August 28, 2023, 14:20

More than 6.5 thousand people in 37 countries took part in the sixth “I Honor the Warriors, I Run for the Heroes of Ukraine” annual Run 

On August 26, in the run-up to the Day of Remembrance of the Defenders of Ukraine, the sixth annual run, “I Honor the Warriors, I Run for the Heroes of Ukraine,” took place. This year, 6341 participants, both in Ukraine and abroad, registered to race via an online registration form. At the same time, many more participants joined the race without registration. Thus, out of 6341 registered participants, almost half a thousand took part abroad. In total, 37 countries registered for the race. The main distances were 2, 5, and 10 km courses. 

This discussion was held at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. 

According to Svitlana Strokach, Head of the Department of Civil Identity and Veteran Development of the Ministry of Veteran Affairs of Ukraine, the largest number of participants was recorded in Kyiv and Kyiv region, Kirovohrad, Dnipro, Donetsk, Vinnytsia, and Lviv regions.

At the same time, she noted that a huge number of participants defined themselves as participants from Luhansk and Donetsk.

This year, as in 2022, foreigners also expressed their support for Ukrainians by joining the run.

Svitlana Strokach explained that for security reasons, this year’s race was held virtually, although it did not stop like-minded people from joining and organizing group races in many cities of Ukraine, in villages, in military units, including abroad, where defenders are undergoing rehabilitation. Veterans also joined and ran their own routes in small stadiums, on embankments, wherever it could be organized.

In addition, the Invictus Games national team, which is currently conducting training camps in Croatia, joined the memorable race this year.

According to Svitlana Strokach, since 2020, the event has gained tremendous international support. In particular, she noted the 2023 run in particular was widely publicized, the information and media coverage of posts about the heartbreaking stories of the heroes, and requests to rewatch and repost became widespread. 

In addition, Oleh Durmasenko, initiator of the run, veteran, and father of a fallen hero of the Russian-Ukrainian war, emphasized the importance of holding such events and expressed hope that next year Ukraine would win, and the run would take place in all regional centers and with a teleconference held.

“We have very, very high expectations, and we are always charged to hold this event, which is very important for our state, nation, and memory. Moreover, this race carries a strong message of national and patriotic education. Society needs it. This race makes people, even those who have nothing to do with these events, remember it, run, and worry that while you are doing ordinary things, someone’s air smells of gunpowder while they had to swallow dust in the trenches. And the race is a reminder of this,” emphasized Oleh Durmasenko.

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