We join running clubs to find out what motivates Ukrainians to run
These young people come from different professional backgrounds, they were born in different cities and mostly they have different interests. But there is something, which unites them.
Karolina Yanko, runner: "I run because I like it a lot. Because I like going outside, taking my shoes and run and feel free when I'm running."
Anastasiya Usova, runner: "It really does good to your body. You feel better after you run, you feel more relaxed. And it just becomes a part of your life."
Just as all around the world, running has become ‘a thing' in Ukraine.
There are running clubs, competitions, marathons, half-marathons, running gear, running apps. But the question is – why did all those people suddenly started to run? And seems like everyone has its own story:
Inna Topol, runner: "When I received the invitation to participate in 10 kilometers run I thought ‘Oh, ok, to run such a long distance I have to be prepared'. My first run was about two kilometers – it was hard, very hard."
For Vadym his running story began, when his girlfriend got him a pair of running shoes:
Vadym Yurchenko, runner: "And she signed me up for half marathon in Kyiv and it was the starting point. And I began to train."
And while some are tackling the half-marathon challenge, others are dreaming big:
Karolina Yanko, runner: "I think maybe in the future I would like to run Iron Man – it's like, oh my God, it's very high-level of running."
We decided to talk to the coach to ask him why people are running these days so much:
Andriy Nesterov, running coach: "The number of running clubs is increasing with each year – both local and global and people are running, people socialize, they stay in touch through social media – they see their friends start running and decide to start running themselves."
Seems like for Anastasiya – running has just it - a social element:
Anastasiya Usova, runner: "For example if I run alone, I run at certain distance and if I run with a running club, I keep with the pace of others, and again I realize that I can run faster, I can run longer and I enjoy it more."
Anastasiya is a lawyer and whenever she can spare a minute in her busy schedule, she puts on her running tights and shoes and goes for a run:
"It's fun, it's a good relax after work, it's nice to run around the city at different locations with various people," she says.
Anastasiya prefers running on the streets, rather than on the stadium. And she has no difficulty finding the likeminded – there are various street running clubs.
"I think it's really trendy. And now it's like Kyiv is full of runners. In the morning, late at night. People run with lights. 27.40 In the darkness. It becomes really trendy," she adds.
So be it trendy, social or for achieving some goals – the fact remains a fact - running is becoming more and more popular in Ukraine and more and more Ukrainians choose healthy lifestyle.
Volodymyr Solohub, Vadym Lytvyn and Vladyslav Konochuk reporting from Kyiv for Ukraine Today.