550 runners took part in this year’s 4th edition of the Sybir Memorial Run. They ran the distance of 5 kilometers.
The event organized by the Sybir Memorial Museum and the Bialystok Biega Foundation has both sports and emotional dimension. It combines competition and healthy effort with the dissemination of knowledge and honoring the memory of Polish citizens deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan during the Soviet occupation. The Sybir Memorial Run has become a permanent fixture in the calendar of running enthusiasts not only from Bialystok. — For this race I gave up another one, which was held today at the Warsaw Chomiczówka — said Mr. Mirosław. — Last year I took part in the Sybir Memorial Run virtually, today I decided to come to the stationary run — he added.
Some took part in the Sybir Memorial Run for the first time just like Mrs. Grażyna: — I hope I can do it, it is my first run — she said before the run. With her participation she wanted to commemorate the memory of her mother and mother-in-law — they both were Sybiraks. Mrs. Wioleta ran for the second time. On her starting number there was information about Hanna Świderska. — I chose her from the list prepared by the Museum — she said, warming herself up before the start. Mrs. Aneta used the same opportunity. On her starting number was the writing ‘I run for the Sybirak Franciszka Wandałowska’. Mr. Radosław commemorated the memory of the same person. Father Adam from the parish of Holy Spirit in Bialystok consciously decided to run in soutane: — I put my soutane on me on purpose, I wanted to commemorate priests who were taken to Sybir. Latetly, I have read a lot about it — he explained. This is his second run, although last year he took part in other circumstances — Last year we ran the distance of 5 km with the foster children of the community home on the premises of the facility.
The 4th Sybir Memorial Run was held in the Solnicki Forest. Start and finish were placed on the big field at the corner of Ciołkowskiego and Filipowicza Streets. Many runners came here with their families, the atmosphere was pleasant. Before the start of the first “wave” of runners the chairman of the Białystok Branch of the Siberian Association, Tadeusz Chwiedź turned to them: — We Sybiraks are happy that so many people have come here. Nation, who does not know its past, loses its identity, stops existing. Your presence here shows you remember about the past, about those who suffered a lot. By taking part in the Run you give a proof of remembrance and patriotism. Take care and enjoy the run! — he finished. Mrs. Janina Rutkowska, the founder and honored member of Sybiraks Grandsons’ Community did not hide her emotions: — This is my first time, I am spellbound. It is a wonderful way to get to young people!
On the route through the Solnicki Forest, employees of the Sybir Memorial Museum arranged four light installations — one of them evoked railway sleepers, the other the lights of a locomotive. In one of the last sections, up the hill, the runners could see an arrangement of two rows of red lights. — How beautiful! — we heard from the participants of the run.
Among the runners there were the authorities of all age groups. The fastest came to the finish in about 20 minutes. The best result among men got Marek Olszyński from the Medical University in Bialystok: 18 minutes and 12 seconds. This is his second victory in the Sybir Memorial Run. The fastest among women was Paula Kopciewska with the timing of 21 minutes and 58 seconds. In the category of the senior runners (70+) the best results got Elżbieta Bekisz and Andrzej Zieniewicz. The best result in the youngest group of age got 12-years old Markuss Abolins from Latvia.
Those, who are interested in the detailed results we invite to visit the page www.biegpamiecisybiru.pl. We remind that on that page yet up to February 28 it is possible to sign up for this year’s Sybir Memorial Run — in virtual mode, everyone, in any part of the world can walk or run 5 kilometers to commemorate the memories of Sybiraks. You can join the event even the last day! Kilometers run this way will be summed up — in the end of this year’s action we will inform how far to the east the participants of the event managed to “run”.