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Peace Education

Marathon Runners Welcomed in Russian Senate

Russia-2019-06-26-Marathon Runners Welcomed in Russian Senate

Moscow, Russia—After 14 days and 1,350 kilometers, the 2019 Peace Road Marathon ended with a celebration at Victory Park and a reception in the Russian Senate.

The marathon runners, who ran under the theme “I Choose Sports. Children Against Drugs,” finished their two-week-long run on June 26, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking.

The President’s Fund of Russia offered support during the marathon by providing minibuses that traveled with the runners, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs supplied a police escort along the whole route.

The 50 marathoners had started on June 12—the national holiday Russia Day—from Kilometer Zero next to Moscow’s Red Square. They covered 1,350 kilometers (nearly 840 miles) in 14 days, passing through the Moscow, Ryazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Ivanovo and Vladimir regions.

UPF-Russia has been a co-organizer of this annual marathon for more than 10 years. The main organizer is Sergey Suprunyuk, the head of the “I Choose Sports” super-marathon NGO and a UPF Ambassador for Peace. Dmitry Samko, the secretary general of UPF-Moscow, personally ran with the marathoners.

The marathon drew a lot of media attention. Federal and local television stations broadcast about 20 news reports, and newspapers printed about 20 articles. Dmitry Samko gave interviews to the police news and the Moscow Region news.

The marathoners were welcomed by officials in big cities and small towns as well as by officials of police departments.

The marathon ended at Victory Park (which commemorates World War II) at Moscow’s Poklonnaya Hill with a great celebration. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and different groups of dancers helped in organizing it. A demonstration of police dogs in action, exhibitions of guns, antique cars and police motorcycles, and performances by special troops made this celebration very attractive to many people – about 700 anti-drug activists and officials participated.

The marathoners then were invited to a special reception at the Russian Senate. The senator who heads the Protocol Committee chaired the meeting and told us, “This is the first time that young people are meeting here. Next time, the full Senate will be on board for your project.” She thanked Sergey Suprunyuk for organizing such a great event, and also she thanked UPF and introduced the presentation given by Konstantin Krylov, the vice president of UPF for the Eastern Europe region. She and a police representative presented 50 medals to the young participants. Three senators participated in the meeting. The Federal Channel and Moscow TV made interviews. Moscow radio also reported on the marathon’s finish.

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