A sunny morning and well prepared ski course created cheerful atmosphere at the start of the 50 km FT race. 1776 skiers from 17 countries gathered on the Demino stadium to challenge themselves and be a part of the biggest ski marathon in Russia. The Governor of the region made the starting shot for the first and elite waves of skiers. Nikolay Zimyatov, four times Olympic Champion, Alexander Zavialov, 2 times World Cup winner, together with Alexey Petukhov, Olympic bronze medallist, greeted the skiers from the stands.
The members of the Russian Marathon Team took the leadership from the beginning of the race. A group of bright black and green ski suits left the rivals behind, chasing each other up to the end of the the second lap. Hundreds of spectators saw a memorable finish of the ski struggle. Raul Shakirzyanov, last year’s silver medallist, took the first place (1:53:36.4) just a split second faster than Konstantin Glavatskikh who came the second (1:53:36.7). Mikhail Sosnin crossed the finish line after Glavatskikh with the result 1:53:37.1.
- I’m very happy that I won, as last year I was the second. The course was very good, but the second lap was quite challenging, and the victory was decided at the finish line. Demino Marathon is prestigious in Russia, it has great organisation. I've visited Demino several times and I like it a lot.
Among ladies the situation became clear on the second lap: Olga Rocheva, last year’s winner, managed to make a big gap between her rivals and came the first with the result 2:02:55.2. Her team mate Larisa Ryasina was almost three minutes behind her (2:05:40.3). Natalia Zernova became bronze medallist again as she did last year showing the result 2:10:55.4.
- Marathon is great and becomes better every year. I would like to thank the Organisers and my team who prepared my skis and refreshments on the course. Everything was smooth so I achieved a good result.
Tomorrow is the second day of the Rostec Demino Ski Marathon that will start with a Baby-marathon for children from 4 years old, and 5 km CT and 10 km CT races. The 25 km CT race will close the marathon weekend. The weather forecast says that the Organisers should make a lot of efforts at night to save the perfect conditions of the course: 1 degree above zero and heavy snowfall with rain.