On 27 May the Running Hearts Green Marathon took place in Moscow. The charity run was created by merging Sberbank’s Green Marathon and the Running Hearts race organised by Polina Kitsenko and Natalia Vodianova in aid of the Naked Heart Foundation.
The aim of the run was to raise funds for the further development of the Early Intervention project for young children with special needs and their families. This year the participants, sponsors, corporate teams and organisers have managed to raise 40,500,000 roubles, and that figure is continuing to grow.
The Running Hearts Green Marathon was the main event in a series of marathons held in cities where Sberbank operates. On 27 May, races took place in 56 towns across Russia – from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok – as well as in Kazakhstan and Belarus, with over 160,000 people participating.
For the first time in Russia’s history, 10,000 runners got together in the centre of Moscow at Vasilevsky Slope. Starting from Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, the participants ran along the picturesque riverside and through cosy streets, enjoying views of the old city, parks, architectural masterpieces and squares, and returning to the finish line by Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral.
The runners could choose to run either 4.2k, 10k or a half marathon. The 4.2k run kicked off with speeches by CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank Herman Gref and co-founders of the race Polina Kitsenko and Natalia Vodianova.
The Running Hearts Green Marathon is a totally inclusive run. Paralympians and tandems of participants with special needs and their coaches, as well as wheelchair users, took part in the event.
Those who were not able to run in Moscow had the opportunity to take part in a digital run organised by Nike. 19,000 runners from 25 countries joined the race remotely. This format is a new feature of charity runs and opens events up to people in all locations with all abilities.
A special mention should go to runners from Qatar, who flew to Moscow to join the race as part of the Qatar-Russia 2018 Year of Culture, and to His Excellency Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Russian Federation. Charity plays a key role in the spiritual life of both countries, which is why joint projects such as these lead to strong partnerships and new connections.
146 corporate teams took part in the run, 113 of them representing the leader of corporate sport in Russia – Sberbank. The event also included teams of media representatives.
Child development specialists working on the Naked Heart Early Intervention project in Niznhy Novgorod, Tula, Tver, Moscow and St Petersburg also took part in the Running Hearts Green Marathon. Thanks to the project, young children with autism, cerebral palsy and other special needs are able to attend preschool and school, learn new skills and socialise with their peers.
In keeping with tradition, the event was not just a huge sporting event, but also a family music festival. Children took part in a special children’s race, and all the runners and supporters enjoyed performances by good friends of the Naked Heart Foundation – Russian indie band Therr Maitz and its frontman Anton Belyaev, Anton Lavrentyev, participant in the Russian edition of TV show The Voice, and Noize MC, who performed a song from his hip-hopera Orpheus and Eurydice.
As in previous years, the event was hosted by Andrey Arikh, sports announcer for the Olympic Games 2014 and 2018 on Channel One, and Andrey Romanov from Match TV. This year they were joined by Aleksandr Gudkov, presenter on the Evening Urgant TV show.
The Mediacentre in Zaryadye Park, which willingly supported this charity initiative, welcomed the run’s VIP guests. The guests hung out in the centre’s halls, which were beautifully decorated by Lid’s Eventhouse, where they socialised, shared their feelings about the run and enjoyed tasty and healthy breakfasts.
This year the following people ran with purpose: Herman Gref, Vladimir Medinsky, Dmitry Peskov and Tatiana Navka, Stanislav Kuznetsov, Andrey Sharonov, His Excellency Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Russian Federation, barsilian model Jessica Kahawaty, Qatari athletes Abdulaziz Al Tamimi and Faisal Hassan Al-Qahtani, Polina Deripaska, Natalia Timakova, Aleksander Svetakov, Yan Yanovsky, Gleb Yun, Pavel Trekhleb, Yuri Borzakovsky, Ivan Alypov, Aleksander Legkov, Irina Gromova, Ksenia Bezuglova, Aleksander Panzhinsky, Alexei Petukhov, Irina Slutskaya, Svetlana Khorkina, Nikolay Kruglov, Angelika Timanina, Dmitry Solovyev and Yekaterina Bobrova, Margarita Mamun, Grigory Drozd, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Yulia Peresild, Ksenia Solovyeva, Masha Fedorova, Alexey Bokov, Vlad Losovets, Maria Shalaeva, Daria Poverenova, Ksenia Sukhinovam Daria Lisichenko, Elena Letuchaya, Ksenia Lukash, Oxana Bondarenko, Anton and Yulia Belyaev, Artem Korolev, Polina Vitorgan, Sofiko Shevardnadze, Marusya Zykova, Maria Ivakova, Mitya Fomin, Dmitry Vikulin, Olga and Charles Thompson with children, Alastasia Zadorina, Avrora, Tanya Gevorkyan, Yulia Topolnitskaya, Yasmina Muratovich, Timur Solovyev, Boris Zarkov, Pasha Bobrov, Veronika Fedorova, Masha Lobanova, Denis Lazarev, Evelina Bledans and many others. In addition, Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance at the marathon village.
The Running Hearts Green Marathon was supported by: Coca-Cola, which supplied drinks to the runners; Megafon, which organised a 100-metre charity run at the finish line, helping to raise even more money for the Naked Heart Foundation; and global commodity trading company Gunvor Group.
All organisational expenses were covered by the event sponsors and partners and the performers, DJs, hosts, musicians and photographers worked on a pro-bono basis.
All the funds raised were donated to the Naked Heart Foundation.
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