On Sunday, Baku hosted its third marathon for running aficionados, from both near and far, as 18,000 flocked to the Caspian seaside city for the race.
“The Baku Marathon is a wonderful project, which agitates for a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, this is an exemplar of cohesion of people of different professions over one goal,” said Azerbaijani parliamentarian Bahar Muradova, who is also participated in what was technically a half-marathon.
Initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Baku Marathon is aimed at promoting sports, a healthy lifestyle and uniting people. For the third year in a row, the Baku Marathon, held under motto “Win the Wind,” covers a distance of 21 kilometers. Sunday’s race started at National Flag Square and stretched alongside the Caspian Sea promenade, ending at Baku Olympic Stadium.
“In prior years, the number of participants in the semi-marathon was much fewer: seven thousand people - in 2016, and 13 thousand participants - in 2017,” said Ayaz Ahmadov, the director of Sport Marketing Group Company.
Some 18 thousand participants were registered for this year’s Baku Marathon.
Ukrainian national Igor Olefirenko took first place and set a new record for the race, completing it in just one hour and six minutes, clocking in 11 minutes faster than his predecessor, Veysi Aslan from Turkey, who raced last year. Magomed Jafar Muradi from Iran took second place, and Omar Alcanoglu from Turkey came in third.
Chelik Fadima, also from Turkey, took first place in the women’s category, while Russia’s Valentina Poltovskaya came in second as she did last year. Anastasia Petrova, also from Russia, came in third.
“I have been participating in the marathon for several years and my goal has never been to win or take the best place. It is precisely the call to oneself, own capabilities and the level of spiritual and physical health, and the slogan “Win the Wind” is perfectly associated with this values,” Samir Gadirov, a 26-year old from Baku, who participated in the race told Caspian News.
Gadirov emphasized that younger generations should not consider the Baku Marathon to be a competition between one another but as a challenge for oneself.
“The level of participation and the performance of the marathon surprise me every year, there were students, state and public figures running along with me. That leaves very good impressions and will never be forgotten,” Gadirov said.