Record numbers participated in the ninth edition of the Wizz Air Kyiv City Marathon on Sunday, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All.
Across all events, 11,607 runners from 50 countries took part across the programme with 1626 runners tackling the full marathon distance in the Ukrainian capital.
General manager of event organisers Run Ukraine Dmytro Chernitskyi was delighted with the turnout in one of the most prestigious running events in Eastern Europe.
“Today, we are all united by running,” he said. “Today, more than 11,500 people came to the starting line, 4000 people arrived in Kyiv to run through our city. Each participant of this marathon has a unique story. I am glad that every year more and more people share these values."
The Kyiv City Marathon is one of seven road races in the Run Ukraine Running League and the series has had a palpable impact in promoting health and fitness in the country. Run Ukraine has also made running more accessible to newcomers by arranging a series of free-to-attend running workshops as well as group training runs to help participants prepare for the event.
With runners travelling from 50 countries to take part, the event has had a positive impact on the local economy and the Kyiv City Marathon is also an important fundraising event. A two-kilometre charity run was staged to generate funds for the State Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics and 15 charitable foundations - many of which were represented by a famous patron - were also represented yesterday.
The first athlete to break the tape was home runner and defending champion Artem Piddubnyi who clocked 2:28:29. Contesting his second marathon in three weeks, Piddubnyi paid tribute to the crowds who spurred him on in the latter stages.
“After the 35th kilometre, it became quite difficult psychologically but I am pleased with my performance and the victory. People along the route were supportive, it helped me a lot, a huge thanks to them,” he said. “Next year I will definitely be back for another victory.”
In the women’s race, Yuliia Tarasova moved up from fifth in the early stages to first in 2:54:14. After the race, Tarasova gave high praise to the organisation of the event.
“It was at a high level, as usual,” she said. “I also liked the route, which was probably to my advantage, because I compete in mountain races, so the ascents and descents were my thing.”
The next event on the Run Ukraine Running League calendar is the second edition of the Zaporizhstal Half Marathon on 28 October, another five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All.
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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