ANC of Vermont’s Team Artsakh runs 26.2 miles for a 3.1 mile lifeline

Team Artsakh, Vermont City Marathon, May 28, 2023 (Photo: Deb Ferrell)

BURLINGTON, Vt. The Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Vermont (VT) supported Team Artsakh at the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday. 

ANC of VT Team Artsakh ran to empower and give a visual voice for 120,000 Artsakh Armenians as they continue to suffer the ongoing, 170+ day genocidal blockade imposed by Azerbaijan. The 3.1 mile Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor is the only road that links Artsakh Armenians with Armenia. Thus, no food, medical supplies or humanitarian aid can get through except for occasional Red Cross deliveries.

ANC of VT Team Artsakh leader Violetta Ayrapetova and teammates Josh Ferrell, Julia Chimienti and Brennan Mangan ran a 5:44 hour relay. Having the last and the longest leg of the relay, Ayrapetova ran a little over 6.5 miles; she was covered from head to toe with pro-Artsakh messages including “Artsakh Strong,” “Open the Road of Life” “End the Cycle of Genocide,” “No US tax dollars for Azeri aggression.”  

Ayrapetova is personally connected to Artsakh. A refugee from Baku, having taken flight during the 1990 pogrom, Ayrapetova first settled in Artsakh before coming to Vermont. Ayrapetova currently has family in Artsakh. “I want them to know that no matter what happens I will never stop fighting for them,” she said. “I will do everything I can. I will keep going. There is no other choice. I hope people are inspired by this and run your local marathon because we are all in it together, and this is what it takes.” 

Violetta Ayrapetova finishing strong

Finishing strong as she neared the finish line, Ayrapetova’s mother-in-law Deb Ferrell threw Ayrapetova an Artsakh flag scarf from over the spectator barricade. Ayrapetova caught the scarf mid-air and held it high over her head shouting “for Artsakh!” as the announcer proclaimed “And here comes relay Team Artsakh finishing at a strong five hours and 44 minutes.”

Talin Teague and Pearl Teague of the ANC of VT also manned a much-needed tent housing sugar and protein boosting snacks and water for runners at the 13 mile/final loop mark on the course.   

The ANC of VT, which is supporting H.Res.320 “Recognizing the Republic of Artsakh’s independence and condemning Azerbaijan’s continued aggression against Armenia and Artsakh,” is proud of Team Artsakh’s display of teamwork and determination, which exemplified the resilient spirit of the people of Artsakh in their fight to live freely in their republic.

Violetta Ayrapetova covered in pro-Artsakh messages while representing Team Artsakh at the Vermont City Marathon, May 28, 2023
ANCA-Eastern Region
The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region is part of the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots organization, the ANCA. Working in coordination with the ANCA in Washington, DC, and a network of chapters and supporters throughout the Eastern United States, the ANCA-ER actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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