Samarkand Half Marathon 2020: a virtual race
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Samarkand Half Marathon 2020: a virtual race

Featured photo: The Mag Magazine

Less than one month left until the annual International Charity Race Samarkand Half Marathon, which will take place online on November 1. 

The theme of this year’s half marathon concerns the possibilities of people with autism spectrum disorder condition (ASC) and the problem of accessibility of cultural and art objects for disabled people in Uzbekistan. The event will address issues of creating an inclusive environment for people with autism and providing opportunities for their inclusion into the social, cultural and public life of Uzbekistan. The funds raised from the Samarkand Half Marathon will be used to create a children’s art studio in one of the boarding schools in Uzbekistan for the children with autism.

Due to epidemiological measures in the country, this year’s Samarkand Half Marathon is planned to be held in the virtual race format, which will give participants the freedom to choose locations and distances around the world. A Nordic walking competition and a Children’s race have been added to the Half Marathon program. The main battle for the championship will unfold among running clubs, countries and cities. The results of the virtual race will be accepted based on the data recorded in the Strava app.

Educational and cultural programs will be organized on the official website of the Half Marathon. Representatives of the National Autistic Society (UK) will hold online lectures for parents of children with autism, and experts from the British Museum will talk in detail about their Early Morning Explorers initiative. A series of online discussions, webinars and masterclasses will be held with the support of the Friendly Environment project (Russia). A film program developed in collaboration with the Beat Film Festival will also be presented.

“With the help of the Samarkand Half Marathon, we want to draw attention to the problems of people with autism, and most importantly, to propose solutions for them. We need to raise awareness of the society to adapt and understand how to interact with each other. Our project is a good opportunity to get together and exchange experience with foreign communities and specialists,” said Madina Badalova, curator of educational and inclusive programs of the Samarkand Half Marathon, Head of the Education and Inclusion Department of the Art & Culture Development Foundation under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

It does not matter where you are. You can race for children and adults with autism in Uzbekistan and contribute to their inclusion.

Register for the virtual race on the website at:  The participation fee is 20,000 Uzbek soums (less than $2).

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