Cyprus Mail

Thousands take part in Radisson Blu Larnaca Marathon despite rain

Athletes decided to run despite rain (CNA)

More than 7,000 people from 72 countries took part in the fourth Radisson Blu Larnaca International Marathon on Sunday despite the rain.

Participants, around 7,500,  had the opportunity the run the full 42 kilometres, or the half marathon, or smaller races between 5 and 10 kilometres. There was also a 1km Fun Race and the McDonalds 2,5km Teens Race.

With a new race record, Vladislav Shchukin from Russia is the big winner of the Marathon with a time of 2.31:20. GSP athlete Pavel Borodin came second. Borodin is also the winner of the Pancyprian Championship that was part of the marathon event. The third is Christoforos Protopapas also of GSP.

“This is a very important event for the town,” Larnaca mayor Andreas Vyras said. Referring to the rainy weather and the participants’ determination to carry on, the mayor said this proves that sports were a way of life.

“Even in conditions of a pandemic, we managed to organise a celebration and we hope next year we will not have a pandemic so that we can enjoy it more,” said the chairman of the Marathon’s organising committee, Costas Daltas.

He said this year there were entries from 72 countries, while among the participants was a 72-year-old man. The event, he said, supported several charities. Daltas said they did not have any withdrawals due to the weather.

“For the first time, a visually impaired athlete, Giorgos Bellos, managed to run the marathon with the support of his coach and Cyta, not next to him but in his ear,” Daltas said. Bellos, was able to run by having his coach, explaining the route through a mobile phone, with the help of a digital map.

Bellos said he enjoyed the experience and felt “free as a bird”.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas ran the half-marathon.

Among the runners was also Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides along with the ‘Team ‘MFA and Friends’, comprising members of staff from his ministry, foreign ambassadors, diplomats and members of staff from foreign diplomatic missions in Cyprus, and their family members. The group, in total 68 people from 23 countries, ran in support of the Sophia Foundation for Children.

House President Annita Demetriou expressed satisfaction over the fact that the marathon was held for another year and especially after last year’s disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “I think the participation showed how much the people needed this event,” she said.

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