Scores of free-runners go crazy in Moscow region

They usually jump over the walls and off the roofs in urban areas, but today scores of free-runners have taken their sport – known as parkour - to the countryside of the Moscow region.

The event is different from other parkour competitions – it is being held out in the open, where there are no urban obstacles. But there are some natural ones like sand hills and trees and that is what makes the competition less dangerous and more challenging.

The sport of parkour, or free-running, is described by followers as the “art of moving”. This art is about getting from one place to another as quickly as possible, using your body’s physical skills and the environmental obstacles around – walls, stairs, fences and the like.

Parkour originated in France, but its popularity skyrocketed after it was screened in several movies. Now there are thousands of free-runners jumping and running all around the globe.

The sport itself is not as dangerous as it might seem at first sight, says the Moscow competition organizer, Aleksey Chigretsky.

“Parkour is dangerous when you are crazy, when your mind is crazy, and you just want to do big jumps. But when your mind is in harmony, you don’t need those big jumps. It’s just your way of life and you can run and slide like water.”