Two Harriers ventured to the capital of cobblestones, Prague over the Bank holiday weekend. One to run in the search for redemption after a disappointing VLM, the other to support (but practically run the distance in doing so). The obligatory inflight entertainment of rowdy stag parties downing gallons of overpriced beers made way for a lovely couple of days in the capital of beer (and cobblestones).
The marathon itself is a great one for spectators as it follows a flat multi looping figure of eight type course that challenges a fit and ambitious supporter to pop up at several places en-route. With only 10,000 participants it also gives the runner plenty of room to run and the river provides both distraction and cooling breeze at times.
There are certainly some spectacular scenery with 7 bridges to cross and gorgeous buildings to pass but also some boring sections with little or no support and a few cobblestones, have I mentioned the cobblestones?
Given the high number of stricken runners I saw at London 2 weeks ago and the warm weather in Prague I must admit to some concern when the “first aid” stations were manned by 14 year old girls, who actually disappeared altogether from their posts between km 32 to 40 – a pretty critical section of any marathon.
I was happy (and relieved) to
a) keep my breakfast down this time,
b) carry my VLM weary legs over the line in 3:20:41 and
c) tuck into my first beer. The pork knuckle and several more beers that followed provided further stamina as Pru and I enjoyed a long night listening to jazz in one of Prague’s famous underground jazz clubs.
Winner in a time of 2:06:07 was Galen Rupp, who went a few places better than his mate and training partner Sir Mo, showing the pb potential this course holds. Ladies winner was Bornes Jepkirui KITUR in 2:24:19
All in all a very well run event, efficient expo, start and finish area and Prague is lovely for a weekend away, I won’t mention the cobblestones though…..