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AUA Race Lake Sevan
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AUA Community Takes Part in the Race Around Lake Sevan

YEREVAN, Armenia At the American University of Armenia (AUA), we are always excited to share news and achievements of our community members both on the AUA campus and in the greater community. On September 12, 2020, members of the AUA community participated in the Race Around Lake Sevan organized by Savage of Sevan, a group that specializes in the organization and management of endurance sports events. The Race brought together 35 brave men and women to bike around Lake Sevan, a 212 km-ride, six of whom were from the AUA community. Among those brave riders were BS in Engineering Sciences Program Chair Satenik Mnatsakanyan, Adjunct Lecturer at the Akian College of Science and Engineering Vaagn Toukharian, Director of Facilities Shahan Jebedjian, Director of Communications and Alumni Relations Narek Ghazaryan, and alumni Gevorg Harutyunyan (MBA ’20) and Arshak Minasyan (MSCIS ’18). The event marked several record time achievements by the participants from the AUA community. AUA is proud of its community members’ commitment to sports and strive for a healthy lifestyle. This event and other sports activities have contributed to bringing like-minded people together and creating a sense of community. It is through sports that we learn to collaborate, work together, and achieve a common goal. These are the kinds of transferable skills that are the core of our western-style education. AUA is not just an education, it is a commitment, a resolve to achieving excellence and reaching new heights in what we do.

Although this race was a first-time participation for some of our members, it was a return annual event for most. Satenik Mnatsakanyan, a two-time IronQueen, has participated in this race for several years and is an avid triathlete who is dedicated to biking, running, and swimming. “The weekend was very important to me and to my teammates from TriClub Yerevan. We managed to stay strong and train notwithstanding the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. This was a great opportunity to test ourselves participating in various long distance races: 212-km Ride around Sevan; 2.1-km/212-km/21.1-km “Iron” Triathlon; and 4-km/212-km/42-km IronKing distances for the strongest athletes and super-achievers. I was exceptionally happy this year because more colleagues from AUA joined the race. I hope one day we will be able to inspire our students with the triathlon culture and will have a strong AUA team participating.” 

Vaagn Toukharian, one of the founders of Savage of Sevan and TriClub Yerevan, has been a triathlete for many years and has participated in various races around the world, including Ironman races. “Savage of Sevan’s (SOS) Ride around Sevan has been organized on May 28th of each year since 2015. This year was the first time it was postponed to September because of the pandemic. At SOS, we believe that having a race that is open to all demographic groups is very important, but also challenging as it drives athletes to train longer and better. Our vision is to have Lake Sevan become a center for various sports and stimulate sports tourism. The increase in the number of participants in the race from year to year gives us assurance that we are on the right track. 

Besides Ride Around Sevan, Savage of Sevan organizes other endurance sporting events that start from or near Lake Sevan. A couple of those are very tough races, like IronKing — 4/212/42 km of swim/bike/run. Savage of Sevan also is committed to helping other groups, such as other sports events organizers, clubs, federations, and schools to grow their reach in sports.” 

AUA alumni participating in the event were excited to be a part of the AUA team in this race. “It is great to join our AUA friends on this day. I have been an athlete for many years and I am so happy to see so many AUA community members taking part in this kind of sports activity,” rounded off Arshak Minasyan. 

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values. 

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