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The Volkswagen Prague Marathon postponed until after 2021

prague marathon

Due to the current pandemic restrictions and the general health situation in the country, in agreement with the City of Prague and the Czech Athletic Federation, and having informed all relevant institutions and partners, RunCzech has decided to cancel the live Volkswagen Prague Marathon previously planned for October 10, 2021.

The Volkswagen Prague Marathon postponed until after 2021

“Despite all of our other accomplishments, we cannot honestly say the RunCzech team can guarantee proper quality, safety, and smooth delivery of a RunCzech race above 3 000 participants.”, explains Carlo Capalbo, president of the RunCzech organizing committee.

In an event like the Volkswagen Prague Marathon and dm Family Run which count all together 18 000 people, with current restrictions due to the pandemic (start in waves, social distance, limited technical area, control of testing and vaccination, reduced Expo, and others) and without the possibility to timely plan the production and the infrastructure of services, it is not feasible to guarantee an event on a level expected from RunCzech. The restart of all the Prague races is planned for their traditional race dates in 2022 when, at that time, a higher rate of vaccinations will finally allow mass events to happen again. Meanwhile, in the months of September and October 2021, RunCzech is still committed to stage two more EuroHeroes half marathons in Ústí nad Labem and in České Budějovice, and a Mattoni Liberec Nature Run, each within the limits of up to 3 000 participants.

To all registered runners to the Volkswagen Prague Marathon that have paid the entry fee, the organizers are making available the option to either transfer their registration to 2022, or to transform the value into an e-shop voucher or to donate their amount to the social project ‘Get up and run’ for students that helps to motivate youth and improve the sport facilities in high schools.

“Since June 2020 we successfully implemented the most challenging and original ways of gathering people”, reports Carlo Capalbo, president of the RunCzech Organizing Committee. Both professional and hobby runners had the opportunity to run at airports all over the republic, in the oldest brewery in the country and in the protected landscape area in Liberec. RunCzech also have put long distance disciplines on a track, the oval, and delivered a world record. They even managed to deliver the Volkswagen Prague Marathon devoted only to professional athletes, which hosted the Czech National Championship and enabled our best athletes to go to Tokyo.

“We also introduced ‘the Battle of the Teams’, a revolutionary concept that aims to make the sport more appealing and watchable. We created several digital platforms that kept people active and running when everything was closed. Including staging a digital version of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon. As of today, we staged 3 ‘EuroHeroes’ races putting together more than 10.000 participants in three different times and locations.”, concludes Mr. Capalbo.

Mr. Vit Simral, the Councillor of the City of Prague responsible for education and sports, joins to add: “Not being able to organize the Volkswagen Prague Marathon harms not only the organizers. It harms all our coordinated efforts to make our society healthier. The City of Prague stays supportive to the whole RunCzech movement and committed to support the physical and mental strength of future generations. We all wish to see the Prague streets full of active people soon again”.

Mr. Libor Varhanik, the President of the Czech Athletic Federation, expresses his support too: “Sport has proven many times how crucial it can be for people’s general wellbeing. It delivers so much joy, emotions, and personal achievements. Especially when people actively participate in it. That is why when a running event involving thousands of runners can’t take place, we all suffer. With RunCzech we share the same challenges of today, and we stay close to work together in bringing the beautiful sport of athletics where it belongs, among people”.