Anastasia Shkitina, correspondent: “Start of the most massive half marathon in the country. Despite the fact that this year foreign guests were unable to attend, the number of participants did not decrease. They must cover a distance of a little more than 21 kilometers. They start from Luzhniki, then go to Frunzenskaya embankment, Prechistenskaya embankment and finish here. The route passes through the central streets of the capital, including near the Kremlin."
Dmitry Tarasov, Director of the Moscow Half Marathon: “This year we have slightly modernized the distance itself. Added a couple of streets in order to separate the flow of people. The Moscow Marathon is becoming so big that some of the city's streets cannot accommodate so many people. As a result, we moved to the neighboring Ostozhenka. Everyone who has run before will run this route for the first time."
Due to the epidemiological situation, the number of distances was reduced. If in 2019 the athletes ran a half marathon, 10 and 5 kilometers, now the middle track has been removed. Despite this, there were even more applicants - 16 thousand people took part in the race. Moreover, last year the runners - along with foreign guests - were less than a thousand.
Oleg Matytsin, Minister of Sports of Russia: “I really want to believe that this will be the only event in the history of the Moscow Marathon, when we hold a competition with the participation of residents of Russia, Moscow, the Moscow region, first of all. I really want to believe that the Moscow Marathon will become even more popular, and we have come to the conclusion that it will enter the elite of competitions that are held all over the world along with the New York Marathon, London Marathon and many other major competitions."
However, many other major competitions were canceled due to the pandemic. This affected the Chicago, New York, London and Berlin marathons. The participants of the race in the capital were more fortunate.
Natalya Belyaeva, participant of the Moscow Half Marathon: “I always ran for myself. I always wanted to participate in something big and voluminous. The crowd that is running charges with a positive. And I want to run and run."
With such a desire, Perm athletes have been running all their lives. They consider their age on the contrary, saying that they are forever 17, and continue to overtake even young marathon runners.
Alexey Dolgikh, participant of the Moscow Half Marathon (Perm Territory): “The half marathon is my favorite distance, my favorite. In 2014 in Budapest we took the first place as a team. That is, in the team competition - the world champion. Half marathons are just easy for me, they are mine. I run daily too. A year ago I ran 156 kilometers in Krasnoufimsk. I took 8th place out of 20. But there were the guys who were good for my sons. I was the oldest."
Vsevolod Shchukov, participant of the Moscow half marathon (Perm region): “42 marathons, 28 winning ones. I took part in the first four pensioners' sports competitions for our Perm Territory”.
But age is not the main thing in this matter. It is much more important to develop the right strategy.
Denis Ganelin, participant of the Moscow Half Marathon: “Don't get stronger from the first minutes, because, as practice shows, it's easier to run in the second half than to run in the first, and then descend. Everyone has their own philosophy, now we'll see. Strategy is the most important in any sport. Well, and stretch, warm up, because after eight kilometers the muscles begin to fail. Most offensive".
The marathon runner Iskander Yadgarov does not hide his grudge. Despite the efforts, the athlete did not manage to finish first. Olympus took the winner of the 2018 Half Marathon, Rinas Akhmadeev. Probably, the first place this year, he really owes to a coincidence.He spent the entire quarantine in Kenya, where he was "stuck" at the training camp. There were practically no restrictions on training, unlike Moscow.
Iskander Yadgarov, prize-winner of the Moscow Half Marathon: “I was so happy, I had a hope that he would not get out of quarantine, I will calmly win here. But he was released, and again I, as always, second. In 2018, he was second behind him. I'm already tired of it, I don't know what to do with it."
Although the difference in the result is small - only 13 seconds. But Rinas Akhmadeev managed to finish first with a score of 1 hour 4 minutes 24 seconds.
Rinas Akhmadeev, winner of the Moscow Half Marathon - 2020: “The track has been changed, I think it only worked for the good. True, the result today is not so fast, since this is the first start of the season. There have been no starts this season due to the coronavirus, but I am very glad that I won."
For the second year in a row, the Moscow Half Marathon has been held as part of the All-Russian Festival "For Running". The sports festival brings together 85 cities from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka. Based on the results of the distance, the running capital is selected. Kazan has held this title since 2017; last year it lost to Vladivostok. The organizers of the Moscow Half Marathon hope that the title will be transferred to Belokamennaya.
Anastasia Shkitina, Kirill Palmovsky, TV BRICS.