unning is commonly considered the most boring exercise, yet when Senior Editor of our print edition Ksenia Afanasyeva shares the joy and pride she experiences when she is on the run, we set out on a journey to find out more. To Ms. Afanasyeva, Nike ambassador Alexandra Boyarskaya, PR and marketing director Katya Krivova, running is a positively charged challenge and the definition of living. The gruesome training of the body and mind rewards runners with patience, endurance and joy at the finish line. It is a lifestyle that evokes health awareness with a beautiful body as a bonus.
Here, the 3 Moscovites share their stories of love and war with running and why they embrace the challenge.
ALEXANDRA BOYARSKAYA Ambassador at Nike Russia •Alexandra Boyarskaya had the idea to run on the longest day of the year to start at sunrise and finish at sunset. She started at The Red Square and finished at an art village in the country side over 150 miles away. With a group of 10 friends, she drew the route, hired a van and ran a relay on highways and countryside roads. She bought everything for the run including extra towels, socks, and food. As they arrived the finish line at sunset, she recalled her emotional state as one of the happiest memories. “I cried because I was so happy. I know that they loved it. It wasn't about me - but about the team effort and my beloved friends in absolute happiness. That's the best reward I can get. I run for the love of running, for the runner's high, because I can stop in the middle of the marathon and laugh in joy. I don’t run for time results. I’m not there yet.“
KATYA KRIVOVA PR & Marketing director at Business Relations, Moscow-based coaching and training company • The challenge of running is just a well of happiness for Katya Krivova. As of today, her personal record includes four half-marathons in Paris, Amsterdam, Garda, Nice and a lot of races at 5-10 km that she says are all uniquely special. One day, in an uncomfortable urge for action after a seven-year career in aerobics, the 25 year old spontaneously found herself on a running path in the middle of Moscow. “I started running for a change. I didn’t like the way I lived anymore - not enough exercises and I desired more energy, emotions, new goals and achievements. In an evening during the winter of 2010, I came home from work and realized I couldn’t go on. I got dressed, went out onto the street and ran! I couldn’t get enough of the air and rejoiced that my body re-powered as my heartbeat faster. That incredible evening, I ran my first 5 km. Then, I ran every day through the cold rain, mud and hail storm.”
KSENIA AFANASYEVA Senior Editor of the print edition of Playing Fashion and Editor-in-chief at Newrunners.ru • Seven years ago, running replaced snowboarding and rollerblading for Ksenia Afanasyeva. Running put her body and mind through challenges that even growing up as one the fittest kids in school didn’t prepare her. Multiple failed trainings as a result of injuries prevented the 27 year old to participate in a marathon. She then joined the team of organizers of the Moscow Marathon. Working on the event motivated her to resume training. “It took me six years to admit that running is a serious exercise that requires trained muscles, ligaments, joints, and patience.The desire to run from the overlapped central streets in Moscow and finish at the Olympic Stadium was for me the most important stimulus to correct critical errors in running techniques to reconsider my attitude towards running shoes and to cope with all the difficulties that have rained down on me in the course of preparation.”
Photography by Ann Kozlenko; sittings editor: Svetlana Muller.