2300 Milky Way 'Stars' ran to help mothers and babies

UNICEF Croatia humanitarian race raised more than HRK 700.000 for improvement of conditions in national maternity wards

09 September 2019
Trkaci na utrci Mljecna Staza

ZAGREB, 09 September 2019 – Around 2300 adult runners and children, with the support of more than 100 volunteers, ran yesterday at UNICEF's Croatia humanitarian race Milky Way Run to ensure the best possible start in life for all newborn girls and boys in Croatia. UNICEF raised more than HRK 700.000 from registration fees and donations by citizens and companies – the amount to be invested in procurement of the priority equipment for all national maternity wards and further education of health professionals.

This year’s edition of Milky Way Run is the part of the initiative with which UNICEF Office for Croatia and the Ministry of Health wish to support the improvement of conditions in maternity wards by procurement of equipment such as wireless CTG devices to monitor the fetal heart rate and biliblankets, portable phototherapy device for the treatment of neonatal jaundice and Side-Car bassinets for mothers who gave birth by C-section.

The program of the Milky Way Run, held under auspices of the Ministry of Health and the City of Zagreb, was officially hosted by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Bojana Gregoric Vejzovic and Mirna Medakovic Stepinac and the race ambassador Nevena Rendeli Vejzovic. Music ‘warm-up’ session was reserved for Croatian duo Meritas. The official start of the third consecutive UNICEF Milky Way Run was marked by Regina M. Castillo, Representative of UNICEF Office for Croatia, most successful Croatian tennis player Marin Cilic, marathon runner Matea Matosevic Hacic and Milan Bandic, the Mayor of the City of Zagreb.

Traditionally popular children's races were held in the morning at King Tomislav Square. More than 400 girls and boys between the age of 5 and 12 ran to help the youngest. Ombudsperson for Children, Helenca Pirnat Dragicevic, presented the awards to the fastest runners.

Record of 54 corporative teams took part in this year’s edition of the race, most edition successful so far, sponsors ands partners- stars of the race are Kaufland, Vindija, Zagreb Holding, Algebra, Intersport, Pampers, Tele 2, Studena, HDS ZAMP and BINA Istra.

“The Milky Way Run is a truly special event, as it gathers people who wish and can help children. Everybody can participate in it and everyone is a winner, even before the race starts. Ever year the number of ‘Milky Way Stars’ is bigger the interest is ever greater. It was really special to see entire families and children running with strollers to help newborn babies. I would like to thank all participants, volunteers, our Childhood Guardians, partners, Ministry of Health, the City of Zagreb the citizens of Zagreb for helping us in making this huge step forward to ensuring the best possible care for mothers and babies in all maternity wards in Croatia”, said Regina M. Castillo, Representative of UNICEF Office for Croatia.

Top 3 runners at 5-kilometre race:


1. Ana Štefulj (AK Sljeme)

2. Helena Gleđa (AK Dubrovnik)

3. Ana Murat (AK Sljeme)


1. Blaž Car-Pavlic (AK Kvarner)

2. Ante Živković (AK Dubrovnik)

3. Kristijan Sigur (AK Sisak)

Top 3 runners at 10-kilometre race:


1. Ana Janjušić (Trčaona)

2. Marija Vrajić (AK Maksimir)

3. Veronika Jurišić (AK Sljeme)


1. Goran Grdenić (AK Kvarner)

2. Danijel Peček (Zagreb Runners / AK Dubrovnik)

3. Ivan Maletić (AK Maksimir)

The overall standings are available at www.utrka.com.

Media contacts

Morana Tuškan
Communication Associate


UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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