RIVERS OF RUSSIA. REKI BEGUT[09.06.2021]
On 5 June, the World Environment Day, the second Rivers of Russia. Reki Begut Federal Environmental Marathon had taken place in the historical centre of Tula. The general partner of the sporting event was Shchekinoazot, a socially-oriented enterprise that contributes greatly to the development and support of sport in the region.
Seeking to popularise the idea of nature conservation and ecological balance, the Federal Water Resources Agency, the Moscow-Oka Basin Administration, opted for a unique series of sport and recreational events along Russia's biggest rivers. The eco-race is both a way of drawing attention to environmental issues and raising popular environmental awareness, as well as popularising grassroots sports, as well as outdoors and family-friendly pastimes.
All these values are shared by Shchekinoazot, which invests heavily each year in projects to preserve nature and human spiritual and physical development.
'Our marathon is still a young event, but it has already become very popular, attracting a huge number of participants,' said Vakhtang Astakhov, head of the Moscow-Oka Water Administration. 'This year, sponsors are also very interested in it. We have been supported in particular by the chemical company Shchekinoazot, whose values match ours.'
There is a reason why the organisers decided to hold the second eco-marathon in the Tula Region. Our region is the leader in terms of the volume of federal environmental projects implemented. The Tula Region is rich in rivers, and the Kazanskaya embankment of the Upa, located in the very heart of the city, is an ideal venue for an eco-marathon.
Tula picked up the baton from Dubna, near Moscow, where in September 2020, on the embankments of the Volga River, the first eco-marathon Rivers of Russia. Reki Begut Federal Environmental Marathon, a project by Rosvodresursy, had taken place.
This year, over 1,300 people took part in the eco-marathon, including 14-year-olds, adults, amateurs and professionals alike. The race brought together like-minded eco-activists and athletes from all over Russia, who competed on distances ranging from 1 to 21.1 km.
A diverse cultural programme started on the Kazan embankment in the morning. The event was hosted by famous Russian figure skater, Olympic champion Aleksey Yagudin.
Valeriy Sherin, First Deputy Governor of the Tula Region and Chairman of the Regional Government, greeted the participants of the eco-race on behalf of Aleksey Dyumin, Head of the Region. The marathon runners were cheered on by Irina Podchufarova, Director for Human Resources and Social Development at Shchekinoazot; Vakhtang Astakhov, Head of the Moscow-Oka Basin Administration of the Federal Water Resources Agency, and Roman Avdeyev, Head of the Kuban Basin Administration of the Federal Water Resources Agency.
'Shchekinoazot stepped forward as the general partner of the event and happily supported the initiative of the Federal Water Resources Agency to hold the eco-marathon. It is not just a competition, not simply a race over different distances. It is an environmental marathon, which gives it special importance. We pursue a policy of sustainable development, and thus healthy lifestyle, environmental protection, eco-activities and participation in all socially significant programmes in Tula Region are very important to us,' stressed Irina Podchufarova.
'A group of Shchekinoazot employees enjoyed racing over various distances. Some of our workers were also volunteers, providing invaluable help not only to the organisers, but to all participants in the eco-marathon.'
'I try to participate in every event like this. Earlier this year, I partook in Ski Track of Russia. Always so much pleasure and joy, and wholesome for one's health and mood. An energy boost you get there lasts for several days! I've been doing sports since childhood, and I can't imagine my life without it. Running is not my strong suit, though, so today I opted for a one-kilometre distance. Surely, participation is the biggest thing in itself! At Shchekinoazot, many employees are fans of sports. The management supports all our endeavours. About 20 internal, corporate and external competitions are held by the company each year,' said Dmitriy Yeliseyev, deputy head of the production control department who doubles as sports instructor at the company.
'I came to the eco-marathon with my daughter Diana. I want to test myself. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle and supporting the environment, and I have been teaching my baby girl to do that since childhood. Our company runs many environmental projects, and I am involved in most of them. The other day we had an event called Nicotine for Vitamins. We stood at the front gate, offering people who were smoking to exchange a pack of cigarettes for a pack of Vitamin C. Many people agreed,' said chemical engineer Nadezhda Deriglazova.
'My friend and I run before and after work. It's become a habit for us. I've already run a full marathon twice! I plan to do it a third time on 15 August, as I'm going to participate in Shield and Sword event in Tula. I can do a half marathon in 1 hour and 50 minutes, a decent result for me. I really like the mood at such marathons! Everyone's running neck-and-neck with their colleagues, while volunteers cheer on. Such unity! And then comes a nice mixed feeling of fatigue and pride for your achievement,' said Mikhail Romantsov, a unit control system operator in the sulphuric acid shop.
All participants in the eco-race received medals with the outline of the Tula Region and a Tula gingerbread with the logo of the marathon at the finish line.
Tula has now passed the baton of the Reki Begut Eco-marathon to the Krasnodar Territory. Vakhtang Astakhov, head of the Moscow-Oka Basin Administration, presented the cup to Roman Avdeyev, head of the Kuban Basin Administration. Next year, the eco-race will take place in the sunny resort city of Sochi.