Ukrainian celebrities, locals, and professional runners participate in the 21-kilometre challenge
A European-style half-marathon took place in the city of Dnipro over the weekend. Nearly one and a half thousand people participated in the race. Residents from nine countries, ranging in age from 18 to well over sixty. Even Ukrainian celebrities were on board to take part in the twenty-one-kilometre half-marathon.
Although 21 kilometres is the official distance of the Dnipro half-marathon, not everyone was obligated to conquer it. Participants were given the option to choose to run either 10 kilometres, or just two.
Anatoly Anatolich, 1+1 TV host: "I always run a few times a week in Kyiv. Here, I decided to run the full 21-kilometre race, at least to run over the longest bridges in our country."
Dnipro residents joined in on the festivites. People came out in hundreds to support the runners. Even the mayor's wife was among the runners - he remained on the sidelines.
Maryna Filatova, Dnipro Mayor's wife: "I think everyone is a winner here. The distance isn't easy to run, the bridge is tought... and the heat doesn't help either."
35-year-old Serhiy Okseniuk from the western Ukrainian city of Lutsk claimed the 1st place title among men. Okseniuk finished the Dnipro half-marathon in an hour and five minutes. This is not his first marathon - previously he ran distances up to 100 kilometres in Europe.
Serhiy Okseniuk, Dnipro Half-Marathon male winner: "Honestly speaking, I came here to win. But in sports start is not as important as the finish. So thanks to the positive atmosphere and the fans - I managed to win the race."
Anna Pechko, a Dnipro local took the first place among female runners. Pechko is a professional athlete so the half-marathon was nothing new to get used to.
Anna Pechko, Dnipro Half-Marathon female winner: "It was extremely difficult to run after the fifteenth kilometre. I had to fight myself. Force my legs to run because in my head I was ready to give up. Somehow, I've managed to win that fight and win the race."
Dnipro officials say the next half-marathon will take place in spring of 2017.