Held in conjunction with International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Belarus Athletics Federation (BFLA) organised a special race - the Beauty Run - in the heart of Minsk in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
In total, 2000 women from 35 cities and eight countries took to the streets of Minsk to draw attention to an important message - the problem of domestic violence.
“For the first time, UNFPA in Belarus is cooperating with the Belarus Athletics Federation. We have joined our efforts to organise this race with a very important social message – the fight against domestic violence. One in three in the world suffers from this problem; we have to stop this,” said the British ambassador Fiona Gibb, who was on-site for the Beauty Run which has a one-star certification rating from European Athletics Running for All.
The race was staged for the second year in a row and the organisers were pleased the event attracted twice as many participants this year. Former European indoor and outdoor hurdles champion Alina Talay and reigning world 800m champion Marina Arzamasova were some of the famous faces to support the event and wish the participants good luck.
Thanks to the authorities of the Minsk City Executive Committee, this year’s race started right in the centre on Independence Avenue, one of the most famous boulevards in the capital city. The race was also indicative of the BFLA’s support for grassroots athletics as well as social causes.
“The event was a success, and I think that those women who plunged into this atmosphere for the first time, will stay in the sport. We doubled our entries this year - many women took part for the second time today - and it says that sport is becoming more and more popular in the country,” said BFLA president Vadim Devyatovskiy.
“And this is the social responsibility of the Belarus Athletic Federation. It’s becoming easier to get support, showing these results, because our partners are investing in this social component for which we are very grateful.”
Participants could choose between the 2km and 5km events and each finisher received a medal and a rose. Viktoriya Kushnir won the 2km in 6:46 while Anastasiya Ivanova won the 5km in 16:26.
The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong recognisable brand for running activities throughout Europe.
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