is an amateur sporting competition, a race of traditional, autochthonous vessels of the Neretva river valley called ladjas.
It is held once a year, on the second Saturday of August, along the route 22.500 meters long. Over 400 rowers take part in the rowing race down the Neretva river and its branches, racing from Metković to Ploče.
Over the years, the Ladja Marathon has become the largest maritime sporting event in this part of Europe and it attracts growing number of rovers and spectators every year.
The perpetual big bronze Duke Domagoj shield weighs 37 kilograms and its author is Nikola Vučković-Nidžo.
The shield is awarded to the Marathon winner.
The Ladja Marathon is one of the biggest events in Croatia, along with being a tourist spectacle and attraction. Over fifty thousand spectators follows it along the entire stretch of the route. Its most impressive and most attractive moment is definitely the start in the town of Metković, when around 400 rowers in 33 ladjas (of same specifications) in tight formation launch their vessels towards the distant finish line in Ploče to the powerful rhythm of the drums. Although the finish is far away and the route is tedious, all the teams start off as though the goal line is but a 100 meters away and keep the rhythm through the entire race.
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