NEW YORK (PIX11) — As Russia appears to be stepping up its attacks on Ukraine, a group of Ukrainian New York runners wants the New York City Marathon to take a stand.

“I am calling for New York Road Runners to ban Russian and Belarusian residents from the New York City Marathon this year,” said Anna Shpook, founder of Ukrainian Running Club NY.

Shpook started a petition, which has more than 1,000 signatures so far, to ban runners who still live in Russia and Belarus from running in next month’s New York City Marathon.

Shpook said she took her inspiration from the Boston Marathon, which banned those athletes just two weeks before the event because of a similar petition.

Shpook said a show of solidarity with Ukraine is needed now more than ever as Russia appears to be stepping up its attacks and threatening nuclear warfare.

“We felt unfair that Russia in Belarusian residents could come and enjoy life that Ukrainians can no longer enjoy because of the war,” Shpook said.

New York Road Runners has issued a statement:

“NYRR has not, and will not, allow or recognize any official representation or country affiliation of Russia or Belarus at any NYRR races, events or programs including the TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony and its Parade of Nations… However, NYRR will not discriminate against individual runners based on their nationality or country of birth.”

“I will not be running and I’m considering leaving the New York Road Runners and we are considering boycotting and protests,” Shpook said. “It’s a painful topic for us since many of our members have family members who are bombed every day.”