Murmansk, July 16, 2023 - EL5-Energo Trail was held on the territory of Kola Wind Farm. 500 athletes participated in the races involving 5 adult distances of 3, 8, 20 and 50 km, as well as in a relay race with the total length of 50 km. Young trail runners tried their hand in the race for children.
For the first time such a large-scale sport event was held entirely beyond the Arctic Circle, because even the start and finish area, where the athletes and runners started and finished their races, was located at the 68th degree of latitude (the coordinates 68°50'37.8 "N 34°48'31.1"E). The athletes ran along the roads of Kola Wind Farm, the largest wind farm in the world beyond the Arctic Circle. Kola wind farm having the area of 257 hectares and the installed capacity of 202 MW is equipped with 57 turbines and capable of generating about 750 million kWh per year, avoiding the emission of about 600,000 tons of CO2 per year. The event was arranged by the Russian energy company EL5-Energo, being the operator of Kola Wind Farm, and one of the races, the Tundra Spirits relay race, was held with the support of LUKOIL PJSC as part of the 25th anniversary of the company's sport club.
The runners from more than 25 regions of Russia - from Murmansk region to Primorye - gathered to take part in a unique polar trail race. The event was attended by famous Russian athletes – the footballer and marathon runner Alexey Smertin and the silver medalist of Vancouver Winter Olympics Alexander Panzhinsky. They joined the most large-scale race - the North Wind 20 km race involving more than 100 participants.
All the funds raised upon the race participants' registration were granted to charity organizations of Murmansk region. Moreover, each participant could independently determine which fund he would like to help: "Children-Angels of Murman", "Kind World" or "Voluntary Society for the Protection of Homeless Animals "Shelter".
Olga Kuznetsova, Deputy Governor of Murmansk Region, and Alibek Tnalin, General Director of PJSC EL5-Energo, delivered a welcome speech to the race participants and fans. The Vice-Governor highlighted: "We are in a unique place. I would like to thank EL5-Energo for organizing such an event - a real celebration of sports. I would also like to thank the company for the social initiatives that it implements in the region, uses the investment potential in full, helps to develop the industry of Murmansk region. I wish all the athletes to successfully cope with the running distance and to gain new sport victories".
Among the winners there were both Murmansk residents and the visitors of the region - from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kirov, Smolensk and Sverdlovsk regions. Olympic skier Alexander Panzhinsky won the 20 km race.
The relay race was won by EL5-Energo’s team with the teams of LUKOIL-Trans and Kola RDU ranking second and third. The winners were granted an eight-kilogram trophy of LUKOIL Sports Club, having run 7 legs of the 50 km relay race in 3 hours and 24 seconds and having overtaken the second prize winners by almost 20 minutes.
Incredible scenery and alien atmosphere of the wind farm were the unique, but not the only entertainment available to the race participants and their fans. In the start and finish area there was available a VR-zone with an interactive tour to the top of the wind turbine, a lecture hall where the famous footballer Alexey Smertin, eco-blogger Masha Smorygina, representatives of the Whale Protection Fund and other noteworthy lecturers spoke. Moreover, the participants had access to informative quests, a kids club and foodcourts.
Careful attitude to the environment embedded in the DNA of EL5-Energo that develops green generation in Russia, was applicable to its events as well. The waste collected at the event was sorted and sent for recycling, and the tracks were chosen along the existing roads and the areas used at the wind farm to minimize the impact on the unique northern nature.