Battle of Moscow | Animated History
Moscow vs New York: whose marathon is cooler?
To share with colleagues, gain experience and once again declare themselves on the international platform - for these and many others, the team of organizers of the Moscow Marathon went to the start in New York. Director of the Moscow Marathon Dmitry Tarasov shares his impressions with the Championship and compares the attitude to running, organizational aspects and the atmosphere of the two races.
Director of the Moscow Marathon Dmitry Tarasov
Photo: From the personal archive of Dmitry Tarasov
The New York Marathon is an event on which is visited by people from all over the world, but the percentage of foreigners on it is much higher. First of all, this is due to the fact that the number of people wishing to get there exceeds the number of seats by 4-5 times, and the marathon policy itself is based on distributing people among several markets. That is, they are focused on the fact that foreigners come and replenish the city's budget from an economic point of view. The quota for races is divided something like this: 50 percent Americans and 50 percent foreigners. A certain number of slots are given away in the lottery. The number of seats is different for different countries, and this applies to all major markets. The interest of Americans is very simple - to make word of mouth and what foreign visitors do work for the image of the marathon itself.
Our picture is different. Despite the fact that the Moscow Marathon is developing every year, now there is not the very moment when the number of people and those who wish exceeds the number of quotas. We think that this situation will continue for another 10-15 years. But on the other hand, the number of foreigners is growing significantly every year, both organically, and thanks to the actions that the team of the Moscow Marathon and the running community performs, visiting various foreign exhibitions, attracting bloggers, foreign print, Internet media and television channels that we bring at our own expense ... With the help of them, we tell others about what Moscow is, the Moscow Marathon itself and how good it is to run here.
Organization of the start
The main feature in organizing the start in Moscow and New York in the fact that in Moscow the start and finish are in the same place, and in New York, the start is in one part of the city, and the finish is in another, and people run through the five main districts of the city.
In addition, in New York people are delivered to the start by several modes of transport: bus and ferry. This is a very difficult task, since they transport 55 thousand participants and several thousand volunteers from one point to another. We don't have this, everything is located in the city center, near the MCC and two metro stations, there is an opportunity to get there by car at a certain period. Therefore, we have a peculiar advantage over them.
Another great advantage- the Luzhniki themselves. Locally, we are located in a place that now, thanks to the World Cup, has its own clear outlines and boundaries, an access system and the ability to pass a huge number of people through the entrance loops, without creating crowds, regardless of weather conditions. We can also boast of large spacious changing rooms, well heated from all sides, where there are also storage rooms. America also has locker rooms, but they are just a roof, they have no side walls, and their locker rooms are much smaller than those of the Moscow Marathon.
But the Americans also have certain advantages. For example, the site itself, which is well designed from the point of view of how people enter the clusters, the division into zones, which is very convenient, plus, the approach to the start is very convenient. But it is important to note that in New York after the finish, you will need to walk another mile and a half to reach the lockers. Often, many people feel bad in this crowd, and that is why doctors are always on duty there.
How did the races start?
The New York Marathon appeared on the wave of the 70s running boom. In those days, it was not yet such a large running organization, which now deals with everything from the development of children's sports to holding 50 sports and running events a year.
The New York Marathon began with running in circles in Central Park. Then came the ambitious project of Fred Lebow, whose statue stands there during the marathon. It was he who, in 1976, proposed to change the route of the marathon and lay it through all five districts of the city. He was the one who ambitiously pulled the race from a small park history into a real mass marathon.
Interestingly, these events coincided with a difficult period for the history of New York, which was in economic decline at that time. Fred LeBow was able to convince the city administration that mass races are profitable, assured the administration of the districts through which the track passes that it would be safe, promised prize money to the elite, and to partners - the massive scale of the event and a beautiful track. And he kept that promise. The race only grows every year.
History of New York The marathon is long and difficult, and if we compare it with the Moscow one, then in this sense we are a very young race that has certain growth prospects, which is noted by foreign experts. This is due to the fact that Moscow is the capital of Russia, a city with great opportunities, both financial and human. In addition, Russia and its culture are of great interest to foreigners. Therefore, over time, Moscow has every chance of becoming one of the majors.
The first race under our brand was held in 2013. Its growth is truly ambitious and surprising for many foreign experts. For the first few years, the audience of the Moscow Marathon has almost doubled every year - by 100-150%. Then this leap of timeIt declined significantly due to the fact that the mass character was quite large. The project is still growing every year, perhaps not at such a fast pace, but nevertheless, it is growing. I would like not only Muscovites and residents of the Moscow region to take part in the Moscow Marathon, but also people from other Russian cities, as well as foreigners for whom it would be easy and accessible. Visa is one of the most constraining factors at the moment.
New York is the largest running city in the world, 55 thousand people this year came to the start of the marathon. As for the Moscow Marathon, it is the largest in Russia. Today the number of marathon runners is about 10 thousand, but we hope that in 2019 we will exceed this figure. I must say that we are at the very beginning of the road, unlike the Americans.
Running is a part of life
It's actually quite difficult to talk about different attitudes of people towards running. Here we are talking more about two specific events with their own unique atmosphere. At all such marathons, the attitude is one - positive. Everywhere it is joy, manifestation of oneself, the atmosphere of a real holiday.
Probably, I must say that those people who did not run the New York Marathon, take to the streets in order to support the runners. Even without participating in such events, they feel like a part of the whole running movement, they want to support athletes with their energy, because they understand how important it is. So far there is no such situation in Moscow, and everything revolves only around those who run, and their number is not as large as in America. Running for Americans is a part of life, they run to work in sportswear, changing in the office, and then come back in the same evening. This can be seen almost everywhere when we visit New York, London and other cities.
Moscow and New York marathon runner
Of course, the portrait of these two characters is very different. Our audience is people aged 25-35, this is a younger audience. This is due to the fact that only six years have passed since the running boom in Russia, and now those guys who started running when they were still students take part in the marathon.
Moscow Marathon: a look into the future
Of course, we want to enter the majors. This prospect is far away, maybe in 10 years.
But for this to happen, we must increase the audience of participantsikov and be ready for this financially, since the main requirement put forward by the majors is the availability of a certain amount of money to invite elite athletes. Providing only the elite at a big marathon is a colossal cost for the organizers: a good prize fund, hotel accommodation, payment for doping tests, service personnel and service during the event. It should be noted that the majors are on everyone's lips, and by getting this status, the race wins from the point of view of the participants. Everyone's desire to get to the Major is much higher in itself than the desire to take part in a race that has, for example, a gold label.
Team of the Moscow Marathon at the Expo in New York
Photo: From the personal archive of Dmitry Tarasov
And what is at the New York , London, or Chicago marathon strive to get about 300-400 thousand people, suggests that the label of a major itself influences the desire of people to take part in this event.
If we talk about the closer prospects of the Moscow marathon , then here it will rather be about getting a bronze, gold, silver, platinum label. And for this to happen, we first need to grow up and go through certain stages of development. We are going to them. '