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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Runners Set To Take Over City Streets

On Sunday, several hundred runners will line Olimpiisky Prospekt for the start of the 16th annual Moscow international marathon.

This year's race attempts a comeback after almost a decade of neglect by city officials.

During the early 1980s, the Moscow Marathon reached its peak of popularity by offering thousands of everyday runners a chance to compete on the same course once used by the world's best during the 1980 Olympic Games.

The emergence of other long-distance races in Russia, in particular the Siberian marathon in Omsk, lured away a large number of competitors by offering larger prize money.

Forced to compete for survival, Moscow organizers have attracted several major sponsors including Nike and Coca Cola. There is a prize of 16 million rubles (more than $3,000) for the winner of the men's race, and half that sum for the women's champion

With the national title at stake, several of Russia's best runners, such as Fyodorov Ryzhov, are planning to compete. The start and finish will take place on Olimpiisky Prospekt, near the Olimpiisky sports complex, with an entry fee of 20,000 rubles for Russians and $50 for foreigners. Start time is 11 a.m.

For those not quite prepared for Sunday's marathon, there is still a chance to participate in the 2-kilometer "Run and Smile" fun run Sept. 8. at Luzhniki's Sportivny Gorodok, as well as a 6-kilometer race for the more serious runner. Call 201-1618 for details.