Prague Marathon 2023

It was a pleasure to run the Prague Marathon on 7th May 2023. I had originally been booked to run Prague Marathon 2020, and this is the last of my cancelled events, I have finally caught up. Prague Marathon comes at the end of a crazy streak of Marathon running, as I have run 15 marathons in 6 weeks. This has been a tough challenge, but it is something I wanted to achieve in a bid to raise money for cancer research, a charity that means something to me. April was full of adventure: 10 marathons in 10 days, Boston Marathon, London Marathon, and Eugene Marathon. This brings a close to my spring marathon season. Next, I will rest whilst I take on my summer ultra and Ironman, which has become my tradition.

Prague Marathon 2023

I am so happy to have run Prague Marathon,  and to have been invited as a pacer. I had planned to run as the 4 hour pacer in 2020, but with the uncertainty of how I would feel after so many marathons, I opted for 4:30. In truth, I could have ran 4 hours today, and it would have been more comfortable for me, but at the time I did not want to commit to something that I could not guarantee I would be at my best. Today was my 134th Marathon and 40th marathon as an official pacer.

Finish line happiness

Family holiday in Prague

Prague is a special place for us. It was the first holiday that Kirsty and I went on back in 2009, and we have had a painted picture on our wall ever since. I have been looking forward to bringing our kids here, and it did not disappoint.

Happy children walking through Prague

We arrived late afternoon on Friday after a delayed flight. One of the main things I was looking forward to was a medieval night with a 2.5-hour show of fire breathing, sword fighting, and other great experiences. 5 course and all the beer and wine you could drink. It definitely would not have been sensible to do this on Saturday, so I booked for the Friday.

Medieval night Prague

We had a fantastic night. It was a different venue than where we went in 2009, and to be honest, it was not as good. It was hard not to feel a little disappointed when comparing, but everyone had a good time, which is what matters.

Belly dancing

There was an upstairs and downstairs, and it became clear that the downstairs was a much better experience. However, this was full of tour operators and stag parties. We still enjoyed a great night together.

Hotel view

After lots to eat and drink on the Friday we had a more leisurely morning than planned. Our hotel was amazing, so we had a lovely breakfast and swim before making our way to the expo for the Family Run. Before the run, I met the other pacers for a presentation on stage. I later gave a separate talk on the stage, which was lovely to do.

Pick up the pace Paul

The family run was well organised. I had thought it was a mile run, but it was actual 1.4 miles. I ran with Benjamin and Kirsty Ran with Amelie, and the kids beat us both. The entry was really cheap, and we all received a bag, t-shirt, and medal as part of the entry. There were also a lot of activities for kids at the finish.

Family Run

We then went to enjoy Old Town with a walk over Charlie Bridge. Our taxi dropped us off by Charlie Bridge outside a wine and tapas bar, and it was the perfect stop we needed. Considering the bar was literally underneath the bridge, it was a really cheap price for snacks and drinks.

Charlie Bridge tapas

We had such an amazing walk, and then we stumbled across traditional ice cream with pastry.

Best Ice-cream in Prague

My daughter had been insisting on a normal cone, but she was definitely happy with the end result. A sweet pastry filled with hot melted chocolate and strawberry, topped with ice cream. I was a little jealous watching my kids eat this.

Best Ice-cream

Before long, it was time to go home and get ready for the marathon. We had such a lovely evening meal and planned lots of different experiences for the family for when I was running. My final task was my flatlay ready for the morning.


Prague Marathon

I got up early and travelled with the elite runners to the start. It was a very unreal experience to be in the same hotel as the elites and travel to the start with them. I actually sat next to the female winner on the bus to the start. When we arrived at the start, I made my way to meet the pacers and get sorted. We had a great meet and then made our way to the start.

Pacer presentation for Prague Marathon

Before we started, the pacers were presented at the start line, and then we had an official photograph by the start. I then made my way to my start area with Martin, my co pacer.

Running Prague Marathon

It was a fantastic start to the race, and despite forecasts earlier in the week of rain, it was beautiful weather. It was a busy start line, and there were parts of the race with cobbles, but this did not detract from the race. We ran through Old Town, then crossed a bridge with the best views of Charlie Bridge before crossing over it.

Crossing Charlie Bridge

I kept my runners motivated throughout, and we had a great combination of Martin speaking Czech and myself speaking English. I lost my voice a little shouting and motivating runners throughout.

Having fun

There were music stations throughout the course, and the aid stations were consistent with water, electrolytes, and fruit at each. I had a great group of runners with me for the whole course. We had fun whilst I was chatting and encouraging.

Prague Marathon

The course has a mini lap of around 12 k first, and then we come back past the finish line. This kept a lot of the race in and around spectators and the scenic route. There were then some long stretches away from people, but this is pretty normal in marathons. We crossed paths with runners a few times, and a fellow pacer took a picture as I passed. The above picture shows the extent of the worst part of the course. Some commented on the difficulty of the cobbles, but for me, it was fine. I have run with far worse road conditions.

Illusion museum

Whilst I was running, my family went to the illusion museum and the torture museum. They had such a lovely time whilst I was running and were able to meet me at the finish. I was given passes for the finish line, so we were very fortunate to have the best views of the finish, which also gave my family a treat.

VIP treatment

It was reassuring running the last few miles knowing the route as we had run the same course on the first smaller lap. All markers were in km with timing every 5km. I was able to maintain a pace around 5 to 20 seconds ahead of schedule at each marker. Naturally, I sped up for the final couple of km as I encouraged everyone to get ahead of me.

Finish line ahead

I then slowed slightly for the final 500 metres as I encouraged the final runners around me to pick up the pace and get ahead of me. I loved seeing my family right at the finish line, as I was not sure if they would be there or not.

Spotted my family

When I finished, I had my final runners come over the line, who I was able to meet and great. It is always so rewarding to congratulate the runners who kept with me and achieved their goal.

Finish line celebrations

I am pleased to have hit my target time of 4:30 in a time of 4:29:41.

Prague Marathon finisher

I met my family in the guest area at the finish line for some refreshments before going to join the other pacers in a beer hall for a few cold beers and to celebrate with them. It was such a great experience to join another international pace team and meet some lovely people.

Beer Hall

Afterwards, we went for a relaxing swim for the kids to have fun on our final day before getting ready for the Battle of the Teams Awards ceremony. We were fortunate to be seated with the elite runners. It was a great celebration with food and drink and a fantastic way to bring the holiday to a close.

Battle of the Teams

Prague Marathon was everything I had hoped for and more. I wanted to run Prague because we had good memories from our previous trip. We had so much fun, yet there was so much more to do which we did not have time for. We would love to go back again, and it joins a long list of cities and marathons that have given us such beautiful memories.

Prague Marathon

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