Ukrainian Veterans Participate in the Beirut Marathon for the First Time
Four soldiers from Ukraine ran different races in honor of their fellow soldiers
Ukrainian war veterans participated in various marathons in Beirut, Lebanon, for the first time.
Four soldiers from Ukraine ran different races in honor of their fellow soldiers who were killed in the war in Donbas.
Around 70 thousand people took part in various races: two full 42 kilometer marathons, one for runners and one for para-athletes, a 21 kilometer half marathon open to everyone, and two eight kilometer races.
One of the participants from Ukraine was Ruslan Chernytskyi, a Donbas war veteran.
“This is not my first half marathon, this is the sixth or seventh, I don’t remember. The mood is wonderful. There is such an atmosphere here … I would say a marathon atmosphere. There are a lot of participants and this is cool, very cool,” Ruslan said.
Yuriy Pysarchuk, despite of his leg injury, took part in the eight kilometer race.
“We fight, fight and fight once again. It was not for nothing that I declared my intention to take part in the ‘pro’ category this time. Of course, I’ll be at the tail end there, most likely, I’ll drag behind, but nevertheless, this time I decided to raise myself to a higher level,” Pysarchuk said.
In the eight kilometer for para-athletes, Vadym Svyrydenko ran using sprint prosthetics.
“You know, it was interesting to run. At first, nobody paid attention. Then they watched out of the corner of their eyes. Then, they ran up and asked: where are you from? Who are you? What is your injury? When I replied that I was a Ukrainian soldier and I was at war with Russia, everyone was generally interested in this,” Svyrydenko said.
There was also a non-competive fun run and family races where children could also run.
In the future, Ukraine intends to make the Beirut races a full-fledged part of the sports rehabilitation program for wounded servicemen, on the same level as the Invictus Games.