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For the first time in Ukraine, a participant diagnosed with SMA finished a marathon. The 12th WIZZ AIR KYIV CITY MARATHON 2021 – how it happened

On October 23-24, Kyiv hosted the 12th WIZZ AIR KYIV CITY MARATHON 2021, the fourth stage of the Ukrainian Majors Running League from Run Ukraine. 


The absolute winners on the main course are Artem Piddubnyi (2:30:43) and Tetiana Vilisova (2:48:24). The record of Ukraine was set on the marathon course: for the first time, a child diagnosed with SMA finished 42 km accompanied by a coach.


Competition among men was tight: from the very start, we had a group of leaders that stuck together until the finish with a minimal time difference. Artem Piddubnyi sped up over the last kilometer and won with the result of 2:30:43, getting ahead of his closest rival — Oleksandr Babaryka — by only 9 seconds. Babaryka finished with a result of 2:30:52, and Dmytro Pozhevilov came in third with a result of 2:31:51.



“It is not my first time participating in WIZZ AIR KYIV CITY MARATHON. You can always count on a beautiful atmosphere and support on the course here. I love this track.

Of course, there was tight competition on the course. Oleksandr and I took off from the very beginning, sometimes our positions would change, but we supported each other along the route. 

On the 41 km, when we were only 1 km from the finish line, I was able to get into the leading position — last kilometers always inspire me”, — said Artem Piddubnyi about his victory.


Competition among women wasn’t as tight. Tetiana Vilisova got a confident victory with a result of 2:48:24. Yuliia Olishevska (2:52:41) came in 4 minutes later and ended up being second, Olena Khashko was third with a result of 3:02:58



“It was my first time on this track, and it’s not an easy one – there were passages where you had to work hard. I know that the race wasn’t easy for many of us, especially because of the strong wind. When it was getting tough, I felt the audience’s support, and it kept me going. I am satisfied with my result”, — said Tetiana Vilisova.


This year, besides the athletic component, the 12th WIZZ AIR KYIV CITY MARATHON 2021 also had a charitable component – participation of representatives of the running club for children with disabilities “Hand by hand.”


Maryna Saienko, the founder of the running club for children with disabilities “Hand by Hand,” shared about setting the record of Ukraine:

“Children diagnosed with SMA have been making futile attempts to reach out to the government and communicate the fact that they need treatment, and it’s a costly one.

We’re doing it for Sasha, his family, and my heart goes out to all children with this diagnosis. On October 24, they ran a marathon, and our team supported them and secured them along the route”, — noted Maryna Saienko.


Besides the main course of 42.195 km, the event included races of other distances: 21 km, Sportbank Race 10 km, Veteran’s Ten, relay, and team races.



“It is not an easy time to plan and hold such a complex project with so many factors influencing the demand remain unknown. However, we believe in what we do, and we believe that it is crucial for our society; it is crucial for the generation that follows us today.

The 12th WIZZ AIR KYIV CITY MARATHON 2021 was held in compliance with quarantine restrictions, and we will remember it”, — said Dmytro Chernitskyi, CEO of Run Ukraine.


There were 8200 runners including 370 athletes from 53 countries participating on the various courses of the 12th WIZZ AIR KYIV CITY MARATHON 2021.


Among the celebrities participating in the event, there were Serhii Marchenko, the Minister of Finance of Ukraine, Vadym Svyrydenko, Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Rehabilitation of Combatants, Tomáš Fiala, the CEO and founder of Dragon Capital, Kostiantyn Koshelenko, the Deputy Chairman of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, Oleksandr Denysov, the head of the TV channel “Football,” cyborg runner Tetiana Vorotilina, TV presenters Slava Varda and Anatolii Anatolich.


The first day of the event, on October 23, included Kyiv Mini Marathon 4.2 km, Nordic Walk, Family Run, children’s races, and races with dogs.


“Wizz Air has always encouraged activities that promote a healthy lifestyle, so we are happy that Wizz Air Kyiv City Marathon 2021 returns. It is a great opportunity not only for those who love running but also a chance to enjoy the race in the company of your dog! We are happy to collaborate with Run Ukraine in this event and bring together thousands of runners sharing in their exciting emotions”, — said Paulina Gosk, Communications Manager for Wizz Air.


This year, the overall prize fund comes to 132 thousand hryvnias. Among those participating on the marathon course, they determined 5 winners in absolute championship among men and women.  


There were awards for the winners in age groups, team races, and the relay. All participants who finished their courses of choice received memorable medals.



“It was an excellent run even despite the rain. I was trying to maintain my pace until the very finish, and I am satisfied with my result overall. Since I was a teenager, I’ve been running, but I took my first try at a marathon only two years ago. It’s my fourth serious marathon with a result-capturing electronic chip”, — shared Snizhana.


“I am delighted. What matters the most is that I did finish it. I thought it would be tougher as it was my first marathon, and I had only three months to prepare. I am happy that I managed to finish the race and got a medal”, — said Oleksandr.


“This is my eighth half marathon, and I love this distance. It was a very comfortable race — not too hot, not too cold, and the rain was pretty refreshing. In a week, I will run a marathon in Istanbul”, — told Stanislav.


“This is my first time participating in WIZZ AIR KYIV CITY MARATHON, and I ran 21 km. I came to Kyiv from Ivano-Frankivsk to study, so I couldn’t miss this event.  

I liked it, and the wind and rain even added to the charm of the event”, — shared Iryna.


Winners on the 42.195 km course in the absolute championship: 



  1. Artem Piddubnyi — 2:30:43
  2. Oleksandr Babaryka — 2:30:52
  3. Dmytro Pozhevilov — 2:31:51



  1. Tetiana Vilisova — 2:48:24
  2. Yuliia Olishevska — 2:52:41
  3. Olena Khashko — 3:02:58


As you remember, the 12th WIZZ AIR KYIV CITY MARATHON 2021 is the fourth stage of the Ukrainian Majors Running League 2021 from Run Ukraine.


This year, the Running League consists of five events:



Organizer — Run Ukraine

Title partner — WIZZ AIR


Reference information:

WIZZ AIR is the fastest-growing low-cost airline in Europe. The fleet of this airline company includes 143 Airbus A320 and A321 airplanes. The team of professionals ensures high-quality service and low prices, which makes Wizz Air that choice of over 40 million passengers, according to the financial year results of March 31, 2020. Wizz Air shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange under the “WIZZ” ticker. Wizz Air was recently named one of the top 10 safest airlines in the world by


Run Ukraine is the organizer of the largest running events in Ukraine. Since 2010, the company has held more than 30 international competitions for amateur runners and sports enthusiasts.

Run Ukraine’s mission is to organize the highest level sports events to inspire and motivate people to run.


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Viktoriia Veremiienko 

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