'Tsar Marathon' plans anger Nicholas II descendants

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Plans for "Tsar Marathons" with competitors running from the spot where Russia's last royal family was executed to the spot where they were buried have been met with disbelief by their descendants.

German Lukyanov, a spokesman for Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, the disputed head of the Romanov Dynasty, said he was profoundly shocked by the idea and demanded an explanation.

The idea, they say, is to hold regular 'Tsar's Marathons' starting and finishing at the city's so-called Church on the Blood which was built on the site where Bolshevik executioners shot Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1918. Runners would head for a monastery where the bones of the murdered Romanovs were found and then loop back to the church again.

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