November 19, 2021, Istanbul, Turkey. – The 43rd Istanbul Marathon took place on Sunday, November 7, 2021. Members of the AKKUYU NÜKLEER A.Ş. team included: Aleksei Pristai, Merdan Hudaiberdyev and Mikhail Lakeev. All of them completed the full marathon distance of 42 kilometers.


The first time the Akkuyu Nuclear team participated in the Istanbul Marathon was in 2019.  The 2020 race had to be cancelled due to stringent coronavirus-related restrictions. So this year our sports enthusiast joyfully and proudly participated in the race once again.


The Istanbul Marathon is one of the largest international marathon races and IAAF Gold Label Road Races, as well as the world's only inter-continental marathon which starts in Asia and leads to Europe across the Bosphorus Strait.


Merdan Khudaiberdyev, an expert of Information and Technical Department of the Security Service and probably the most experienced and honoured track and field athlete of AKKUYU NUCLEAR, has completed as many as 10 marathons and half-marathons, in Istanbul, Adan, Mersin, Antalya, Tarsun and Ankara. Traditionally, he brings forward race participation initiatives and leads his colleagues' delegations, since, as a Turkish citizen, he knows both the country and marathon race rules well.


Merdan Khudaiberdyev: “Of all marathon races, the Istanbul Marathon is my favourite one: during the race you can see almost the whole city and enjoy amazing views when crossing the Bosphorus Bridge. This is not a tourist walk and you do get tired, but the surrounding beauty does not distract at all; on the contrary, it inspires and helps walk towards to the finish. The marathon's ending point is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque located in the historic center of Istanbul. A lot of fans gather at the finish, which is also very motivating. However, the most motivating factor is the sports support by our employer – I would like to give a huge thanks to all managers of AKKUYU NÜKLEER A.Ş who support our sports activities.”


Just like the last time, the fastest runner of the AKKUYU NUCLEAR team at the Istanbul Marathon was Mikhail Lakeev, chief expert of the turbine shop. This time, Mikhail even managed to improved his score by completing the marathon distance in 3 hours 28 minutes 44 seconds. The previous result was 3 hours 50 minutes 24 seconds.


Mikhail Lakeev: “Comparing with the 2019 result, I run 22 minutes faster. As far as virus-related restrictions allowed, during my free time I paid a lot of attention to training, and I think the vaccination against coronavirus also helped by strengthening my health: both training and the distance of the Istanbul Marathon itself seemed easier than before.  The weather might have also played its part: it was not raining, but the day was cool and overcast.  It might not have been a very good day for walking and photography, but it was perfect for running.”


Aleksei Pristai, division head of the Project Management Directorate, not only participates in races, but is also a track and field leader in the friendly team of AKKUYU NÜKLEER A.Ş.: his energy and leadership is sufficient not only for the division management, but also for uniting the like-minded people, who lead a healthy lifestyle, around him. For instance, this year Aleksei arranged the foregoing team marathon and also acted as organizer of and participant in the sports event "Online Race among Nuclear Cities – 2021" in AKKUYU NUCLEAR.


Aleksei Pristai:  “Sport unites people of different countries and cultures. An active and healthy lifestyle means enjoying regular trainings and self-improvement. I am sincerely glad to have had an opportunity to try my strength at the 42-km distance, and it is an important personal victory for me after I suffered from COVID-19 in early 2021. As initiator of our participation in the marathon, I would like to point out that any joint events unite the team both at work and in sports, and for that I thank my colleagues and marathon participants, Merdan and Mikhail. I would like to express my gratitude to the management and Personnel Management Service of AKKUYU NÜKLEER A.Ş., as my colleagues for supporting our sports initiative. I am confident that the trend we initiated in 2019 will attract even more participants, momentum and support.”