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10 September 2017 → Minsk Half-marathon-2017 gathered 30 thousand participants

30 thousand people became participants in the Minsk Half-marathon-2017, the "Minsk-Novosti" Agency correspondent reports..

This year, the organizers of the Half-marathon had said that the format of the tournament would somewhat change. To be more precise, that the starts for the runners would be divided into 5.5 km, 10.5 km and a half marathon for the safety of the participants. In fact this year there was a record number of runners - 30 thousand. As the practice showed, the organizers had done everything right.

Distance 5.5 km

And at 9:00 (the starts of the race at 5.5 km and 10.5 km were scheduled at 10:00), the lion's share of the runners had already gathered at the Sports Palace. The runners talked, spent some time warming up before the race, tried to tidy up their outfits, put on their holiday costumes. About 20 minutes before the start of the race, everyone was invited to the start-up town. The majority of young people began to photograph each other, do selfie – after all, not every day there is an opportunity, without violating the rules of the road, to go to the roadway in the center of the city. Those who had been aiming at showing good results and competing for high prizes took places closer to the starting goal. Those who wanted to run just for themselves stayed a bit farther. After a short warming-up, and receiving parting words, the Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee Andrei Shorets sent a shot from the starting pistol to the distance.

The distance of 5.5 km flew by very quickly. Except for the two rises – one of them close to the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater, and the other one in Storozhevskaya Street- the runners were quite successful. Some of them had to walk at a slow pace. The runners were supported by their fans, amateur groups. The participants themselves cried a lot (and those who represented the Ministry of Emergency Situations were especially active); volunteers indicated the way. And after the finish line, the volunteers hung medals, showed the places where water was available.

The ceremony of awarding the winners started quite quickly. So, at the distance of 5.5 km for men the victory was celebrated by the Belarusian Maxim Yushchenko. The second was the citizen of Minsk Yevgeny Yanukovich, the third - his fellow countryman Alexander Sanko. For women at 5.5 km the entire pedestal was also occupied by the Belarusians. The first was Tatyana Shabanova of Belarus, the second - Maya Tonkikh, the third - Yelena Borisenko.

"For the third consecutive year I have been participating in the Minsk Half-marathon," said M. Yushchenko. “In 2015 I was a winner at a distance of 10 kilometers. Last year, I wasn’t among the three top three winners. This year I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to show a high result at the 10-km distance, so I made up my mind to run 5.5 km. And as you can see, I was right. From the first meters I found myself among the leaders of the race and tried to take control over myself and the rivals. Had it been necessary to increase my speed, I would have been strong enough to do that”, he continued.

Tatiana Shabanova noted that a year earlier she was the second, and this year she was really eager to win. And her plan had worked. The athlete was helped by a partner (pacemaker - runner, who sets the pace), who had kept control over the rivals and changed the speed.

Distance 10.5 km

At a distance of 10.5 km, all the awards were won by local runners. For men the victory was celebrated by Pavel Mikhnyuk. The silver medalist was Igor Teteryukov, the bronze medalist was Sergey Platonov. Irina Somova won the women's tournament. The second was Tatiana Stefanenko and the third - Nadezhda Sorokopyt

According to P.Mihniuk, almost the entire distance he had run surrounded by several rivals. A kilometer to the finish line, one of them fell behind, after another 500 meters Pavel made a breakthrough, which brought him victory. Last year the athlete finished 6th, but was not in the best condition. This time the runner had appeared to be in the optimal form.

“From the first moment we managed to pick up the right tempo and keep it”, said I.Somova. “However it was too difficult after the runners of the 5.5 km distance and those of the 10.5 km distance joined together. I had to run around those who were slow-moving. On some sections of the race I had to run along the sidewalk, grass. The pace fell, of course, but it was no problem. I am pleased with the victory”, she added.

Half marathon distance

The start for those who ran 21 km was scheduled for 12:30. Like those who ran at shorter distances, the participants went out in their suits. Some of them had chosen a minion outfit, someone - an imperial storm trooper from the movie "Star Wars." It seemed that such runners were unlikely to be able to finish because of the cumbersome design. But the guys had successfully passed the entire distance. Some of the participants had finished in quite a funny way. One of the half marathoners had crossed the line on his hands. One of the guys had cramps in the legs at the last 100 meters, but other runners helped him, catching him under his arms. Note that among the finishers there was a dachshund called Bublik. According to her owner Julia Koroleva, for the dog that wasn’t the first half marathon.

As for the winners, among men the race was won by Kiptum Mayo from Kenya. A year earlier, he also won first place and set a track record. This time he could not cover his former achievement (1 hour and 3 minutes), losing his last year result 19 seconds. "Silver" was won by Bekele Jim from Ethiopia, and "bronze" by Nikolai Lukhimchik from Ukraine. The best of the Belarusians was Vladislav Pryamov - 5th position.

“I am pleased with the victory. The race in Minsk was not easy really. I was unable to show a better result because of the headwind”, K.Mayo commented upon his result.

But the Belarusian girls managed to occupy the whole pedestal of honor. The best time was shown by Lyudmila Lyakhovich. And then in the concluding protocol the names of Nina Savina and Marina Domantsevich were mentioned.

“I was very pleased with two circumstances – good weather and a large number of participants”, the winner said. “It means that running in Belarus is very popular. To be honest, I hadn’t thought of winning the race. But to be frank, I was in the mood for winning. All ended very well.

Results of the Minsk Half-marathon

The results of the event were summed up by Vadim Devyatovsky, Chairman of the Belarusian Federation of Light Athletics:

“The participants’ emotions were more eloquent than any words. Their faces shone with happiness before the start and after the finish. This year the race turned out to be special. For instance, the beginning of the races was given to a second. I was also pleased with the number of the runners – 30 thousand. And we had stopped accepting applications two days before the tournament. However some of the runners had managed to find a way out – on the track there were guys without their breastplates. I also liked the fact that among the runners there were a lot of schoolchildren and students. And no matter that some of them had to overcome part of the distance by running quite slowly and even walking at a slow pace. But we should admit that it is also a small victory. Perhaps next year they will have self-esteem, which will let them cope with the task faster, without making any stops. We must thank sponsors of the race, the journalists who had come to comment on the event, all the fans who were supporting the participants. Thanks to all this the half-marathon proved to be simply excellent.”.

 

Photo by Sergey Sheleg

News provided by «Minsk-Novosti» Agency

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