The burgeoning running scene in the Czech Republic will be boosted by the five-time world champion and world record holder, Zersenay Tadese competing in the Hervis Prague half-marathon in early April.
Tadese, the most successful Eritrean runner in history has won five out of six World Half Marathon races he has contested since 2006, also taking silver in 2010. Additionally, he is a World cross country champion (2007), and an Olympic bronze and World silver medallist at 10,000 metres.
Tadese, 30, ran the current half-marathon world record of 58min 23sec in Lisbon 2010, and is expected to attack the Prague course record of 58.47, the fourth fastest in history (and world’s fastest last year), set by Ethiopian Atsedu Tsegay.
Among the other runners due to appear on the start line alongside Tadese on April 6, will be Philemon Limo from Kenya who ran the first half-marathon under one hour in the Czech Republic in 2011, with a time of 59:30. It is expected that the field will shortly be augmented by other sub-60min men.
Nor since the days of the illustrious Emil Zátopek has distance running flourished as it has done in recent years in Prague and throughout the Czech Republic. This has been due, largely, to the efforts of Carlo Capalbo and his team at the Prague International Marathon (PIM).
In addition to the Prague ‘half’, and Volkswagen Marathon on May 11, with the Mattoni Grand Prix 10k on September 7, the RunCzech road race series, launched by PIM three years ago, now comprises half marathons in the provincial towns of České Budějovice, Olomouc, Ústí nad Labem, with the Karlovy Vary inaugural event this coming May 25.