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Russian town swaps New Year champagne for running

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By Rhal Ssan  & AP
Russian town swaps New Year champagne for running
Copyright  screengrab AFPTV   -  

Most celebrate the New Year with fireworks, friends and often, champagne. But in Yaroslavl, north-east of Moscow, residents took part in a novel holiday run on New Year’s Day.

“The goal of the event is to popularise an active and sober lifestyle”, says run organiser Alexey Gorokhov.

Runners didn't compete in speed but enjoyed traditional Russian games after the run.

One participant, Maria Vrzhesinskaya, said:

It's the first time when I decided to spend the New Year in a new way. Of course, we had couple of champagne glasses to celebrate the outgoing year. However, I decided to support the health of the nation.
Maria Vrzhesinskaya

Russia has had historically high levels of alcoholism and alcohol-related deaths, which affected not only people’s general health, but also led to life expectancy being lower than in other European nations.

Due to government campaigns against high levels of alcohol deaths, mortality dropped by forty- three percent between 2003 and 2016 according to the World Health Organisation.

Journalist • Rhal Ssan

Video editor • Rhal Ssan