Over 400 people gathered at Bitzevsky Park (in the South-West of Moscow) on Sunday morning. For some it was an opportunity to try out trail-running for the first time, for others to win prizes or to just soak up the last days of the great autumn weather.
It was in 2008 when Salomon, the well-known producer of sports clothing and footwear, first introduced trail running in Russia. The competitions took place in three cities; Moscow,
St. Petersburg and Sochi, and more than 3000 people took part. The competitors came from very different backgrounds, professions and ages. Now trail running has become more and more popular, and Russia is ideal with its diverse terrain, and natural paths.
Bitzevsky Park on the 14 November provided the perfect example of this diverse terrain, with its fallen trees, hills and mud. However, the competitors coped with everything nature threw at them, and although many were muddy at the finish line, the smiles were clear to see.
There were three categories of races;
— Trail running PRO — for professionals a 10 km run.
— Trail running LITE — for armatures a 5 km run.
— Trail running super LITE — for runners under 16 a 3 km run.
The prize fund totaled 160 000 rubles. The winners received other prizes too. A gift certificate for Salomon products and Suunto watches with heart monitors. Smaller prizes were also awarded to special participants, in this case Yuri Uchekhin, 81, for being the oldest runner, and 4–year-old Veronika Pavlova, who successfully completed the 3km run. It was very notable that this year 11 children took part in the competition.
The competition started at 11am and in the PRO category for men — Sergey Lukin and Andrey Karpin came first and second respectively. In the PRO category for women, the first place went to Nadezhda Trilinskaya. In the LITE category, Alexandr Denisov was the first place winner for the men and Ksenia Konukhova won first place for the women.
There was also a raffle organized by Arguments and Facts newspaper online www.aif.ru. Three winners received gift certificates for footwear and clothing from the shop Sports Equipment Center.
The atmosphere of the event was extremely positive and laid back. The organizers as well as the participants were full of praise for the success of the competition.
«We were really surprised at the number of participants who took part in this new sporting event. About 359 people got to the finish line and about 500 actually registered for the competition. And all this in light of November's notorious weather! Trail running is an ecological and positive sport and I hope that it will become a much loved sport in Russia. I also hope very much that this competition becomes a traditional event in the calendar», — said Janna Vokueva, who has a master's degree in sports and is a world class mountain runner, and the winner of Windstopper Trail Running World Masters.