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Thousands of spectators are expected to attend marathon races held in Romania’s capital, Bucharest.
Over 7,000 people are expected to compete in this year’s Bucharest International Marathon, half marathon and relay races.
The competition, which this year is in its 5th edition, will host during the weekend other related events, such as a cross race and a children’s race, and the organisers expect they will draw in a further one thousand participants.
In Bucharest, the marathon route comprises an urban terrain, taking in some of the most spectacular city centre views of buildings such as the Parliament House, Romania’s National Biblioteque and the Historic Center.
The hospice charity director, James Niblett, will run the marathon dressed up in the pink Bagpuss cat costume, which was voted the best costume in the London 2012 marathon.
Bagpuss, which weights 10 kilos and is 2.1 meters tall will run for a local NGO to raise funds for palliative care of children with incurable diseases.
Athletes from more than 30 countries will take part in the Bucharest marathon which will be held under the motto ‘Run For Your Health’.
"We're using this opportunity mainly to raise public awareness about a healthy lifestyle. That’s why thousands of people are joining us for two-days of running and fun-related events,” said Valeria Racila, one of the race organizers and former Olympic champion at canoe single paddle.
“Furthermore, we have already registered a high level of interest in the event from athletes and tourists. So, this is important for Romania’s tourism industry also,” she added.
At least 1,000 tourists are expected to come just for the marathon.
While not very popular in the Balkans, marathon races across the world embrace tens of thousands of both elite athletes and recreational runners almost every weekend.
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