Approximately 4500 runners took part in the BUDAPEST NATO RUN. Early in the morning run fans were gathering on the Vérmező. The first start was the traditional Historical Running Relay, this part of the event commemorates the victims of the independence war in 1848-’49.
The thirteen stations (relay stations) proposed in the event symbolically display the memory of the thirteen martyrs of Arad, by invited students’ teams to run for pay tribute to them in 13 members teams from the secondary and high school, colleges and universities. About 120 teams participated.
The most popular race of the Running Fest was the 10 km NATO RUN. After a common warm-up thousands runners started on the Attila Street toward Lánchíd tunnel, some of them were alone, or in relays with two persons, civilians and soldiers completed the distance together. From the 12 NATO countries there were invited teams with the best soldier athletes. The Hungarian defence minister Dr. István Simicskó took part in the competition, after his run he said: “Today every participants is a winner overcoming their laziness and weakness”.
For the purpose of women gender equality many sympathizers could run who wanted to emphasize the importance of female participation in decision-making, in prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building and peacekeeping. The lucky ones could pick up and run, wearing the NATO 1325 T-Shirt.
The route was fascinating, as well as hard since the last two kilometres course began ascent steeply almost until the finish, which was on the Kapisztrán Square. Here the runners were received not only with finisher’s medals but some interesting programmes, as well. HDF NCO Academy Orchestra of Szentendre, the Support Brigade Special Parade Group, Csángó Hungarian Folk and Zurgó Band provided music with the dancers Árpád Vörös and Fanni Nádasdy.