Andy BILLINGHAMKamila DEMKOVA
Excellent atmosphere fills Kosice streets during 82nd edition of Peace Marathon
Almost 1300 long-distance runners in the full and half marathons, wheelchair racers and in-line skaters took the start on Sunday morning for the 82nd edition of the
Kosice Peace Marathon. Immediately after the start an eight-member group formed, including some of the favorites who could be considered for the victory, namely the four Kenyans Edep, Rotich,
Maiyo and Kosgei, then last year's winner and course record-holder Dobrzynski from Poland, Shimamura from Japan, and two lead-out men, so-called "hares" who would keep up the pace until the
thirtieth kilometer, the Ukrainian Iveruk and the Pole Wojcik.
The last few meters before the finish on Main Street showed that it was Maiyo who had more strength in the end, leaving his countryman behind and deservedly winning
the precious victory. So after an interval of three years a Kenyan stood once again on the top of the podium. In the history of the Kosice Marathon, Maiyo's victory was in fact only the fourth
triumph of a Kenyan runner, following Kipyego's first place in 2000 and Kariuki's two wins in 2001 and 2002. Second over the line was Kosgei, and third place went to the Pole Jan Bialk with an
excellent finish. Still in the top ten, eighth spot was taken by our best Slovak marathoner, Marcel Matanin from Kosice, a member of the Obal Servis team, whose time of 2h20m37s won him the title
of Marathon Champion of Slovakia for this year.
Out of the starting line-up of 35 women, victory was claimed by Edyta Lewandovska from Poland, and the women's half-marathon was won by Katarzyna Czubska, also from
Poland. Of the four wheelchair racers the best performance on the half-marathon course was put in by Daniel Kukla, Slovakia's representative in this sport and a member of the Mladost ("Youth")
sports club in Bratislava. A total of 133 in-line skaters started off on the half-marathon course, and their finish was particularly dramatic, because the victory was decided right at the tape
itself. The winner was Bilek from the Czech Republic ahead of Kosice men Rosival and Novysedlak.
The women's race was won by the German Wagner, second place was taken by Dubravova (Rollerblade Slovakia) and third place went to Kollarova from Poprad in 48m19s.
Only a hair's breadth separated U. S. Steel Kosice's Lucia Petrovicova from a place on the podium, and she ended up in fourth place, and another of our colleagues Daniela Pastierikova
finished in eighth spot. The brightly-colored peloton on the full and half-marathon course included a multitude of long-distance runners from U. S. Steel Kosice, and a large number of
others, including some of our American managers with their children, entered the mini-marathon with a length of 4.2 km.
As has now become a tradition, following the marathon race also this year the President of U. S. Steel Kosice David H. Lohr presented the prizes to the
best male and female runners from the ranks of the Company's employees. The best-placed man in this year's KPM was Power Division employee Imrich Pastor, who came home fifteenth, and the
best-placed woman was Erika Billa from the Cold Strip Mill.
Environmental competitions for students
U. S. Steel Kosice has announced two separate environmental competitions. The first is meant for pupils of elementary schools in Kosice and its environs,
and is already familiar by the name "Where and how we are going to live". The conditions for joining in this competition have already been made available to individual schools. They have time
until February 17th next year to send U. S. Steel Kosice presentations of their projects, which should be focused on the themes of protection of the atmosphere, water and the
countryside, and sorting and collection of refuse. The other competition is called "What we never knew till now", and with this one USSK intends to use educational means to promote positive
attitudes to the environment among secondary school students.