Prague - Czech Republic - 23 May 2004
Each year, the Athletics and Running
Section organise a number of running fixtures that form part of their
calendar of events. In more recent years some of these trips have ventured
far and wide to more exotic locations around Europe. These weekend trips
offer an ideal opportunity for members to represent the Club in a
competitive sporting event and in addition combine a cultural social
activity to destinations that one may not normally venture. Members are
often accompanied by there partners or friends.
Prague City - Picture taken from the Royal
Summer Palace grounds looking down the
In May 2004, five members of the Athletics
and Running Section travelled to Czech capital, Prague. The team, Steve
Broadbent, Mick McKortle, David Watkinson, Roger Scarborough and Phil Levens
along with their wives.
Before the race - ready to take on Prague -
the team, Steve Broadbent, Mick McKortle, David Watkinson,
Roger Scarborough and Phil Levens - Lots of
running experience - The five veteran runners had a combined
age of around 245 years!
We flew by BMI Baby from Manchester to Prague
airport where we were met by our pre-arranged accommodation hosts
Praguer.com who took us to our respective self-catering apartments in the
heart of the City.
Praguer.com was a good find as they provided
complimentary transport to and from the airport as well as being allocated
very nice, newly furbished city apartments right in the city centre. All
apartments had modern Ikea style fittings in very old and charming renovated
Czech buildings. Breakfast was included in the price too, this was catered
for by simply obtaining a receipt from our local cafe - The Bohemian Bagel.
Prices were very cheap anyway but Prager reimbursed the cost at the end of
the trip! Apartments - including the extras cost £55 a night for two people
Phil Levens looking good at at 15 miles on
his way to a PB.
The start of the race was a two minute walk
from our accommodation. The event start was well organised, pretty informal
and no hassle. The race meandered around the old part of the city and along
the river before spurring off along a 'contraflow' section following the
river some five miles out of the city then returning to cross the river. We
then contraflowed another five miles along the opposite side of the river.
The 'contraflow' meant returning the same way
but had the advantage of being able to see my fellow runners passing by
passing a wave or a 'high five' as I went.
A band of rain hit the course around 18 miles
before coming sunny again through to the finish.
Steve Broadbent also looking good at at 15
The five intrepid veteran runners all achieved
excellent results in Prague with a combined age of 245 years. I ran a very
nice 3.09 with Phil Levens hot on my tail finishing in 3.12. The oldest of
the group, Roger Scarborough finished in a tremendous 3.55 with David
Watkinson crossing the line in 4.06. New to marathon running and only his
second race, Mick McKortle finished in an excellent 4.16 time.
Mick McKortle looking fresh at the finish
sporting his well earned medal
The weekend included visits to all the
historic sights in and around Prague. After the marathon, I took pity on my
tired legs and my wife and I took a train journey to Plzeň. This was a
smaller Czech City that was more typical of the everyday life in this
country with less tourists to be found.
David Watkinson and Mick McKortle evaluate
some new transport for
the Penwortham beat
Broadbent - 3 hours 09 minutes 15 seconds
Levens - 3 hours 12 minutes 02 seconds
Scarborough - 3 hours 55 minutes 47 seconds
Watkinson - 4 hours 06 minutes 27 seconds
McKortle - 4 hours 16 minutes 01 seconds
Thinking of Visiting
Registration - 8/10
Start/Finish - 8/10
Course - 8/10
Registration - 7/10
Start/Finish - 10/10
Course - 6/10
Recommended - 8/10
Flights - Manchester - Prague - £80
Bus Transfer - Included in accommodation cost
Room/Breakfast - £55 two persons
Entry Fee - £40
Bus - £15
Accommodation - Recommended