The new international airport of Saratov, named Gagarin, opened its doors for participants and spectators of the unique GAGARIN RUNWAY race. The organizers included three long-distance running events: 1.5 km, 3 km and 10 km.

The GAGARIN RUNWAY race is organized by the Airports of Regions holding with support of Saratov Region’s government, being timed to the grand opening of the new Gagarin airport. The event kicked off at 10:07 – the very minute and date in 1961 when Yuri Gagarin set out for the first manned space flight in the history of humanity. Right on the runway of the new airport in Saratov 2,000 participants from 36 regions of Russia got registered for the race.

In addition to the race, the airport guests were treated to football freestylers who demonstrated their craftsmanship of juggling the soccer ball, to jumpers performing acrobatic stunts, and cheerleaders performing their dance to Aviators’ March.

The sports festival’s participants were also given the opportunity to take a closer look at aviation in the exhibition zone where airfield vehicles and aircraft models were on display. Furthermore, the organizers prepared free ice-cream, kvass, water, and genuine army porridge for runners and their fans.

On the stage, all guests were entertained by a show program with live music from the Rivertime band. The event was crowned by a water arch from the hoses of fire engines. This is a longstanding tradition in civil aviation to greet the first arriving airliner or a new airline in this way. Many participants of the race, the “trailblazers” of Gagarin airport, wished to experience the freshening effect of the water salute by running under such an arch.