How 28,000 people run in Kazan

Kazan Marathon gathers twice as many participants as in 2023 in the capital of Tatarstan: how it was

How 28,000 people run in Kazan
Photo: Максим Платонов

The tenth anniversary Ak Bars Bank Kazan Marathon has been held in Kazan. The streets of the city turned into running tracks, along which 28,000 people from all over Russia were running in two days. There were ordinary people, experienced athletes, officials and celebrities who participated. There were Russians and Kenyans, Kazakhstanis, residents of Belarus and 13 other countries. There were children and adults, and those who still can't run — crawled. So, for a few days Kazan turned into the capital of running. For the first time in history, the Kazan Marathon was broadcast live on Match TV, and a brand new car was raffled off among the runners. The report of Realnoe Vremya features the faces of the Kazan Marathon and conversations with participants about their motivation. Why do people fly tens of thousands of kilometкуs to run forty. Why should they overcome themselves by going out on the track over and over again. What a 63-year-old man from Ulyanovsk and a 73-year-old lady from Bashkortostan are running away from.

Twice as many people ran in Kazan as in 2023

The Kazan Marathon celebrated its tenth anniversary. This year it has been held on grand scale: about 28 thousand people took part in the race in three days (in 2023 it gathered about 14 thousand). The support groups that supported the runners along all the trails numbered about 15 thousand people. In short, Kazan confirmed the status of the country's largest regional marathon and once again showed the highest class of competitions.

About 28 thousand people took part in the race. Максим Платонов /

The strongest marathoners of the country ran in a separate competition — they competed in the Russian Marathon Championship. Fans of running closely followed the leaders of the races, and they did not disappoint.

Luiza Dmitrieva, winner of 41.2 km race. Максим Платонов /

The running feast in Kazan goes to the international level: along with the Moscow Marathon and the St. Petersburg White Nights, our marathon has entered the BRICS League and the League of Marathons of Russia.

It was possible to choose from three distances: 42.2 km, 21.1 km, 10 km and a 3 km race for beginners. On May 10, children competed in the TIMERKIDS mass children's race, and in the TIMERBABY mass infant “crawl” (the only one in the country!) kids under one year old participated.

According to tradition, the track went through the main attractions of Kazan: the phrase “running tourism” has received a direct meaning. One could admire the Kremlin, admire the Chasha family center, run around the Ak Bars Arena twice, cross two dams, and see many more interesting things. Special attention is paid to support groups this year. Many runners who talked to Realnoe Vremya noted that they had never seen such support on the track as in Kazan. People with drums, musical instruments, motivational posters and signs, sincerely empathising and rooting for the runners, staged a real fan show throughout the entire route. By the way, a separate competition with cash prizes is held among the support groups: whoever gets the most votes will receive the award.

People with drums, musical instruments, motivational posters and signs, sincerely empathising and rooting for the runners, staged a real fan show throughout the entire route. Максим Платонов /

“Now I know why everyone is coming here to run: it's cool here!”

The geography of participants this year is wide — 80 regions of Russia, 17 countries, many cities. The youngest participant, a boy from the TIMERBABY slider race, is only 5 months old. The age of the oldest marathon runner was kept silent, but the correspondents of Realnoe Vremya talked with several runners aged seriously over seventy. .

Alexander started running when he turned 50 years old — until then he had been leading the life of an ordinary person. Now the 63-year-old Ulyanovsk runner states: compared to that time, he lost extra pounds (lost a third of his weight!), became healthier and every year he improves the results of starts — as if he was running away from age.

Alexander is 63, and every year he improves his running performance. Максим Платонов /

Evgeny Vasiliev came from St. Petersburg. He has been running for 6 years now: he says that it helps to keep his psyche stable, balance a huge workload with physical exercises. He ran in Kazan for the first time.

“Running is my life!”

Guzel Mingalieva attracted the attention of our correspondents with a flirty skullcap. She came from Moscow and says that in the different cities in which she runs, she tries to bring something of the local flavour to her image. For example, in Myshkin she put a headband with Mickey Mouse ears on my head, and in Kazan she found a skullcap appropriate. Guzel has been running for the fifth year: marathons, half marathons, and trails. She says:

“I started running for my health — I was often sick since childhood, so I decided: why don't I run for immunity? So I got involved. By the way, it really helps! It's really good for your health, I recommend it to everyone.”

Guzel from Moscow claims: running is good for your health!. Максим Платонов /

“Running is deep and multifaceted, like space”

Pavel Nezhenko, the head of the Novgorod Run running club, brought his team from Veliky Novgorod. He himself has been running for 10 years, from a certain point he began to train others, founded a club. He shares his philosophy with our correspondents:

“Every time we look for a new motivation and new meanings in this. Running is deep and multifaceted, like space. You make discovery after discovery in the process.

This is not the first time runners from Novgorod have come to Kazan. Максим Платонов /

Almost two dozen members of the club came to Kazan: this is the third time they have been here. Novgorod residents like our city: the fast and picturesque track, and especially they note the support of the fans.

In general, there were many running clubs from all over the country in Kazan. For example, Amur Run from Khabarovsk landed a landing party of eleven people in the capital of Tatarstan, and other Khabarovsk residents also participated — about two dozen in total. On Sunday, two birthday boys, Anna and Roman, ran half marathon from this club. Roman has already been to Kazan, but the young wome — for the first time.

“This is one of the most interesting trails that we have seen. Very good organisation, beautiful city. The support on the track is incredible. There are many advantages, and even the weather did not particularly hamper, although the wind was quite strong. We have achieved our goals. High level of organisation, well done guys," the runners said.

Dozens of partners helped to organise the Holiday For Everyone

Vadim Yangirov, the director of the Kazan Marathon, admits that this year the main organisational difficulty was to “digest” all the registered participants. It's no joke — 28 thousand people! Last year. there were about 14 thousand of them.

“All these 10 years we have been steadily developing, learning from our own mistakes, adopting the best practices, exchanging experiences," says Yangirov. “This year we have added new features to the organisation: for example, we made not only the Parade of Nations, but also a big concert with famous headliners. For the first time this year, our marathon — the part of it that covered the Russian Marathon Running Championship — was broadcast live by the national TV channel Match TV. We tried to make a holiday for everyone!”

KAN AVTO dealership, a newcomer among official partners, provided a Cherry Tiggo car, which became the main prize in the drawing held among the runners. Динар Фатыхов /

Continuing the conversation with our publication, Yangirov said: this year the marathon budget has grown significantly. He did not name the absolute amount, but explained what this increase was made of. The amount of fees from organisational contributions has grown significantly (which is no wonder, taking into account the doubled number of participants) — this gave about half of the entire budget of the event. About 25% is the budget component. The rest is received from sponsors and partners, into whose ranks more and more new figures are joining. For example, the SBP payment system joined the general partners along with SIBUR not so long ago. KAN AVTO dealership, a newcomer among official partners, provided a Cherry Tiggo car, which became the main prize in the drawing held among the runners. Magnit retail chain held competitions at its nominal distance — 3 Kilometres With Magnit.

Marathon partners helped fill the starter packs. Динар Фатыхов /

There are also old friends of the Kazan Marathon who have been staying with it for years — for example, the title partner of the event, Ak Bars Bank. Or one of the official partners of the tournament is the Makheev brand. As last year, the starter packs for runners included a jam pack (some marathon runners admitted to Realnoe Vremya correspondents that this doy pack was convenient to use as an isotonic to quickly replenish their carbohydrate supply, even during the race). A life-size doll in the form of the same package amused the audience, and then “jam” also ran 10 kilometers. The company provided a food processor for the drawing. At the finish line on May 12, the runners were greeted by the Makheev branded arch.

In total, the running festival in Kazan was supported by: 1 title partner, 2 general, 6 official, 9 special, 10 informational and 8 partners without a separate “nomination”.

Lyudmila Gubaeva

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