers to organise the HEVIZIBIVALY Duathlon competition again and again every year during the winter, if they can. We want more and more people to prove that they do have the buffalo power too!

We truly hope that every participant has enjoyed the race! See you next year as well!

And lastly…


Why the competition is called ‘HEVIZIBIVALY’

'HEVIZIBIVALY' means 'buffalo from Hévíz' in Hungarian. Barely 50 years ago, water buffaloes were trampled along the bed of the Hévíz stream several times a year. The buffalos were driven here from the area to walk up and down in the creek bed. As the bed of the stream was always full of plants, the buffalos trampling down the plants ensured that the water flowed continuously and evenly in the direction of Lake Balaton. Buffaloes still live in several places in the area today, but they no longer have the task of cleaning the creek bed.


This year our competitors have proven that they have the power of a buffalo. But do you have what it takes? Come and join us next year!


Some photos from the event: