On Sunday, January 11, 2014 we ran the Prague Marathon, in the beautiful Czech Republic.
Prior to race day, we made sure to take in a walking tour of Old Town and the surrounding neighborhoods to make sure we had a good understanding of the many historical areas the race travels through. This was a really good idea and I highly recommend it.
Here's the official race video that shows some of the amazing sights
The start was amazing - we ran west through Old Town Square and almost immediately crossed the Vltava river. A quick left turn, headed south and just past Mile 2, across the Charles Bridge. This bridge is usually full of tourists, but today it was all runners, all going the same direction. An amazing sight to see (the video above does a good job capturing it). We then crossed (again) over the Vltava and headed north along the river for the next 5 miles.
The elevation of the course was pretty consistent, a few hills but nothing of significance.
At Mile 8, we crossed the Vltava again and headed south. We ran along the river, had a quick out-and-back loop from miles 16 - 19 and kept going. I had not ventured this far south in Prague and it was neat to see the buildings and various statues along the route. Crowds were out cheering, and continued to do so even during the rain showers. The rain was nice because it would get very humid, then rain, then the temperature would drop and the cycle would start again. Things never got too wet; the lower humidity was nice.
Crossing the river two more times, we ran mostly along the water and took in sights like the colorful buildings below that are amazing to see.
Organization – Well organized, marked course (was worried I'd get lost and don't speak Czech but had no problems). Grade: A
Course - 26.2 miles of an 11th century city, most of it with a view of the river. Grade: A
Aid-stations - Many aid stations, fully stocked. No Gatorade. Fun volunteers. Grade: B
Swag – Nice medal and dri-fit short sleeve shirt. Grade: B+
Bonus - Got to run in Prague