MINSK, 14 April (BelTA) – Some 30,000 people are expected to join the Minsk Half Marathon 2017, Chairman of the Belarusian Athletics Federation Vadim Devyatovsky said at a press conference held on 13 April to mark the start of the registration for the event, BelTA has learned.
“It is great to see how popular the half marathon in the Belarusian capital is. This year we expect some 30,000 to participate in the event. It is planned that some 21,000 will run the 5.5km race, 5,000 runners will take on the 21.1km race and some 4,000 people will try themselves in the 10km distance,” said Vadim Devyatovsky.
The chairman of the Belarusian Athletics Federation noted that the Minsk Half Marathon had been awarded the Road Race Bronze Label status of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Vadim Devyatovsky said that thanks to this the competition will be able to attract more people from around the world. “This means high assessment of the event. It is a signal for amateur runners: the Minsk Half Marathon is already well-known,” he added.
Vadim Devyatovsky also told the media about the changes in the Minsk Half Marathon rules. For instance, the start to the 5.5km, 10km and 21.1km races will be different. This is required by the International Association of Athletics Federation. The route of the 5.5km race will be slightly changed. With the start at the Palace of Sports, the route will cover Lenina Street with a turning near the State Department Store, Prospekt Nezavisimosti (Independence Avenue) with a turning to Yanka Kupala Street near the State Circus, Storozhevskaya Street, Prospekt Masherova (Masherov Avenue), and Prospekt Pobeditelei (Victors' Avenue).
School and university students, pensioners and Chernobyl clean-up workers will be free from making fees for the 5.5km race. People with disabilities will be registered free of charge regardless of the type of the race.
Two-time winner of the Minsk Half Marathon Olga Mazurenok was the first to register for the 2017 event.
First Deputy Head of the Belarus President's Administration, First Vice President of the National Olympic Committee Maksim Ryzhenkov stated that the half marathon is not only a sport event but also a spectacular show. “Some two years ago we were not sure if we could manage to host the event at a high level. I am happy that this good tradition continues,” he said.
According to Minsk Mayor Andrei Shorets, the half marathon will be one of the main events during the celebrations of Minsk's 950th birthday.
The five-day visa-free rules will attract more foreigners to the event, Sports and Tourism Minister Alexander Shamko is confident. “We have everything necessary to host the guests,” he added.
In order to register for the event, please visit minskhalfmarathon.by.
In 2017, the Minsk Half Marathon will be held for the third time. 16,000 people from 36 countries took part in the event in 2015. The number of the participants increased to 20,000 people from 42 countries in 2016.More about Sport