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Who, when and what guide: Prague International Marathon

Who, when and what guide: Prague International Marathon

Everything you need to know about this weekend’s big event in the capital of the Czech Republic, including live stream info

Prague will once again welcome thousands of runners this weekend, as the city hosts the 30th edition of its annual marathon (May 5).

The event has become one of Europe’s fastest-growing road races, courtesy of organisers RunCzech, and has come a long way since it started out in 1995.

It was founded by Carlo Capalbo, who alongside 1988 Olympic men’s marathon champion Gelindo Bordin, devised the route on a napkin in a bar. They then decided to phone quadruple Olympic champion and distance running champion Emil Zátopek for support and the rest was history.

There were 985 runners that took part in the first edition. However, people could also run in two other distances – 9.2 km and 4.8 km – and 15,ooo runners participated.

Emil Zatopek (Getty)

The elite winners that year were Ethiopian Turbo Tummo (2:12:44) and Ukrainian Svetlana Tkach (2:38:33).

Since then, the course records have plummeted and are currently held by Alexander Mutiso (2:05:09 – 2023) and Lonah Salpeter (2:19:46 – 2019).

The elite men’s field this year is headed up by 2:03:40 marathoner Herpasa Negasa Kitesa. The Ethiopian ran that time at the 2019 Dubai Marathon and also finished second at last year’s Seoul Marathon. However, he DNF’d at the 2022 Chicago and 2023 Boston Marathons.

His biggest challenger may come from 2016 Boston Marathon champion and fellow Ethiopian Lemi Berhanu Hayle. With a personal best of 2:04:33 over 26.2 miles – set at the 2016 Dubai Marathon – Hayle has the pedigree to win in Prague, especially having represented Ethiopia at the Rio Olympics over the distance. Back in January, Hayle also won the Mumbai Marathon in a time of 2:07:50.

Prague Marathon and Half (RunCzech)

The elite women’s field is also pretty open and watch out for 2:20:02 marathoner Dorcas Jepchirchir.

Last year, the Kenyan won the Hamburg Marathon in 2:20:09 and also finished third in Amsterdam, where she achieved her personal best.

Jepchirchir will be up against Ethiopian Buzunesh Getachew, who won last year’s Frankfurt Marathon in a best of 2:19:27.

There will be 26 elite men and 25 elite women on the start line at this weekend’s Prague International Marathon, which will begin at 9am CEST.

Over 8000 people, as part of the masses, will also run the route that starts and finishes in the Old Town Square.

There will also be the added element of…

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