Ahoy Mountaineers! This week I will be discussing a Czech-based company that supports the concept of running for all types of people, and I think that perfectly suits the focal point of my blogs! This past week, our class had the opportunity to meet with the Business Development Director, Sašo Belovski, for RunCzech. RunCzech is one of the top international racing foundations. Their mission statement is “All Runners Are Beautiful,” which is meant to stress the concept that anyone can run. Upon meeting Belovski, he explained to us the core behind RunCzech.
Before the early ’90s, there were not many locations around the world that hosted marathons, triathlons, 5Ks, and other races of those sorts. There certainly weren’t any in Prague. So the idea was sprouted by two Italian friends who were in Prague, Carlo Capalbo, and Olympic gold medalist, Gelindo Bordin. In 1995, Prague hosted its first marathon with 958 runners.
And this was just the beginning of the Czech running culture…
Since then, many well renowned runners and Olympic athletes have participated in the RunCzech races. RunCzech was also awarded by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) with the Gold quality labels. This is a huge milestone and even greater honor for the Czech Republic and the company.
But the idea behind this business was not just to host and facilitate running competitions. They wanted running to be just like any other sport that ordinary individuals could participate in freely without it being a super competitive game. Because of this concept of running with no limitations or perfections, RunCzech came up with the concept of smaller races, races people could bring their pets to, children’s races and more. These are held throughout Prague! The most distinctive concept RunCzech has developed to pair with the races is the running league. The running league is a ranking system for racers to see how well they have performed. However, instead of categorizing it primarily based on gender or age, they incorporated the concept of occupation. So lawyers can compete against each other or students, and later check their results online.
In addition, this company created an app that allows individuals to track their running outside of racing, meanwhile also virtually creating an avatar and mapping out your run on the app. They formed a virtual platform that allowed users to still feel connected, and run on a RunCzech race track even if you may not be in that current location.
Another unique running program they have initiated is Running Club. This club offers training of all sorts and is not based on competition. Since the establishment of RunCzech, they have opened a running mall, which is a stationary meeting point for this club as well as other events they may host.
What intrigued me the most about RunCzech was how they do not stress on the idea of who’s going to be the best or the fastest runner. The main idea is that everyone can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Their motto “All Runners Are Beautiful” really inspired me and motivated me to not give up on my running endeavors.
Thank you for catching up with my #PragueJogs. Make sure to check out tomorrow’s blog post from Emma and #CzechOutLifeAbroad. See you next time!