Tomsk international marathon: prospects for top-ranking athletic event in Russian Asia

Postgraduate student A.A. Gordievskikh1
Dr. Med. T.A. Shilko1
1Tomsk State University, Tomsk

Keywords: international marathon, academic center, healthy lifestyle, socio-cultural domain.

Background. Modern sports are considered instrumental for the human resource development, life quality improvement and healthy lifestyle promotion initiatives as they have evolved into an important socio-economic sector with its training and competitive subsectors [1]. Sports are known to facilitate upbringing, social cohesion, personality development and assertion, lifestyle formation and healthy lifestyle cultivation projects in every population group [3, 4]. Running is one of the most popular modern athletic sports [6] known in historical records since at least 776 BC [2]. Presently virtually every world nation including Russia is experiencing a sort of a running boom, with more and more people of every age group going for competitive and health jogging activity considering this sport a part of their healthy lifestyle. Having evolved into a mass sport discipline, running has come to virtually every field of modern economic, tourist and cultural lifestyles in municipalities and regions.

Objective of the study was to analyze promises of the Tomsk International Marathon as the potential top-ranking athletic event.

Results and discussion. Before 2018, all the cities of the Siberian Federal District including Tomsk were virtually alien to national marathon movement with the only exception for Omsk that hosted a Siberian International Marathon, a top-ranking international event, since 1990, governed by the AIMS and IAAF rules. Marathon (Greek Μαραθών, Marathṓn) may be defined as the 42 km 195 m (26 miles 385 yards) long race [7] which was qualified an Olympic sport discipline in 1896 for men and in 1984 for women. The world's leading marathon events are run under the auspices and compliant to the rules of Association of International Marathons and Races (AIMS). The AIMS rules were endorsed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to set standards for the highway running competitions and running tracks; contracting provisions for professional athletes; develop doping control criteria; keep formal competitive records; acknowledge the world records etc. [7]. Presently the AIMS is a corporate member of the IAAF. In 1988 the IAAF formally approved and implemented the AIMS’ track metering method; and in 2004 implemented the world record registration procedure for the highway marathon running events (before that they were called the "best results").

Key requirements to the formal highway marathon running events in urban areas are the following: (1) The distance and track must be certified by the national or international AIMS/ IAAF certificate; (2) Track metering shall be made at least once in five years by an IAAF/AIMS certified A/B class expert [7]; (3) The marathon track shall be compliant with the valid mass running event safety/ quality standards to be slated in the calendar of the National Running Movement of the Russian Athletics Federation; or with the European safety/ quality standards of the European Athletics Association (Running4All system). In addition to the safety and quality standards, a special attention is given to the cultural and entertaining aspects of the events to secure their popularity and promote mass running sport movements for public healthy lifestyle promotion purposes [5].

Presently, in the situation of the Russian Athletics Federation (RAF) membership in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the European Athletics Association (ELA) being suspended, sports (like no socio-cultural sphere) are in need of efficient bilateral and multilateral communication formats. Peacekeeping and peaceful rivalry in sports on the whole and amateur sports in particular require a good international climate and mutual understanding to demonstrate benefits of the peaceful cooperation models despite the severe sanctioning policies [8], with the international cooperation and cultural functions and advantages of the modern sports being particularly important today, along with their commonly appreciated benefits (competitive, entertaining, recreational, economic, etc.) [8].

The Tomsk authorities organized the Tomsk International Marathon viewed as a top-ranking regional, national and international athletic event based on the above reasoning plus the following arguments: (1) Need for many more marathon events compliant with the international standards in the Siberian region in addition to the traditional Omsk international marathon; (2) Great historical and cultural heritage of the city widely popular as an outdoor museum, with the marathon track going via the historical downtown with its architectural treasures including the wooden architecture; (3) The Tomsk International Marathon marathon track was duly metered as required by the AIMS standards and certified by an AIMS/ IAAF certificate; and (4) The city is globally known and popular as a scientific, innovative and educational center with well-established academic, cultural and sporting contacts.

The first Tomsk International Marathon event was hosted by the city on June 11, 2018, with 2,098 competitors from 30 Russian regions and 6 foreign countries qualified for the event. The second Tomsk International Marathon event on June 9, 2019 hosted more than 4 thousand competitors from 40 Russian regions and 15 foreign countries who competed on the marathon track in the downtown certified by the AIMS certificate.

Conclusion. As far as the benefits of the top-ranking sport events on the whole and marathon events in particular are concerned, particular for the international communications, socio-cultural, recreational and tourist aspects including the geographical, historical, scientific and educational attractions of the regions as provided by the valid international rules and standards, we would underline the following: (1) modern sports are increasingly powerful in the human resource mobilizing and developing, healthy lifestyle promotion, life quality improvement and other relevant aspects; and (2) the top-ranking international athletic racing events on a provincial turf may have a multiplier effect to rapidly pay back and build up the public resource that was mobilized to launch them.

References

  1. Bleer A.N., Suslov F.P., Tyshler D.A. Sports terminology. Explanatory dictionary. M.: Akademiya publ.. 2010. 464 p.
  2. Voroshin I.V. Cross-country athletics. M.: SPbSUFE publ.. 2008. 30 p.
  3. Izaak S.I. International communications in scientific and educational environment. Nauchnye issledovaniya i razrabotki. Sovremennaya kommunikativistika, 2017, no. 2. pp. 28-36.
  4. Izaak S.I. State of physical development and physical fitness of children, adolescents, youth based on population monitoring technology (case study of the Russian Federation). Izvestiya VUZov Kyrgyizstana, 2016, no. 9, pp.  153-156.
  5. Official site of Russian Athletics Federation [Electronic resource]. Available at: http://rusathletics.info/ [tsit. 25.05.2019].
  6. Official site of Russian amateur racing portal [Electronic resource]. Available at: https://probeg.org// [tsit. 25.05.2019].
  7. Official site of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races [Electronic resource]. Available at: http://aims-worldrunning.org/aims.html [tsit. 25.05.2019].
  8. Parshikova N.V., Izaak S.I., Kovalenko G.V. Sport in global coordinate system: new challenges and opportunities. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury. 2017. no.  7. pp.  94-96.

Corresponding author: info@go-run.club

Abstract

Modern sports are considered instrumental for the human resource development, life quality improvement and healthy lifestyle promotion initiatives as they have evolved into a socio-economic sector with its training and competitive subsectors. Sports are known to facilitate upbringing, social cohesion, personality development and assertion, lifestyle formation and healthy lifestyle cultivation projects in every population group. The study analyzes promises of the Tomsk International Marathon as the potential top-ranking athletic event. We analyzed the local potential that may be mobilized to meet the formal criteria for hosting the road marathon event including: national/ international AIMS/IAAF distance compliance certificate; compliance of the safety system to the relevant running track standards for the events listed in the National Calendar of the Russian Athletics Federation or the Quality and Safety Standards of the European Athletics Association (Running4All system).

The study data and analyses show that the regional resources, geographic location, history, cultural heritage, research and innovative resources and the Tomsk being known as one of the national key academic centers – give grounds to successfully host the top-ranking international athletics event as required by the AIMS. The local resources including the cultural and tourist service components may be beneficially used to encourage the sport communication and demonstrate excellent cooperation and service model in the situation when the Russian Athletics Federation membership is suspended in IAAF and EAA.