A record 11,000 participants from 52 countries took part in the eighth edition of the Nova Poshta Kyiv Half Marathon, a race with a five-star certification from European Athletics Running for All, on Sunday (22).
The runners enjoyed excellent crowd support on a record-breaking morning in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday morning. Almost 25,000 people filled the streets of the city to support the runners while over 15,000 fans followed proceedings via live stream.
“The eighth Kyiv Half Marathon opened the Run Ukraine Running League 2018. This year we brought together almost 11,000 participants from 52 countries. This is a record number of participants in the history of the event,” said Dmytro Chernitskyi, the General Manager of Run Ukraine.
The Kyiv Half Marathon is one of eight road races in Ukraine to be certified by European Athletics Running for All, guaranteeing participants the races have met stringent and rigorous safety and organisational checks.
Run Ukraine has been at the forefront of the running boom and Chernitskyi acknowledges the palpable economic impact of the movement. “The running movement is developing in our country and running is becoming the catalyst of sports tourism,” he said
The route for the Kyiv Half Marathon was usual and traditional: one lap along the Dnipro river with the start-line and finish-line both situated at Kontraktova Square in the heart of Kyiv. The spectators also had a home victory to celebrate as Viktoriia Kaliuzhna crossed the finish-line in a course record of 73:44 on the women’s race.
“I am satisfied with the way everything went today since my coach and I were purposefully training for this race. We had a high-altitude preparation in Turkey. This victory is very important and precious for me personally,” said Kaliuzhna, who defeated Kenya’s Marion Limo (74:51) and teammate Yuliia Shmatenko (74:54).
“Of course, I came to demonstrate a fast time, but I did not think I would win since we had very strong foreign runners as well as very fast Ukrainian athletes. As I was running onto the Havanskyi bridge, I realised I could win. I was confidently running uphill because I felt I could get away from my competitors.”
There was also a course record in the men’s race as Ethiopia’s Anbesa Lencho retained his title in 62:56 ahead of Kenya’s Nicholas Makau (62:58) and Ukraine’s Roman Romanenko (67:58).
The oldest competitor in the Kyiv Half Marathon was 77-year-old Ukrainian Oleh Shetankov who covered the 13.1-mile course in 2:36, proving how mass participation events are accessible to anyone regardless of age and ability. There were also a series of kids' races on the programme at distances ranging from 100 metres up to 1000 metres as well as 5km and 2km races for newcomers to running.
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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