Race commemorating anti-communist uprising postponed

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 3rd edition of the Lotto Poznań run June '56 has been postponed to 2021. However, participants will be able to take part in a virtual edition of the event to individually commemorate the up to 100 Poles who lost their lives in Poznań while protesting against the communist regime in 1956.

The event known as Poznań June, started out as a protest by workers against increasingly difficult living conditions but escalated into what can be described as a full blown city-wide insurrection as crowds attacked and sacked prisons, communist party headquarters and a number of public buildings including that of the feared Ministry of Public Security.

The communist regime sent in the military to quell the uprising, resulting in the death of between 50 to 100 people. The event is considered to have significantly contributed to the “Polish October” of 1956, a political reform and the start of the post-Stalinist thaw in Poland.

This year’s virtual Poznań Run of June '56 will take place on Sunday June 28th but participants will be able to finish their individual run and send in their result up until July 8th.

Registration for the event started on Wednesday June 24th via the website www.biegczerwca56.pl.

As emphasized by the organisers of the event, part of the registration fee will be donated to veterans who will receive personal protective equipment and food.

The man behind the event, Aleksander Rosa, told reporters that the initiative is organised jointly by his team and all participants, saying “they (the participants) were the ones who pressed us to organise the competition in a virtual formula".

Mr Rosa states that after registering in the system and receiving a start number, each participant will have a minimum distance of 10 km to cover.

The runners will be able to complete the distance at any location of their own choice and over any time period between June 28th and July 8th. The distance can be covered from start to finish line (10 km) in one go, or in “in instalments" spreading out the run for 3 days.

Mr Rosa, added that participants will have to send in their results with the help of the type of technical equipment often used by runners, saying “a participant can register his run with any device that allows him to record the time and the route covered. It is important to be able to upload a photo or a screenshot showing the run including its distance and time (...) Participants who complete the race will first receive a virtual medal, which will later turn into a real one. After the competition is over, participants will receive the real medal and a jersey by courier".

The run is organised in cooperation with the Poznań Museum of June 1956 and the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which has given the run their patronage.

Research from the IPN has documented at least 58 people who died in the clashes between the protesters and the security forces but other historians have put the number at around 100.