In an interview for the newspaper Večer, published on 26th June 2015, Lojze Fajdiga explained that he, as an enthusiastic recreational cyclist, took part in the 1978 cycling marathon from Kokrica near Kranj to Dražgoše, where the cyclists visited a memorial to the victims of World War II. This is where he came up with the idea of organising a similar marathon in Maribor. In order to realise the idea as soon as possible, he gathered some co-workers and friends and they soon began with the preparations for the first marathon, hoping it would attract many recreational cyclists.
The first cycling marathon around Pohorje was 150 kilometres long and took place on 24th June 1979, making it the oldest recreational event in Slovenia. Approximately 1400 cyclists from all over Slovenia took part in it. Each participant has received a special commemorative medal, designed by the Slovenian academic sculptor Slavko Tihec. Over the years, the interest in recreational cycling grew and in 1982 a record number (2654) of cyclists took part in the marathon. The interest was partly generated by numerous cycling sections, organised in many companies.