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Sports Programs

Running for Peace in Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg, Russia - A city amateur half-marathon on the theme “I choose life” took place in Yekaterinburg on May 27. It was organized and carried out by Young Ambassadors for Peace Ralif Galiyev, Tatyana Turchaninova, and Evgeny Skvortsov. There were 48 runners and about 80 participants.

The title of the event reflects the essence of its goals and objectives – promoting the culture of a healthy lifestyle, family values, and peacemaking.

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The runners were invited to choose among three distances: 21.097 km (half-marathon); 10.5 km, and 3.5 km. The start of each group was managed in such a way that all runners reached the finish line almost simultaneously. The rounds were non-competitive, and therefore the participants felt more as like-minded friends than rivals.  Among the participants were people of different ages, mostly between 20 and 40. The youngest were schoolchildren of 13 years old, and they did remarkably well on the distance of 3.5 km. Three runners were above 60.

In the half-marathon race, everybody was inspired by the guest of honor from St. Petersburg, chair of the International Super-Marathon Association Gennady Ivanovich  Valugin, initiator of a number of super-marathons, and an Ambassador for Peace. A native of Sverdlovsk (the district of which Yekaterinburg is the administrative center), he learned about the goals and objectives of the half-marathon and decided to come to Yekaterinburg to join the participants. After the race, Gennady Ivanovich addressed his co-runners stressing that the “youth of Yekaterinburg are very strong and worthy.”

Besides the culture of a healthy lifestyle, the goals of the sports event were to promote family values and peacemaking. Many participants came with their spouses, children, brothers and sisters, and friends.

Even visitors to the city took part. Among the runners was a young couple from Finland. On the last day of their stay in Yekaterinburg they decided to run the distance of 10.5 km. Also, a citizen of Wroclaw (Poland) joined the runners on this distance. He said that when he stepped out of the hotel and saw the runners he immediately decided to join in.

The amateur half-marathon showed that in spite of the individual character of running as a sport, it can wonderfully unite people. In the organizers' opinion, it is very important to create such events that anyone can participate in. Sports competitions in indoor stadiums are certainly important, but no less important are open expressions of commitment to such values as a healthy lifestyle and good relations between people.

After this half-marathon new possibilities for cooperation are opening up, and a number of sports events are planned with the slogan “Running unites people, cities, groups, and nations.”

For reports about more UPF sports programs, click here.

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