Nur-Sultan hosts annual Astana Marathon, raises funds for charity
Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan hosted the annual Astana Marathon 2021 on September 26, reports a Strategy2050.kz correspondent. The event was organized with the support of the Nur-Sultan akimat (city administration), the city's Department of Physical Culture and Sports, and the Athletics Federation of Kazakhstan.
The much-anticipated race attracted participants from a record number of 45 cities from all over Kazakhstan. People of all ages and with different levels of training took part in the marathon - the youngest participant was 18, and the oldest was 76 years old.
The gender difference, however, is significant with men accounting for 86 percent in the 42 km distance, and women - only 14 percent. In the 10km, the ratio of men to women was 62 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
Nur-Sultan Mayor Altai Kulginov, Minister of Sports of Kazakhstan Aktoty Rayimkulova as well as the heads of government agencies and their teams, also took part in the race.
Participants of Astana Marathon 2021 were offered to take part in distances of 42.2 km for 18-year-olds and older and 10 km for 16-year-olds and older. Water was provided to the runners every five kilometers, and isotonic drinks and gels were provided for the 42.2 km runners along the route.
The marathon route is IAAF certified and is designed to show all the main sights of the city - Palace of Peace and Accord, Hazret Sultan Mosque, Baiterek, Nazarbayev University, and Astana Arena.
The Astana Marathon has been held in the capital since 2009 raising more than 37 million tenge since then. This year, the raised funds will be directed to purchase equipment for the Regional Perinatal Centre in Uralsk in western Kazakhstan that will save the health of newborn babies.
Cooperation with the AYALA Charity Fund has lasted for more than five years resulting in several projects - the purchase of medical equipment for the capital's Children's Hospital No. 2, equipping a sensory room for the regional orphanage in Akmola region, and purchase of therapeutic hypothermia machine for children born with asphyxia for the National Center of Maternal and Childhood.
The marathon attracts participants of different training levels - for amateurs, it is an opportunity to qualify for the Boston Marathon and for professional athletes, it is an opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games, said the marathon press service.
The organizers said the marathon is meant to nurture Kazakhstan's marathon runners, promote the image of the capital and the country and support charitable organizations in Kazakhstan.
Runners from all over the world are attracted by the flat course in the capital, which offers a high chance of improving their personal best.