The newly crowned World record holder in the marathon, Patrick Makau (2:03:38 in Berlin 2011), christened the new RUNCZECH.COM race series in Prague today. Six races in the RUNCZECH.COM series next year should help attract foreign runners to the Czech Republic. The series includes extensive charts to allow runners to compare their performances with others according to age and profession. for the Hervis Prague Half Marathon, the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, the Mattoni Grand Prix, the Volkswagen Olomouc Half Marathon, the Volkswagen Usti nad Laben Half Marathon, and the Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon. “Support from such a star is a huge encouragement for us,” said Carlo Capalbo, chief organizer of the RUNCZECH.COM races.
Makau also took part in a unique meeting at the cross-country tracks in Stromovka Park. The session started when Patrick met Dana Zátopková the widow of legendary Czech runner, Emil Zatopek, who completed a historic hat-trick of gold medals in the 5000 meters, 10,000 meters, and the marathon in six days at the Olympics in Helsinki almost 60 years ago. Mrs. Zatopkova is herself an Olympic Gold Medalist in the Javelin. After jogging a short warm-up with the Czech Marathon Hopes (young Czech runners Agnes and Elizabeth Drahotova and Linda Vitova) who are supported by RUNCZECH.COM Patrick was also joined by a group of Prague Marathon veterans for for an easy workout of jogging, stretching and strength training tips. “He was very nice, we talked about running”, said Agnes Drahotova. The Czech Marathon Hopes then received new adidas running gear from the record holder along with an autographed t-shirt.
The Kenyan star was visiting Prague for the first time. In the morning he stopped by the offices of the Prague International Marathon where he viewed the operations of the PIM team. He then visited the historic Old Town and Charles Bridge. in addition to sightseeing and leading Czech runners in training he held a press conference at the adidas Concept Store where he said cheerfully "Prague is a beautiful city. I’d really like to look at it first then, when I finish running, admire the monuments. It depends on the Kenyan Athletic Federation, but if I am chosen for the Olympic Team I would like to attend some RUNCZECH.COM events and spend a few weeks in Prague training.
On Thursday Makau travels to Monte Carlo to receive an award from the International Association of Athletic Federations – IAAF.