Laser Run Spotlight: Resurgent year for GLRCT wraps up on another busy note
At a time of year when things may have been winding down for many the Global Laser Run City Tour showed no signs of slowing in the final quarter of 2021 with 13 events across eight countries and three continents.
As the year wraps up, the return of the GLRCT to so many new corners of the world after COVID-19 disruptions stands as one of the brightest spots on the UIPM calendar. The urban sports phenomenon has a hectic schedule ahead for 2022 too.
Generations brave testing conditions in Mossel Bay (RSA)
From the youngest athlete aged just eight to the oldest at 68, the GLRCT at the Van Riebeeck Stadium in Mossel Bay, South Africa on October 2 was a test for all generations
Extreme winds and rain could have blown preparations off course but luckily veteran Masters champion Johan Windt (SA) was on hand to help prepare all participants for the challenge to come. Windt presented a clinic for first-time competitors and over 75 athletes went on to take part.
In truth they were competing against the conditions as much as each other but despite the extreme weather the day was a great success with many new athletes attracted to Laser Run.
A new wave of athletes show off brilliance in Kiev (UKR)
The Global Laser Run City Tour is no stranger to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and it returned to the western part of the city in October for a hugely successful event at Brigantina Children’s Club.
Over 250 athletes from across the country gathered in the capital to show off their Laser Run prowess with competitions opened by the Head of the District Sport Department, Zagoria Stanislav.
“Modern Pentathlon is a very popular sport in this district and it is very pleasant to see so many young athletes investing their time to develop their bodies,” he said.
All age groups were represented at the Brigantina Club with the performance of more veteran competitors praised by observers.
The head coach of the Kiev regional Modern Pentathlon Federation, Olha Shevtsova, thanked the Ukraine Modern Pentathlon Federation and UIPM for the support.
“This competition format is a perfect tool, which makes modern pentathlon more dynamic and interesting for the athletes,” she said.
All participants received traditional certificates, backpacks and souvenirs from the LOC at the end of the day’s competition.
Busy year in Philippines rounds off with sixth event in Ormoc
The Philippines has been a regular feature of the GLRCT calendar in recent times as the urban sport won an immediate audience in the country.
In fact, an event organized in Ormoc in the Eastern Visayas region in late November was the sixth UIPM development event organized by the by Philippines Modern Pentathlon Association in a particularly productive 2021. These included several Laser Run and Biathle-Triathle competitions as well as a Biathle-Triathle National Tour.
The GLRCT on November 20 was organized at the Ormoc City Public Oval and resulted in healthy participation by young athletes from the region who competed in age groups U13-U17.
Chisinau (MDA) welcomes over 200 athletes to ‘sports festival’
Chisinau’s Equestrian School of Modern Pentathlon played host to over 200 athletes in late October as GLRCT attracted home hopefuls from Moldova and visiting athletes from Russia.
Athletes across 10 different age categories entered with Russian athletes joining in the Masters 40+ and 60+ categories.
“Thanks to the active support of the spectators, the event was filled with the atmosphere of a sports festival,” said a spokesperson for the local organizing committee.
Fans of modern pentathlon had the opportunity to compete at the same distance with active Moldovan elite athletes such as Valentin Samsonov (winner in the Senior category) and eminent veterans like Alexei Vasilianov (winner in the Masters 40+ category) and Alexander Kasatov (RUS; winner in Masters 60+).
All participants were awarded with GLRCT diplomas and the winners were awarded with commemorative medals, certificates and cups.
Ankara (TUR) doubles up with two competitions in quick succession
Ankara made up for lost time with two GLRCT events in the space of a little over a month with a total of 350 athletes gathering from around Turkey to take part.
The first competition took place on October 30 and was organized in the Kecioren Municipality, in the north of the capital city.
Another GLRCT competition took place on December 4th in co-operation with the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality with a day of exiting action taking place in Genclik Parki (Park of the Youth), one of the oldest parks in the heart of the city.
Georgia’s GLRCT fever spreads far and wide
As if to go one better than their near neighbours Turkey, Georgia hosted three Global Laser Run City Tour events over the course of four busy weeks at the end of the year.
The first took place in the nation’s capital Tbilisi on November 20 where the event was held very successfully with numerous safety measures against the COVID-19 pandemic undertaken by all involved.
Participating teams came from regions across Georgia including Sachkhere, Chiatura, Rustavi and Gori competing with five clubs from Tbilisi — Pieri, Penta, Geo-Penta, Black Sea and Aqua Center.
“I'm very glad that we organized this GLRCT in Tbilisi,” said Natia Matchavariani from the LOC. “Because of the pandemic the amount of participants was not much more than in previous years but I want to mention that two new clubs appeared in this competition and it's very big positive for the future."
Rustavi, a city in the southeast 25km from the capital, was next on the schedule with a GLRCT competition taking place at the city’s Central Stadium on December 5. Remarkably, it attracted even more participants than the earlier event in Tbilisi.
A week later on December 12, attention moved to Chiatura where teams from Sachkhere, Chiatura and Gori and the Pieri, Penta, Geo-Penta and Black Sea clubs in Tbilisi took part the city’s central stadium.
“I’m glad that the city of Chiatura was host to such a great event,” Valeri Tskhadadze from the LOC said. “At this competition, the local government body attended and were involved in the awarding ceremony. Every year they happily support a GLRCT being held in their city.”
Athlete Natia Kochiashvili said she was happy that so many more young athletes are interested in being involved in GLRCT. “I hope that in the future GLRCTs will be held almost every region in Georgia,” she said.