Introducing Mariia: She went from conquering a challenging 2.5 kilometers in deficient gear to becoming a dedicated 10K enthusiast. Running, for her, is about embracing life’s challenges. Beyond her personal journey, Maria’s heart is in charity running.
Her first race was a 5K charity event, driven by empathy for those who can’t run due to health issues. This compassion led her to run for their sake. Maria’s giving spirit doesn’t stop there. She joined a charity flashmob by Adidas, where every kilometer run meant $1 donated to save the ocean. Combining her love for running with a passion for giving back, Maria is now running for Cyprus cats.
What initially made you interested in running?
To be honest, I don’t remember the exact reason why I started. But I remember my very first run: I didn’t have proper shoes and any running gear, so I put on a top (too thin for the evening run), cotton trousers (too warm for any run) and casual leather sneakers (not suitable for running at all) and I went outside. The first problem I faced with was that I didn’t know where runners put their keys and phones while running 😀 Anyway I didn’t have anything to put my stuff into, so I just started to run keeping my keys and phone in my hands. Well, it was severe 2.5k! I didn’t like it at all, but I thought that people who are able to run 10k casually probably are happy and strong bastards 😀 and I should be able to do it someday. Now 10k is my average training session, so I became that happy and strong bastard finally.
Tell us your story, why you run.
I will lie, if I tell that it’s my way to relax, because running is not always fun. Sometimes you have to work much and even suffer a bit to achieve something you want to achieve. I run because I can and sometimes because I can’t help but run. It’s complicated, but I guess it’s just my way to live this life.
Have you ever participated in any races or marathons for a charitable cause? What motivated you to combine running with supporting a cause?
My very first race was 5k charity race to support people who can’t run. I did it, because a thought that some people want to run, but can’t do it due to some health states, made me cry. I felt like I didn’t have any reason not to run while I could. Then I took part in the charity flashmob by Adidas – you had to install the app and track your running for 21 days and for each kilometer you ran Adidas sent 1$ to save the ocean. I think that’s actually a great idea to fundrise money fot those who are in need doing what you can and what you like.
Please give us more details if you are running for a specific cause this year.
This year I’m gonna run for Cyprus cats. Everybody who lives here knows that there are millions of cats on the island and most of them don’t have home or at least a save place to live in. It may sound funny and not that important, but since my childhood I’m very sensitive to all topics related to animals. Last year I adopted a Cyprus stray cat and I’ve never regretted it. I want to support people who help cats and show others that it’s worth doing – every little furry life matters and together we can save a lot of them!