Just a few weeks are left until the main sports competition of international level in Kyiv. This year 9th Wizz Air Kyiv City Marathon is preparing to welcome over 10,000 athletes, and this number is getting higher with every year. The courses of 42.195 km and 21.0975 km have been certified by AIMS, and the Wizz Air Kyiv City Marathon has received the highest mark (5 star) in the ranking of road races of the European Athletic Association. The preparation is in progress, many residents of Kyiv are waiting for the result, but there are also people who are sceptical of the event and are not happy with closing of streets for traffic on the day of the race. Let’s take a moment and think why Kyiv actually needs a marathon?
First of all, it is prestigious. Prestige of a city that cares for sports and promotes it among its residents. Everyone knows of a famous marathon in Berlin, and many people are lucky to just participate in it. Isn’t it nice when people from all over the world come to run down the streets of Kyiv and then be proud that they have participated in this marathon! The sports capital city of the country must set s standard for all the rest of the cities and strive to engage its residents in sports.
Second of all, tourists. The best known marathons of the world draw attention to the sports event itself as well as to the city that hosts it. No doubt, it increases the popularity of the city in the world and invites tourists. The more tourists we have, the more money the city gets for its budget. For example, in the first half of the year of 2018 over 852 thousand foreigners visited Kyiv. It is by 24% more than in the previous six months and almost twice as many as in the same time period in 2014. Increase in the number of tourists also encourages big international companies to open their branches in Kyiv. And this means attraction of foreign capital and investments. The benefits are obvious.
Thirdly, it is promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Look at the biggest marathons that take place in Berlin or Barcelona, for example. Millions of people come to support the runners and join in sports. Can you imagine an event of this scale in our city? But everything starts small. With every year Kyiv proves its readiness and increases the level of involvement of its residents in the sports events of the country.
If you protest closing streets for traffic, we would like to ask you just one question – how often do you get to see a city without cars? It is like going back in time by a few centuries and enjoying the architecture without car exhaust and noise. This unique opportunity gives you a chance to get a fresh look at the usual sights and meet your native city. And the air would feel fresher!
Another reason in favor of marathon seems hidden at the first glance. Bus it is as important. Marathon proves availability of sports. Running is the cheapest sport so your excuses that sport is expensive will not work here. All you need is running shoes and free time. That is why everyone who comes to the event would get motivated to do sports. After all, the main part of marathon is achieving your goal and overcoming yourself.
We can continue listing the advantages of having a marathon in Kyiv, but the main part is the fact that sport unites! Sports events erase borders between countries and nations, let you exchange your experience and get to know other cultures. Marathon is not just a sports competition that is interesting for professional athletes, anyone can test himself and run next to the well-known world athletes down the streets of his favorite city!
And remember that it is lots of fun. Don’t think of it as just a sports event. You may be running next to a well-known actor, celebrity or even politician. Who knows, maybe you would be able to outrun your idol and then celebrate new records together over the glass of cold Ukrainian beer.