Since the first edition of this marathon took place in 1996, between the cities of Paris and Brussels, this annual event, organized by WONUC employees, has been held in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Germany, Russia (on two occasions), Sweden, Bulgaria, Lithuania and, in the last three years, outside Europe: Cuba, Japan and Brazil (ending in the three capital cities). One of its stages also passed through Vienna, with the delivery of a petition to the headquarters of the IAEA.

One of the primary objectives of this event is to defend the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes. This and other messages are included in the petitions that are read out at the rallies and delivered to or distributed to the main authorities in each country en route.

The early editions were designed to make the petition known via a continuous, non-competitive race (on average between 200 and 300), with participants divided into several groups. The average distance covered was around 350 Km and, since all participants took part in the first and last stages, it involved a route of approximately 50 Km for each one of them. In later editions, it only took place during the day in order to have the best security conditions and to create the greatest possible media impact.

The 15th edition will take in Spain, in September. It will begin with a rally at the Garoña nuclear power plant at 9 o’clock on 17 September. At 10 o’clock in the morning, the most physically fit workers will start what has been called the Octomarathon: two hours of running in the morning and another two in the afternoon. This will bring them close to Madrid. Closer to the Spanish capital other groups of workers will set off on routes on the 22 and the 23 September, completing a distance of three and two marathons, respectively.

On 24 September, the Nuclear Marathon will begin for the rest of the participants, including all those from the twenty countries who are expected to join in. They will all take part in a rally at the Garoña plant at 11 o’clock in the morning, to support the power plant’s continuous operation, and at 12 noon they will run one stage of the marathon. During the afternoon they will run another stage through the city of Burgos, capital of the province where the Garoña plant is located. They will finish by reading a petition in support of the plant and by delivering it to the authorities. 

On the last day, 25 September, all the participants, including the ones who went ahead to cover a distance of several marathons, will meet on the outskirts of Madrid, from where the last non-competitive stage will take off en masse. Along its route, they will stop for a rally in front of the Ministry of Industry and end up near the national Congress, where the last and most important rally will be held and where a petition of support will be read and passed on to various Spanish authorities.
Other associated activities will include:

  • Three seminars related to the use and applications of nuclear power for peaceful purposes

  • A competitive stage during the afternoon of the 25 September, in Madrid, which is considered to be like a World Championship race for the nuclear sector.

  • The 7th edition of the nuclear sector’s Indoor Football World Championship.

  • An event in honor of the marathon athletes.

We would like to encourage all of you to take part in this event, either as runners in the different stages of the marathon or as supporters at the different rallies. You can register via the website at:

Álvaro Díez (General Coordinator)


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