The small Principality of Monaco is somewhat of a magnet for the rich and successful. Every year it famously organizes a number of charitable events in support of those who desperately need help. One such event is the “No Finish Line” marathon organized by the “Children & Future” association. The name of the race speaks for itself. Every year its participants beat their distance records. The marathon operates with its own currency, each kilometer equaling 1 euro. Last year, residents and guests of the Principality ran 392,516 km, raising funds for more than 20 charities.
This initiative has now gone worldwide. “No Finish Line” races are being held in other countries, such as Greece and Norway. Both adults and children take part in the run. Young runners often have more motivation than their parents.
The 17th “No Finish Line” marathon finished up in Monaco on 20 November, 2016. This Tuesday Stars’n’Bars held a solemn award ceremony for its winners, with a distribution of cheques to charity organizations. 10-year-old Masha Borzenko was one of the children awarded this prestigious cup. This student of the Fontvieille School ran more than 200 km and received her well-deserved award. The ceremony was also attended by her parents who gave Masha support all throughout the marathon.
This is the second race for Masha and her family, with the result surpassing all their expectations.“Our school took first place for the distance covered,” said Masha’s mother, Tatyana Borzenko. “Our family covered more than 600 kilometers.”
This result crowned a major effort made by the 10-year-old athlete and her parents. “Masha was getting up at 6 am for the whole durationof the run in order to make it before school. She was eating her breakfast in the car on her way to the marathon,” said the girl’s mother.
“I went to run before school, at my lunch break and before my gymnastics class,” added Masha. Such motivation can only be envied. Sport and discipline, however, are a must in Masha’s family. The girl’s parents have always been fond of swimming and rowing. They must have passed on their passion for sports to their daughter. She has been involved in gymnastics since age 6.
The family admits, however, that the hardest bit of the race was the last day. “I had to support my daughter to the end,” says Tatiana who ran 255 kilometers. But the Borzenko family would not succumb to difficulties. “We will definitely be there next year,” says Tatyana. Masha has already set her goal. For the 18th “No Finish Line” she intends to run more than 250 km “in support of children.”
The organizers announced how the funds were distributed in order to give still more motivation to their runners. This year more than 20 charities received financial support, all aimed at helping children in different parts of the world. The Princess Grace Hospital Centre, the Scientific Centre of Monaco, the Lenval Foundation in Nice, the City Hall of Monaco and others are among the institutions to have received cheques.
In addition, thanks to the “No Finish Line” runners, a children’s shelter in Benin will soon be constructed and opened. Homeless children will thus be able to live in acceptable conditions. 244 children from a village in Mali will get an opportunity to be educated in primary school. The funds collected by the Monaco runners will help complete the construction of the school suspended in 2012 due to a national crisis.
This list of projects improving the lives of children in deprived areas is far from complete. It is nice to know that a 2-kilometre Principality is able to offer support to the population of several countries at a time. Participants of the “No Finish Line” annually collect more and more money, and give hope of a better future to other children.
The No Finish Line participants have certainly earned their award cups for all of this good work that has been made possible thanks to their efforts.