Sunny and warm weather was bestowed upon the 15th Pristina half-marathon on Sunday 10th of May. This cheerful event gathered around 1200 participants and a wide and encouraging audience. There were not many stretches on the route were the children were not waiving, cheering and clapping for the runners with their parents.
The Kenyans swept to the victory both in the male and female categories. The male winner's time was not much more than one hour and five minutes and the female winner ran under one hour and 20 minutes. Kosovars fared very well, especially in the veteran category.
The victory and records however were not the only important issue in the race. The goal of the half-marathon was to promote the values of peace and co-existence. Several schoolkids participated to the five kilometer run to embrace the sportsmanship. In addition several charity organizations attended the event. The Runner for hearts -campaign raised funds for the better healthcare for mothers and children and the volunteer participants raised awareness on bullying with their t-shirts. Also The Ideas Partnership -organization, supported by the Embassy of Finland, raised funds for employing a teacher and an assistant to a kindergarten established for the disadvantaged children.
The Deputy Head of Mission Lari Peltonen and the Junior Adviser Sara Linnoinen also ran their first half-marathon for a good cause. Unfortunately the Chargée d'Affaires of the Embassy, Anne Meskanen, had to cancel her participation due to unlucky flue, but her efforts for raising the quality of the race were noticed with a diploma of gratitude.
The Embassy of Finland wishes that the half-marathon will rise to fame in the future and keep up the good work for the values of sportsmanship, peace and tolerance.