From Kyiv to Warsaw: Ukrainian firefighter completes ultramarathon to say thanks to Poland
A Ukrainian firefighter has run over 500 miles from Kyiv to Warsaw to thank Poles for their overwhelming support following Russia’s invasion of his homeland.
Volodymyr Skovorek ran the 830-kilometer (520-mile) route in 14-days, finishing his ‘Ultramarathon of Gratitude’ on Wednesday in Warsaw.
Skovoroda crossed the border with Poland together with other Ukrainian firefighters on Saturday in Dorohusk. He was then accompanied by Polish firefighters (PSP) on his route to the capital.
Over the last five kilometres, the chief commander of the PSP, Brigadier General Andrzej Bartkowiak, joined the run. He told waiting reporters that helping Ukraine was a “natural” course of action for Poles to take.
Bartkowiak added: “we did something that is required of a neighbour, something that is required of a nation that has been friendly with Ukraine for centuries. There have been difficult moments in our history, but today all that is irrelevant. Today we are building a new beautiful history to be shared between our countries, and maybe something even more.”
Bartkowiak also congratulated Ukrainians on the occasion of their independence and voiced hopes for future joint celebrations.
Skovorka was welcomed in Warsaw by representatives of the Embassy of Ukraine as well as the Ukrainian Firefighters Foundation.
In turn, chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Poland Oleg Kuts said that Poland was the first country to recognize the independence of Ukraine and at the same time the first country that had come to Ukraine’s aid on the day of the invasion.
“Today we are fighting side by side for a better tomorrow for our children, for the security of the entire region and Europe,” he said.
Touching on Poland’s response to the refugee crisis, he added: “from the very first moment, you opened your home and your hearts. You have helped and supported us, and together we have shown we are stronger and have shown the whole world what a reliable partner does.”
Previously, Skovorek had set national records after running 21 and 42 km in full fire-fighting equipment. In 2019, he took part in another ultramarathon, running 500 kilometres in 10-days.