Urbanathlon Sets the Challenge to Test the Best

Urbanathlon Sets the Challenge to Test the Best

We want to offer our readers and those who lead an active life an interesting event to test their sporting ability.

Published: June 5, 2013 (Issue # 1762)

for spt

Urbanathlon is expected to attract a thousand men and women willing to test their physical endurance on Krestovsky Island.  

Hundreds are expected to flex their muscles and tackle a serious of physical challenges at the annual Urbanathlon this Sunday on Krestovsky Island.

Organized by Men’s Health magazine, the sports event will see competitors run a 10-kilometer race with various trials every 1.5 kilometers.

“This year participants will face six tests specifically constructed for the event. The first one is the so-called high barrier — one has to climb over a wall and keep running. The trials that follow include barriers that athletes need to jump over or move under,” said Ekaterina Ovchinnikova, PR manager at Sanoma Independent Media, which also publishes Men’s Health magazine.

Other challenges include a net that participants have to climb through and a rope maze that must be navigated without touching the ground.

“The objective of one trial is to construct a bridge from wooden planks placed on metal barrels. If a plank falls down and can’t be picked up without touching the ground, the trial is not recognized by the jury. The final test is a five-meter high pyramid which the participants have to climb over it,” said Ovchinnikova.

The competition, now in its fifth year, helped propel St. Petersburg to take forth place in a list of the sportiest cities of Russia, according to a report published by Interfax last week. The top three cities were Kazan, Moscow and Sochi. These cities regularly host sporting events such as the international Summer Universiade competition in Kazan, in which 10,000 athletes will vie for medals this year, and the Rugby World Club and World Athletics Championship, both to be held in Moscow. Sochi, of course, was given a significant boost by the 2014 Olympic Games, for which it has been hosting test competitions.

This year organizers expect approximately 1,000 participants to take part in Urbanathlon— a significant increase from the first race in 2010, which drew only 250 athletes. The organizers are also quick to assure athletes that they do not need any special sport background to successfully finish the race.

“It is enough to have a good level of general physical training. Even amateur athletes stand a chance at placing in this event. Moreover, this year we increased the amount of medal places up to five in each class of participants, both men and women,” said Ovchinnikova.

Prize money worth 200,000 rubles will be shared between the top five finishers in the men’s and women’s races, with 30,000 rubles awarded for first place and 10,000 rubles awarded for fifth.

“I always wanted to take part in a similar event, to try my strength in a real competition, not just in training,” said Artem Davydenko, who will participate this year. “So I registered for this race as soon as I found out about it. I think such events are undoubtedly necessary as they promote sport. Here you can see that you’re not alone when you run in the evening around your district— there are many such people in the city. It’s encouraging!”

Those who are not ready to take part in the competition as athletes can join as volunteers.

“I’m a novice in sports, even at the amateur level, so I’m not going to participate. But I have some free time and when I saw the announcement about the volunteer opportunity, I thought it would be interesting to investigate. I try to go to many different events to communicate with interesting people,” said volunteer Daria Gurianova.

“That’s the aim of the event — to offer our readers and those who lead an active life an interesting event to try their own forces and meet like-minded people,” said Ovchinnikova.

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