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One such in Russia: The Elizovsky Sprint race took place in Kamchatka
The teams went through the forest and the second largest city in the region.
Photo: Photos provided by the press service of the administration of Elizovsky district
“Let's go faster! What do you mean why? It’s not known how to make your way to a good place. Hurry, I say! ” This is the first thing that I hear when I arrived at the venue of the Yelizovsky Sprint in Kamchatka. An agitated teenager of 12 years drags the hand of his father, leisurely walking in front of me from the bus to the scene of the main events - the start of the dog sledding race, which for the eighth time passes in Yelizovo, the second largest city in the region, on the eve of the legendary Beringia.
Outside weather is unusually good for the Kamchatka spring. March on the peninsula is unpredictable - you can wait for a snowstorm any day. But this year we were lucky - even though it was freezing, the sun is shining, which raises the spirits.
“Well, okay, run!”, - the man answers the request of his son, and together they quickly leave. Hurry all come to the feast. Even counting the approximate number of guests per square meter is physically impossible. Everyone is in a hurry - soon the start of the mushers - the main characters of this day.
In the meantime, everyone who arrives can hear shots in the distance and watch the hunters, especially for whom the amateur biathlon has been staged here year after year. Their task is to ride a ski, without sticks, to overcome the route, and then also to make an accurate shot at the targets. In fact, it is the hunters who give the start to all the festivities of the “Elizovsky Sprint”. Their competitions are the first in the program, even before the start of the main race.
On the other site we see snowboarders. Especially for them here prepared a special slope, and athletes gather a lot of spectators, who are ready to watch the tricks of the fans of this extreme sport with pleasure.
I note that even if someone came to the “Elizovsky sprint” in a bad mood, then on the way to the main launch site, he is unlikely to be able to save it: along the way I met many animators who are happy to everyone, here and the photo zone to make a report for social networks or loved ones, here are the rows of hot tea, coffee and cakes. In general, the organizers took care of the comfort of the guests of the holiday and that they did not freeze - after all, spring in Kamchatka is quite frosty.
Well, in vain, I did not listen to the boy I met at the bus stop - I don’t have to get around to the good places at the start of the race, but I can watch the dogs from afar. And now the first team is ready for the start of the competition and, under the general rumble of the crowd, goes to the route, then the second, third ... Total 15 participants gathered this year "Elizovsky Sprint".
“There are no analogues in this race in Russia. She's the only one. Now they will go from here through the forest, and then to the city. Yes, yes, right through the streets and courtyards. And then they will come back to us, ”explains a volunteer who stopped next to me to a group of tourists or businessmen from China, whose translator enthusiastically conveys all the words to the guests of Kamchatka. “In total, more than 11 km of the way they need to go,” adds the volunteer.
No race in our country really exists. No, dog sledding runs not only in Kamchatka, but in such a way that it is nowhere to go straight along busy city streets. And here we must pay tribute to the organizers, mainly the Administration of Elizovsky district. Not every official governing the municipality will decide on this - to pave the road near houses and roads so as not to disrupt the life of the city and ensure the entertainment of the competition.
After the main start of the racers, we are talking about this with Roman Vasilevsky, head of the Elizovsky district, who, however, does not think that from a technical point of view these competitions are very difficult. “There is experience and a big team that is working on the organization. There is a technique that we take from sports schools, there is a beautification service - everyone works together and is very harmonious. The main task is to do everything quickly and also quickly to disassemble after the end of the race, as the infrastructure of the city must be reinstated for the convenience of residents. Here we should note the work of volunteers, they, in particular, are on duty at difficult sites, providing security and necessary assistance. Everything is brought to automatism, ”says the Head.
“Elizovsky Sprint” is a satellite race of the world famous Beringia, the participants of which will be held this year more than 1300 km. The main difference between Elizov competitions is that spectators can watch the race participants throughout the entire route, and not just at the start and finish. Accordingly, people stand and are ill right along the tracks, and someone does not leave the dwelling at all, watching everything that happens from the window or from the balcony.
“We have a well-coordinated team of organizers, volunteers, sponsors, district council and many people who participate in this event. Our men didn’t let us down, who might have wanted to be at the start of the Beringia in Esso, but came to us, because the Elizovsky sprint became their own race for them. You know, our race is special and difficult, as it passes through the city ... I think that people get pleasure - both the mussels, and those who came to the stadium, and those who met them in Yelizovo are all happy. It seems to me that this is the most important thing, ”concluded Roman Vasilevsky and was distracted by the finish, to which Natalia Orekhova, repeated champion of various competitions in riding sports, had already arrived. It took 28 minutes and 12 seconds to win.
Natalia Orekhova called the race “Elizovsky Sprint” one of her favorite competitions. “Steep descents, steep ascents. The city is generally a special part of the route. As they drove through the city center, the residents greeted us, cheered us up. It was so nice that the smile never left his face, ”the musher noted.
Following Natalia, the rest of the mushers also finished. All received their prizes, gifts, and most importantly - spectator love and recognition. But the holiday did not end there - the competition in skijoring began. Translated from the Norwegian skikjoring means "pull the skis." This kind of team sport is that one or more dogs are pulling a skier. And on the stage, in the meantime, various creative teams perform, and specially at the invitation of the organizers "Elizovsky sprint" visited and the VIA "Leisya, Song International".
“Be sure to write that Kamchatka is a unique place,” a young stranger interrupts my impressions of the concert. It turns out that she and her friends flew to the peninsula to go skiing - the national team, there is even a couple from Germany, and Catherine, as she introduced herself, from Moscow herself.
When asked how she found herself at the festival, Catherine replies that the administration of the hotel where she stayed with friends organized a special bus, which brought everyone to the Yelizovsky Sprint.
“I just noticed the word“ press ”on your clothes. Write that tourists are just in awe of your region. We heard a lot about Kamchatka, but hearing and visiting here are two different things. You have amazing nature, you have wonderful people. And this race is incredible. I was given to talk and take pictures with dogs, all so sweet! I have only positive emotions, ”my new acquaintance almost cries with joy.
The fact that “Elizovsky Sprint” is an attractive event for tourists, says the head of the Elizovo district Duma Andrei Shergaldin. He believes that everything that happens is a great holiday, not only for the citizens of Elizovsk, but also for all residents and guests of Kamchatka. “This is such a calling card. People are interested in advance when the “Elizovsky Sprint” will take place. A lot of people come. Young people, retirees, the House of Disabled brought wheelchairs. This is a holiday for everyone. The holiday is on an excellent level, ”Shergaldin says.
My interlocutor is sure that “Elizovsky Sprint” is worthy of a place in the calendar of tourist events. “We have a lot to show tourists. There are folk crafts, there are fur products, various original souvenirs, which I am sure travelers will like. When people go to Kamchatka, I think they still see our holiday in the calendar and plan their route. Given the pace with which tourism is developing on the peninsula, I think the Elizovsky Sprint has a high tourism potential and soon our race will be on the calendar of all travelers and will attract them to our region, ”concluded Andrei Shergaldin.
And tourists are already flying and specifically going to the “Elizovsky Sprint”. In a few hours I met people from Moscow, Volgograd, Belarus, Ukraine, I saw delegations from China and Korea. Residents of other areas of Kamchatka also come to Yelizovo specifically. In total, there were about 13-15 thousand people in the Valley of Coziness during the holiday - for the region this is a huge number of people in one place.
“Elizovsky Sprint” is not just a unique race that passes through the city streets, it is also the preservation and development of national traditions, it is one of the levers of promoting riding dog breeding, which in recent years in Kamchatka hundreds, if not thousands of local residents have been keen on ...
... The Elizovsky Sprint is over, and the legendary Beringia kicked off in March in Esso, Kamchatka, on 4.