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All-Russia running fest attracts 1.2 mln participants

Russia’s National Cross-Country Run has successfully concluded. The annual even, which is the biggest sporting gathering ever in the country, attracted over 1 million participants across 80 cities.

It’s one of the oldest sports and one of the simplest. Since it was included in the first Modern Olympic Games back in 1896, cross country running has barely changed. And why should it – it encompasses everything that is needed in sport: strength, stamina, fitness, and competition to name just a few.

But Sunday’s nationwide event was also about uniting a nation. Many prominent figures and athletes were among the 1.2 million people who donned their running gear in roughly 80 cities across the country, and just outside Moscow Russia’s Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko was on hand to officially open the race, and also partook in a rather symbolic run with fellow colleagues.

“Ultimately everyone who’s taking part today is a winner. There’s no need to overdo it! Everyone should be picking a distance and speed that suits their stamina and fitness. That’s why I chose to run only 500 metres,” he said.

Another pleasant factor was seeing so many youngsters willing to come out on a dreary Sunday morning to take in the fresh air, open space and party atmosphere.

The event will no doubt continue to be a success in coming years with Russia determined to further promote a healthy lifestyle.