Oxford runners invited to take part in first marathon in Russian twin city

Published: Tuesday, 11th July 2017

Runners have been invited to take part in the inaugural marathon in Oxford’s twinned city of Perm, Russia.

The event, the First Perm International Marathon, will take place across two days: Saturday 2 September and Sunday 3 September.

Along with the full marathon, people will also be able to take part in a half marathon, and 10km or 3km runs, through the city’s downtown area.

On the Saturday, runner’s kits will be distributed and people will be able to take part in and enjoy master classes, games, and dance and music performances on the main stage. There will also be a running tour around Perm, a pasta party for marathon runners and a street food festival.

On the Sunday, there will be warm-ups, performances and contests on the main stage, and the races themselves – which will be broadcast live on a screen.

All finishers will receive a commemorative medal, and winners will receive diplomas, souvenirs and money prizes. The total prize fund will be 1.9m Russian Rubles (about £25,000).

The Mayor of Perm, Dmitriy Samoylov, wrote to the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Jean Fooks, last week to invite representatives from Oxford to take part in the marathon.

In the letter, he said: “I am sure that participation of people from our sister cities in this sporting event will contribute to strengthening friendship links between our cities.”

Organisers have also offered to host Oxford runners in local homes.

Oxford and Perm have been officially twinned since 1995. Previous exchanges have included school children, dancers, musicians, disabled people, artists, environmentalists, lawyers, journalists and politicians.

Perm is the most easterly city in Europe, situated 900 miles east of Moscow, between the Kama River and the Urals Mountains. It has an internationally-famous ballet school, a unique collection of religious wooden sculptures, and industries that cover everything from fine paper to aircraft engines.

Councillor Fooks said: “I hope that some people will be able to take this opportunity to strengthen our links with our twin city, by joining in the first marathon in Perm in September.”

Councillor Dee Sinclair, Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “This is an exciting first for our twin city of Perm which will serve to enhance and strengthen our links.  I wish all participants good luck and send special thanks to the organisers.  Have a wonderful time!”

To take part in the First Perm International Marathon as a representative of Oxford, please email internationallinks@oxford.gov.uk.