Last week all Yakutsk-published newspapers went out with news about 61-year-old Yakutian pensioner Pyotr Naumov, who finished his 7-month across-the-country jogging. Russian news agencies, including Voice of Russia, featured Petr Naumov’s brave expedition as well.
Voice of Russia wrote:
A visually impaired pensioner of Yakutsk has traversed Russia from west to east, jogging 12,000 km from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok in 8 months.
Pyotr Naumov, 61, defied his age and poor eyesight when he set out on a long-distance run from Russia’s westernmost city in late March, pulling a two-wheel cart with his unsophisticated luggage behind him.
For a man who can only see the world around him through thick lenses, reading numerous road sings was certainly not easy. He jogged 50 km a day and slept in a tent, bracing cold, rain and scorching heat. At the end of his journey, tired but happy, he expressed warm gratitude to all those who helped his dream come true.
It was a very difficult run both in terms of organizing and financing. My relatives and friends helped me. And the people I met along my way also helped me a lot – people in Yakutia and in all other regions, and even foreigners.
From Vladivostok, Naumov took a plane to his native Yakutia where he was given a hearty welcome. The republic’s Vice President Dmitry Glushko presented him with the Medal of Civil Valor.
The pensioner dedicated his action to the 65th anniversary of Russia’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Fyodor Kolesov of the Yakutia Public Expertise organization that sponsored the run described it an act of unprecedented bravery:
A visually impaired man has proven that anyone, even the disabled, can cope with any difficulties. We thank him for his deed and we thank all other disabled persons who commit such deeds. They prove that that the fortitude of human spirit is boundless.
The disabled often need that fortitude to battle their everyday problems. Russia has 13 million of physically impaired people. To make their lives more comfortable, the government has a special “friendly environment” program designed to create conditions that would enable the handicapped to move around freely, work, practice sports, visit theaters and museums, and do lots of other things, living a normal, full-fledged life and not feeling social outcasts. As the Yakut pensioner has just proven, they have the willpower and all they need is just a little bit of help.
When I’ll have more free time, I’ll try to translate the local newspaper’s interview with Pyotr Naumov.