Rough Russian Runners (RRR, myself included)

One of the greatest perks of living in Russia (along with the opportunity to buy as many matryoshkas as you want) is the opportunity to interact with nature and enjoy green zones without having to go too far from home. I’m lucky enough to live 5 minutes driving from a fascinating spruce–pine forest. Of course, I take advantage of this natural (in any sense of the word) privilege every time I can and use the forest paradise for my evening running.



For those who think that Russians’ most popular activities are running (to the closest shop to buy some vodka) and wrestling (if you bought too much of it) I can assure you, now sports continue to gain great popularity among Russians. At least, I’m not alone in the forest.


Unfortunately, my forest (that’s how I call it after my second jogging) gets more and more crowded with dog owners, so it is preferable to watch your step once in a while (for a reason you can figure out on your own). Photo is missing, just trust my words.

Our local government takes care of us, so the old overgrown trees are cut down to prevent them from falling on our heads during severe storms and thunderstorms. There is a superstitious belief in Russia that a fallen tree should lie in the road for 33 days and 33 nights before being removed. So I take those small leaps of faith every 3 minutes. Obstacles don’t frighten tough Russian runners.

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We grow special types of trees such as Square Trees. It’s just more convenient to build a square wood house.


The landscape is pretty hilly. Given our unstable economic conditions in Russia, we get used to constant ups and downs. Moreover, nothing can burn as many calories as hill running.


Okay, this is artificial one, but there are a lot of real high hills there. My hips sore leg muscles don’t lie.

Even if during your daily run you can’t stop thinking about food, there is an amazing dessert right under your feet. Given that a list of Permitted After Workout food only includes water, water with lemon, and warm water with lemon, I prefer to eat some wild strawberries to not think of this list at all.

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How to not get lost in the forest when it grows dark? Some runners just number the trees to find their way home.


P.S. I wanted to take a photo of a bear, but since I’m an amateur runner, I couldn’t catch up with him.


37 thoughts on “Rough Russian Runners (RRR, myself included)

  1. Beautiful pictures!!! you are so lucky to live near such lush surroundings! Wow you nearly caught up to a bear! Great post! X

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great pictures! I am slightly jelaous of your chance to run through that every day (although maybe not so much of the dog owners 🙂 ). The parks here in Melbourne are nice, but not quite that extensive (or wild).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m happy to connect with a fellow runner!! которая говорит по русский! I’ll have to check out your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Marta! You know I loved the mention of the vodka sports activities. Running to the store and wrestling with guests or curbs and sidewalks is exhausting but fun if you remember the exercise the next day. I think you are going to be an excellent photo journalist too! We have a saying among country folk in the southern U.S., “on the other side of every tree in the path is a snake” I discovered I make very strange sounds and dance very energetically when I step on a snake on the other side of a tree. Snakes are good for motivating an active exercise program. Also, I am amazed at your bravery to chase the Russian bear for a picture. I hear they can be grumpy at times with people. Maybe a grumpy bear will keep the dog owners on the path to a minimum. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Daniel! You know I try to develop my skills as a future photo journalist. I train my vision. While running I spot those red dots of wild strawberries in the grass and remember where it is to come back after running. But sometimes it’s too late because Russian babushkas with their grandchildren have very big jars/bags/pails and pick it too 😦

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      • LOL! Yes, and I’m sure the bears look for the berries too! That just means you have to run farther and faster which is very healthy for you except for the sore legs. I used to run 5 miles every morning and bike 10 miles every evening. I still couldn’t catch a bear but I could out run all the grandmothers 🙂

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      • Ha Ha! Stick with the berries and only run as far as you need to find the berries. Later, your knees will love you for your wisdom.

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      • If I run to find the berries, I will run too far and I’ll have to number the trees with that white paint as my fellow runners did. But I’m afraid while I draw those beautiful numbers (out of my perfectionism) the bear will chase me and love for my wisdom.

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      • I am told the Russian bear finds wisdom very tasty so be careful. 🙂 You know I have many traumatic brain injuries from standing too close to things that go boom. This makes my common sense difficult to remain in control. That is why I would number every tree in the forest with a number in random order then take pictures of all the dog owner joggers losing their minds trying to follow the numbers in sequence. Before my unfortunate experience with rapidly expanding atmosphere, I would never do such a mischievous thing. I hope I’m not a negative influence on your wisdom. 🙂

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      • With my perspective, I don’t find myself bored often. 🙂 But, it can get a little scary wandering around in my head sometimes.

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  5. Ive recently visited Russian with my partner, loved it, i cant say how beautiful the scenery was. we where in Moscow for the victory day, it was very interesting for me to see how almost everyone was involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree, The Moscow Victory Day Parade boggles the imagination with its majesty and beauty. Everyone has his own story to tell about World War II.


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