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St. Petersburg-Vilnius Super-Marathon Run Celebrates International Day of Peace

As part of UPF-Eurasia's Baltic Dialogue project, a group of long-distance runners set out from St. Petersburg Sept. 20, 2014 in a super-marathon relay run for peace, commemorating the UN International Day of Peace 2014. They arrived in Vilnius, Latvia, on Sept. 28.

St. Petersburg, Russia

As a prologue to the Baltic Dialogue Super-marathon for Peace within the "Baltic dialogue" project, trees were planted in St. Petersburg on Sept. 19. The marathon participants from different regions of Russia and Belarus took part in the "Plant a Tree" campaign. With their personal funds, they purchased larch trees and planted them in Central Kirov Park on Yelagin Island.

Local residents who frequently visit the park joined in the activity, having learned about the event from the media reports. Personal certificates were handed to those who planted the trees, and the organizers shared about the upcoming Super-marathon for Peace. This was followed by a musical concert organized at the initiative of UPF.

On Sept. 20, on the eve of the UN International Day of Peace, and on the birthday of Edward Yakovlev, at 10:00 am, 15 runners set out from the Palace Square. The oldest runner was Viktor I. Krasnoshchekov, 79 years old and an Ambassador for Peace; this was not his first international peacemaking marathon. The youngest was Anya Suprunyuk, only six years old. This was her second marathon this year, in June, as part of the children's project "Children against Drugs - I Choose Sports!" she ran 17 kilometers.

Participants in the super-marathon were accompanied by traffic police ran along the main streets of the city, including the Nevsky Prospekt.

Gatchina, Russia

In the evening, the marathoners entered Gatchina. There they celebrated the UN International Day of Peace together with a large group of young Kingissepp athletes and administration of the Kingisepsky district. Representatives of public organizations also attended the celebration.

Narva, Estonia

On September 22, the world marathon went on in Estonia. In Narva, the leaders and members of the sports club «Motus» warmly welcomed the marathoners. After the meeting, the UPF initiated a round table, where they outlined plans for joint participation in future projects with Estonian friends.

Tallinn, Estonia

On Sept. 23, the runners arrived in the capital of Estonia, Tallinn. City leaders supported the idea of the race and took part in it. A meeting was held in the administration of one of the largest districts of Tallinn, Lasnamaae. Vice Mayor Michael Kylvart welcomed participants in the marathon. He emphasized that the Super-marathon for Peace, as well as sports and cultural relations between people of different countries, help promote peace and friendship and are the mission of grassroots diplomacy. Symbolically, the meeting with the vice mayor took place on the eve of a trip by city officials to St. Petersburg for an event there dedicated to the Days of Tallinn.

Riga, Latvia

The Baltic Dialogue Super-Marathon for Peace arrived in the capital of Latvia, Riga, on Sept. 26. Representatives of the City Hall of Riga warmly welcomed the runners and offered them a fascinating sightseeing tour around the city. It was so interesting that four and a half hours flew by quickly.

On the following day, UPF-Latvia held a roundtable discussion of ways to expand friendly contacts and carry out joint peacemaking projects. The meeting ended with a “bridge of peace” ceremony, an opportunity for participants to make new friends.

The famous Lithuanian marathoner Aidas Ardziyauskas arrived in Riga from Lithuania to support the team. In 2013, Aidas made a solo run around the Baltic Sea, and shortly before the Baltic Dialogue Super-marathon he completed a solo marathon of 5,000 kilometers across North America. The experienced marathoner’s help was very timely, because after two days running in the pouring rain, the spirits of the team members needed a boost.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Ambassadors for Peace and friends received the marathon runners in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, on Sept. 28. In the central area of the city, near the Town Hall, the marathoners were welcomed by representatives of the city administration and local athletes. People on both sides exchanged views on the prospects of joint projects.

The total distance of the Baltic Dialogue Super-Marathon for Peace was 1,001 kilometers.

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