Mu­nic­i­pal ‘marathon’


THOU­SANDS pounded the streets of Girne in its mu­nic­i­pal “marathon” on Sun­day, rais­ing funds for the Ke­mal Saraçoğlu Foun­da­tion for Chil­dren with Leukaemia and the Fight against Cancer.

A multi­na­tional field of more than 3,000 adults and chil­dren turned out for the in­au­gu­ral Turk­cell Girne Marathon, held un­der the slo­gan “Although I Don’t Know You, I Am Run­ning For You” and or­gan­ised by Girne Mu­nic­i­pal­ity with EGAD Con­sul­tancy.

Three dis­tances at­tracted com­pe­ti­tion from honed ath­letes and en­thu­si­as­tic am­a­teurs over 7km and 21km half-marathon dis­tances, while chil­dren walked and jogged with their par­ents around a 3km course through the town cen­tre.

There was a fes­tive at­mos­phere as the sunny weather also brought out crowds of spec­ta­tors to cheer the run­ners on.

Among those watch­ing were Prime Min­is­ter Tu­fan Erhür­man, Labour and So­cial Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Zeki Çeler and Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü, while former Turk­ish Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion head and na­tional ath­lete Semra Aksu and Turk­ish Cypriot World Masters Ath­let­ics cham­pion Hasan Kasap were guests of hon­our who pre­sented the win­ners with their medals.

A de­lighted Ke­mal Saraçoğlu foun­da­tion co­or­di­na­tor Övgü İnce said “great ef­fort” and “fan­tas­tic team­work” had made the land­mark event a huge suc­cess and a “beau­ti­ful and pos­i­tive day”.

“We were also there, work­ing through­out the whole event reg­is­ter­ing people, and we did our best to con­trib­ute to the achieve­ment. It was an hon­our to have been part of it. On be­half of the foun­da­tion I thank the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, the mayor, EGAD and staff and each and ev­ery spon­sor for help­ing in the mak­ing of a fan­tas­tic day,” she said.

Mrs İnce also hailed the “huge ben­e­fit” of the event in pro­mot­ing Girne among for­eign res­i­dents and visi­tors, and called for it to con­tinue “with the same mo­ti­va­tion, as such events are im­por­tant for many cities around the world and cre­ate a char­ac­ter for them”.

Funds raised through en­try fees and dona­tions will be used by the foun­da­tion to pro­vide fi­nan­cial and moral sup­port to 77 cancer pa­tients reg­is­tered with them and their fam­i­lies.

Mrs İnce said 2017, when they sup­ported 76 pa­tients and fam­i­lies, had seen char­ity out­go­ings of 468,590TL, so they were in “des­per­ate” need of such re­sources to keep up their work.

Start of the race

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