Interview: The Inaugural Yerevan Half Marathon in Armenia

26 Aug 2015 10:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview
Credit : Yerevan Half Marathon

Hello, on October 4th 2015, you’ll be organizing the Yerevan Half Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The Yerevan Half Marathon will happen on October 4th, 2015. It will be located in Yerevan, capital of Armenia.

This will be the first edition of the event. Why did you decide to organize it?

We are a number of long-distance running enthusiasts, while we have participated in a number of half marathons and marathons ourselves, we could not live with the idea that our hometown does not have a long-distance event for itself. When we approached with this suggestion Yerevan city administration, they have welcomed the idea and supported us in every way.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

Our 21 km route is certified by AIMS. The start of the race for all distances will be at the very center of the Yerevan-Republic Square. The route goes in one loop, through picturesque streets of the city center, continues in Hrazdan river gorge, and return to Republic square, no part of the route repeats itself. Although Yerevan has some elevation, we found the flattest possible sections, combining them with sightseeing opportunities for the runners.

What are the distances on the agenda?

21.1 km, 10 km, 2 km and 1 km kids run. This is a race for entire family; everyone can find a comfortable distance.

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

For the first year we plan to see 2,000 runners. We welcome both beginners and Elite runners from all over the world. The culture of running is new in Armenia, but we already have quite a group of local runners, we also have runners from 17 other countries, including Georgia, Russia, European countries, USA and many others. We offer prize fund for the best runners, The absolute three winners of Half Marathon (21km) will be awarded with prizes of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000, both men and women. A smaller fund will be awarded to 10K winners.

Credit : Yerevan Half Marathon

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

This is the best season in Armenia, when the weather is mild but still sunny, temperatures of around 20 degrees.

Have you planned festivities around the event?

We have planned festivities before, during and after the race to introduce runners to Armenia’s culture, history and cuisine. This includes the Armenian style pasta party, entertainment in the start and finish area and on the route.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Yerevan before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

We recommend the following restaurants for Armenian food

  • Salon Armenian
  • Dolmama
  • Kharberd in Tufenkyan hotel
  • Anush in Republica hotel
  • The Club
  • Artashi mot (popular but tasty fast-food :-))

If you look for good pasta places we recommend

  • Provence
  • Ankyun
  • La Cucina
  • Pasta and Wine
  • La Piazza
Credit : Yerevan Half Marathon

You can find numerous places for breakfast, among which Green Bean cafes we think are the best.

As for the sightseeing, Armenia is called a museum under open air. If your stay is short make sure to visit at least a few places in Yerevan:

  • Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts * Matenadaran
  • Cascade with its Cafesjian Center for the Arts
  • Republic Square
  • History Museum of Armenia
  • National Art Gallery
  • Erebuni Town-Fortress
  • Vernissage open-air market
  • Yerevan Brandy Company
  • Ervand Kochar Museum
  • Sergei Paradjanov Museum
  • Victory park and the Mother Armenia monumental statue
  • Armenian Genocide memorial complex Tsitsernakaberd and the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Yerevan Half Marathon?

Come to participate in the historical first race of Yerevan Half Marathon! Enjoy the best season of the country, beautiful city, wonderful food and hospitality. If you are an elite athlete, challenge yourself for the prize fund that Yerevan Half Marathon is offering.

Credit : Yerevan Half Marathon

Interview with Anahit Aadamyan, Event Co-organizer. The Half Marathon is organized by Yerevan City Administration, Repat Armenia Foundation, Orange Fitness Premium Club, Austrian Airlines, Converse Bank and other organizations, Panarmenian media group being the information partner and Orange Fitness Premium Club the General Sponsor of the event.
With his co-organizer Anna Sharoyan, Anahit has built a great team worth mentioning: Nana Abelyan, Arman Ajemyan, Vaagn Toukharian, David Hayrapetyan, Irina Ghaplanyan, Tamar Giragossian, as well as professionals in marketing and project management, sports events and marathon timing.
Anahit has run several half Marathons and now trains for her first marathon. Experienced marathon runners and triathletes, Ironman finishers are part of the team and they all dream of bringing the culture of long-distance running to Armenia.