The yearly "Supermarathon" from Vienna, Austria to Budapest, Hungary, a five-day run that covers 352 kilometres, will be held this year as part of the United Nations International Year of Sport and Physical Education, the UN Information Service in Vienna announced today.
Under the theme "Run without borders!" the event, which takes place from 19 to 23 October, aims to strengthen international relations by underlining UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statement: "Sport is a universal language that can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status."
The event, now in its 15th year, originally celebrated the opening of the border between Austria and Hungary in 1989 and then supported the process that led to the accession of both countries to the European Union. Since participating runners, in-line skaters and cyclists now come from many European countries, the race has come to represent a Europe without borders. In its first year, 308 competitors from eight countries participated, while in 2004, 800 participants from 13 countries took part.
The International Year of Sport and Physical Education seeks to encourage the use of sports to promote education, health, development and peace.