The Fifth International Friendship Marathon starts this year in Grodno

The event will kick start on Sunday, 19 July, at the Ice Sports Palace. Taking part in it will be more than 230 athletes from Austria, Belarus, the United Kingdom, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Poland, Russia, the United States, Turkey, Ukraine, Finland and Estonia. The participation registration continues through 15 July. According to the latest data, 235 runners have already signed up.

The marathon will go through the villages Grandichi, Zaritsa, Gozha and through the border crossing Privalka-Raigardas. This year the marathon ends on the Lithuanian side. This will be the classical marathon of 42,195km certified by the International Federation of Athletics (IAAF).

According to the organizing committee, both professional athletes and running enthusiasts older than 18 years old are allowed in the marathon. The runners will compete in four age groups. The past marathons have showed that professional athletes do the marathon in two hours, two and a half hours. This year, the time limit is six hours. Results over six hours will not be registered. Winners will receive diplomas and cash prizes from the organizers: $1,000 for the 1st place, $800 for the 2nd and so on.

Last year 123 athletes from 12 countries ran the marathon which started in Druskininkai and finished in Grodno. The youngest participant was the 19-year Anton Kurapov from Grodno. The oldest was 73-year-old Piotr Silkin from Vilnius.

105 people crossed the finish line. Stepan Rogovtsev from Mogilev completed the course in 2 hours 28 hours, which was the best time. Ukrainian Kristina Bogomyagkova was the winner among women with the result of 3:03 hours.

The international marathon between Druskininkai and Grodno is aimed to strengthen the friendly relations between the peoples of Belarus and Lithuania, improve partnership, and promote running and healthy lifestyle.