Overall Rating
Overall Rating (12 Reviews)
4.8
(12 Ratings)(12 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.9
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.1
The Volkswagen Prague Marathon has become an essential race on the world running circuit. An exceptionally beautiful course. And a beautifully managed event, from the moment you visit our web site to register till the last note of the Prague Marathon Music Festival. We’re doing everything we know how, to … MORE
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Recent reviews

    cedoyle FIRST-TIMER '19

    The course goes through the scenic, historic parts of Prague. Unfortunately, that means that you run on cobblestone streets and tram tracks for part of the race. So, you have … MORE

    The course goes through the scenic, historic parts of Prague. Unfortunately, that means that you run on cobblestone streets and tram tracks for part of the race. So, you have to be careful. The race was well-organized.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    5678run FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my 9th marathon - and my first race outside Canada. Prague is beautiful! I was somewhat sleep deprived on race day, and I definitely did too much walking … MORE

    This was my 9th marathon – and my first race outside Canada. Prague is beautiful! I was somewhat sleep deprived on race day, and I definitely did too much walking the day before – but I managed to rally for the race.

    The expo was great, and easy to find by public transit. I liked finding my name on the runners wall. The race shirt (extra fee – but worth it) was a nice quality adidas shirt. I also got a free adidas RunCzech running jacket.

    Weather in Prague is variable at this time of year – but race day was perfect – can’t remember exactly, but I think about 6 degrees Celsius with no rain and minimal wind.

    The course is beautiful. It crosses the river several times and the spectators were enthusiastic – particularly on the Old Town side of the river. Water / refreshment tables were big enough that there was minimal congestion.

    My only issue – and this may be the norm in Europe – was that age group placing was by gun time (and there was not a separate gun for each corral). The start corrals were very crowded and I suspect that there were many people who were not in the appropriate corral. It took more than 5 km before I could run without dodging slower runners in front of me. Also the certificate finishing time and splits were calculated on gun time. It took me 4 minutes to get to the start line (I think it would have been about 12 minutes for the back runners). This was just added into your first 5 km split time. I ended up 2nd in age group – and would have done so based on gun or chip time so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

    The majority of the race was on asphalt – but I did find the cobblestones harder to run on than I’d expected. Fortunately they were interspersed throughout the course, so manageable. Also – probably worth it because those streets were so scenic.

    Overall – this was a highlight race for me. It was very well organized and such a positive, friendly environment. I feel privileged to have been able to participate!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Fitbrit FIRST-TIMER '18

    Easy small rolling hills to keep it interesting. Running across many bridges and close to the river for much of the race. Many beautiful sights and excellent aid stations. The … MORE

    Easy small rolling hills to keep it interesting. Running across many bridges and close to the river for much of the race. Many beautiful sights and excellent aid stations.
    The start of the race is in the old town square.
    FYI if you are slower than a 4:45 pace like me , you will be in the last corral ‘L’. There were 89 Countries represented and 10,600 runners .
    I was alone for much of the race.
    I’m not used to starting in the back of the pack. So running a road race alone like that was a first for me.
    There were a few Porto potties but not many. I had to stop twice but I didn’t go into this race trying to be fast so I didn’t care.
    There were water stops about every 2 km and electrolytes every other station.
    I don’t know what they put in their water bottles but it tasted awful and I dreaded every stop.
    I was disappointed that the electrolytes were so few.
    However bananas and oranges were at every aid station and cold water and sponges even for me as slow as I was.
    I was surprised that there were some supporters still at the finish line.
    There isn’t much in the way of crowd support except for the start and finish and once when we looped back to the start after the first 10k I think.
    We lucked out in terms of the weather, I prefer cool but at some parts I was warm and we did have head winds several times.
    My only other disappointment was the finish line we got a bottle of that horrid water and there was a few pieces of banana and orange but that was it.
    The other thing to consider is that you finish in the absolute busiest tourist areas of Prague. Not everyone , in fact not many knew there was a race going on. It was crowded and many road closures. Getting back to my hotel was a nightmare. I just kept getting lost and then I tried to get a taxi and was simply a bad idea.
    The taxi driver said after we drove in circles that to get to my hotel about 3/4 mile away, he told me he would have to drive 13 kilometers to get me to my hotel. Needless to say I got out, got over charged and didn’t get any closer to my hotel .
    That has nothing to do with the production of the race organizers .
    It is something to take into consideration to have your hotel close to the finish line as you won’t be able to drive back to it.
    The whole marathon course stays closed all day.
    Finishers shirt was ok and the medal is quite big.
    Results and photos were almost immediate.
    On my finishers diploma it told me how many women I passed in my age group and overall women (106) from the 5k mark to the finish.
    Note to self , don’t take allergy medications before a race, I hit the wall around mile 4. I’m not sure how I ran 17 miles before having to walk for about 2 minutes.
    After mile 25 I was able to run it in even on all those cobblestones which by the way was not as hard as I imagined.
    Pretty course, good cheap destination City. Probably walked way too many miles the 4 days leading to the race most were getting lost miles. So take that into consideration too.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    M_Sohaskey May 12, 2018 at 9:19pm

    Awesome review, thanks Karen! You'd think by now we'd know better than to walk so much before race day, wouldn't you? ;) But I still do the same thing, and… MORE

    Awesome review, thanks Karen! You'd think by now we'd know better than to walk so much before race day, wouldn't you? ;) But I still do the same thing, and there's not much choice when you're traveling internationally and want to experience as much as possible. Prague sounds like an amazing city, and clearly a lot of runners agree — 89 countries?? I realize Prague is in the center of Europe, but even NYC — a race 5x the size — had only ~125 countries represented last year, so that says a lot about this race and this city. Appreciate the advice too about staying close to the finish line, that will save future runners a lot of stress. Glad you enjoyed the race (and the city) despite allergies, taxi drivers and questionable water — ah, the joys of running internationally! Oh, and thanks for repping RaceRaves, too. :) LESS

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    JoJoRunner FIRST-TIMER '18

    Prague is one of my favourite cities and I love going there. I have done the halfmarathon twice, but never before, I have experienced the cobblestone roads as intense as … MORE

    Prague is one of my favourite cities and I love going there. I have done the halfmarathon twice, but never before, I have experienced the cobblestone roads as intense as this time- running the full marathon.
    In short: the marathon uses big parts of the halfmarathon route but adds some interesting parts like crossing the Charles bridge. One crosses the Moldau river several times and repeats one 12km loop. There are many spectators and music bands. As IAAF gold label race, the organisation was spotless in my eyes. Many volunteers helping the runners to find their start corals or the bag drop off. The iconic exhibition center in Art Deco style (Prumyslovy Palac) is also start and finish of a mini marathon (3/5km) on Saturdays, the day before the race. Water, gatorade, bananas and oranges as well as sponges were available at numerous locations. The race itself is pretty flat (race record for men is 2:05:xx), but as I mentioned before the surface with the cobblestone roads and partially along and often crossing tram tracks can be challenging- some people dont mind, but I could feel the extra stability work that my ancles and achilles tendon had to do.
    Besides a big medal, this year all runners got a vest (the years before: a long sleeve jacket or a bag pack) with the logo “All Runners Are Beautful” which is the marketing concept of the RunCzech Series. The Series hosts 5 other races all across the Czech Republic besides the Prague half and full marathon. I loved the atmosphere and the race; highly recommended.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    zlyvlk1 FIRST-TIMER '14

    Many people talk about the cobblestones in Prague, but didn't see that as a problem. The cobblestones only in the old town. Running through the old town and across the … MORE

    Many people talk about the cobblestones in Prague, but didn’t see that as a problem. The cobblestones only in the old town. Running through the old town and across the Charles bridge were amazing. Last 1/2 mile straight to the finish line at the Parizska Street is just so beautiful! Really want to do this again!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Trevinds FIRST-TIMER '15

    This was my 1st time running Prague, and would do this again only to see if I can conquer running on a cobblestone surface. The cobblestones seemed to come in … MORE

    This was my 1st time running Prague, and would do this again only to see if I can conquer running on a cobblestone surface. The cobblestones seemed to come in different types – some small; others large. Needless to say, my ankles were somewhat torn up after the run, and my time was lot slower than normal. I enjoyed Prague, and the many historical attractions. The Expo was large, and the staff were friendly. Getting to the start line, and returning to the hotel from the finishing line, was about 15 minutes walking, each way. There was some good running trails in front of the hotel where one could get some light running in leading up to the race. (After Prague, I ran the Rome Marathon in 2017, which had cobblestones and were not as huge as in Prague – I faired much better in Rome and I believe I will be able to tackle Prague one more time and try to conquer those cobblestones.) I would recommend the Prague Marathon – if for anything, just to go visit Prague and get a marathon in – pretty city. The Finisher’s Medal and T-Shirt were nice.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    MRWalker1 FIRST-TIMER '16

    The Prague Marathon starts and finishes in Old Town Square. The race is extremely well executed from beginning to end. The course highlights the many attractions Prague has to offer: … MORE

    The Prague Marathon starts and finishes in Old Town Square. The race is extremely well executed from beginning to end. The course highlights the many attractions Prague has to offer: the Vltava River, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle. The race begins to the music of famous Czech composer, Dworak, setting the stage for a fairytale of a race.
    The course crosses a total of two miles of cobblestone. Running on this surface was a novelty for me. I was happy it wasn’t raining that day! Besides the unusually high temps, the uneven cobblestone surface was the only portion of the course that made me a little disappointed with my race time. (However, it is known to be a flat, fast course.)
    Prague Marathon is a great reason to explore this beautiful, preserved area of Europe. It was a bucket list adventure for me. #MarathonTours

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    brittany.tonks FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was my first time in Prague for the race. I enjoyed beautiful scenery, amazing crowd support, a very well organized expo, and finish area with spacious and easy to … MORE

    This was my first time in Prague for the race. I enjoyed beautiful scenery, amazing crowd support, a very well organized expo, and finish area with spacious and easy to navigate with massages!
    #marathontours

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    HanChee FIRST-TIMER '16

    I am very happy to run my personal best times at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon 2016. I ran one race and got two PB’s – FM PB and HM PB! … MORE

    I am very happy to run my personal best times at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon 2016. I ran one race and got two PB’s – FM PB and HM PB! I think I ran my 10 km PB too at some split along the 42.195 km course. What a run, what a joy – very satisfied!

    Prague is a beautiful city with European charm, and the people are polite and friendly. The various aspects of the race showcased the city’s best with outstanding organisation all round.

    The race expo was held at an art nouveau fairground which used to be a palace. It occupied all three halls and I had a jolly good time exploring the booths and indulging in not just one but two pasta meals less than two hours apart! As in most international marathons, the start number collection was a breeze.

    It was a nice gesture for the organisers to print the country flag next to runner’s name on the start number, making it special to wear on race day. I was very pleased with the quality of the race bag and the event tee (adidas!).

    As for the race itself, the Prague Marathon was famed for its beautiful setting. It was amazing that the organisers managed to stage the race at the Old Town Square itself, the true heart of Prague. It was a huge success. Everyone loved the start and the finish right next to the Astronomical Clock.

    The tradeoffs? Well, the race had to be kept at 10,600 runners beyond which the Old Town Square would not be able to cope. The number was large enough to have a great atmosphere and yet small enough for all to move through the space with ease.

    The race start was at 9 am. As there were no cut-off times for the corrals, you could turn up at 9 am and still make it! With such a late start there was lesser anxiety of oversleeping and missing the race – the worst nightmare that we runners often worry about.

    On race day the temperature was 12 C at the start, rising to 18 C by midday – perfect for running!

    The marathon course was what set Prague apart. Right after the start at the Old Town Square, runners got to run the elegant, tree-lined Pařížská Street, dubbed the Champs-Élysées of Prague. At the end of the pencil-straight street was the picturesque view of the Čechův most over the Vltava River. A quick left turn heading south and about 2.5 km after the start, there it was – the iconic Charles Bridge, the sort of place that made you have goose bumps when you ran over it.

    The 42.195 km was run almost entirely in and around the historic centre along three different loops, and passing by four times the Hotel Intercontinental, my lodging in Prague. Well, except for the few bridge underpasses, it was mostly flat.

    The city route gave runners a one-of-a-kind experience; traversing the winding streets and alleyways of the Old Town, running on cobblestones while surrounded by views of castle, spires, yellow-themed buildings and red-tile roof tops. It doesn’t get any more beautiful than Prague.

    The course criss-crossed six bridges alongside the Vltava River, allowing runners to really see the hills and the city. I certainly ran through the most scenic course that I have run so far. It was beautiful. I relished every moment of it and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    The aid stations were well stocked with water, isotonic drinks and fruits. I liked the icy cold sponges which offered welcome reliefs, and the bananas were life-savers. The distance markers were clear and accurate. All in all this was a truly top quality Gold label race.

    Two things stood out from the Prague Marathon – cobblestones and tram tracks.

    There was much chatter about the cobbles being hard on the legs so to counter it I wore my Fresh Foam. Intuitively the softness of the shoes cushioned off nicely the hardness of the surface. In this way the Yin and Yang were sort of balance off. Brilliant!

    As it were, the cobbles never caused me any problem at all. Anyway there were only 4 km of it, all were very well kept and for the most part flat like pancakes! In fact I like running on cobblestones as they are oozed with old world charm, and the magic and mysteries of a bygone era. It is definitely a more delightful experience compared to running on dull asphalt.

    Imagine Prague without the cobbled Old Town Square and Charles Bridge, it wouldn’t be same would it?

    As for the tram tracks, if you watch where your feet land you should be fine. If any the tram tracks added to the overall uniqueness of the race. Frankly the cobblestones and the tram tracks didn’t bother me much.

    Running wise my sub-3:30 plan was to break the race down into eight 5 km splits and to run each of them in 25 minutes. Along the course I would adjust the pace at the beeps of the timing mats, which were wonderfully placed at the end of each 5 km split. I would then use the last 2,195 meters to make up for any lost time.

    Mostly I was able to keep to the 5:00 min/km pace. From 20 km through 30 km I ran the fastest. Boosted by the excellent running conditions, I got some sort of runners high and let myself lose a bit. I was ahead of the splits.

    Passing the 30 km mark, I was still feeling good. After the 35 km, however, I was beginning to find it tough. The pace got slower with each stride, and my time in hand was slipping away quickly like sands through fingers.

    At the finishing straight towards the Old Town Square I took a glance at my watch – Yes! I could still make it under 3:30. After all the hundreds of kilometres in training, it all came down to this last 500 m!

    I ran my heart out at the long Pařížská Street and gave it my all for that last burst. In the end I made 3:30 with mere seconds to spare. Phew!
    The finish at the Old Town Square was pure joy. I felt a deep sense of self-fulfilment – the ‘self-actualisation’ kind based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 16 weeks of track repeats, tempo runs and long runs were all worth it. I couldn’t be happier about the finish. And yes! I am now a sub-3:30 marathon runner.

    #MarathonTours

    The beautiful city has given me such a beautiful run. Thank you, Prague, for the beautiful marathon. I will remember it for a lifetime

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    M_Sohaskey Feb 09, 2017 at 7:02pm

    Brilliant review, Han Chee! Amazing job you've done of sharing the magic and majesty of Prague – I was honestly able to envision myself running along the cobblestone streets, past… MORE

    Brilliant review, Han Chee! Amazing job you've done of sharing the magic and majesty of Prague – I was honestly able to envision myself running along the cobblestone streets, past the city's distinctive bridges, spires and red-tiled rooftops. And based on your descriptions I've now added Prague (a race I hadn't considered before) to my short list of international events. Congratulations to you on realizing your potential and earning your first sub-3:30 finish, that's a huge accomplishment. Thanks for the awesome review, and hope to be able to follow more of your running adventures here on RaceRaves! LESS

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    Gonzalo REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The place is fantastic for a race in every sense. The race itself it´s a little bit hard due to the up and downs and the stone pavement at some … MORE

    The place is fantastic for a race in every sense. The race itself it´s a little bit hard due to the up and downs and the stone pavement at some parts of it. Hydration is not the best, keep that in mind, but overall it´s a great race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    phhfenterprise FIRST-TIMER '16

    7 hour limit makes its great race for walkers.be careful with the foible stones. The fan support was some what limited and did not like the second loop section. MORE

    7 hour limit makes its great race for walkers.be careful with the foible stones.
    The fan support was some what limited and did not like the second loop section.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    amichellemac FIRST-TIMER '08

    Running in the majesty of old Prague brings with it a majesty that's hard to explain. A Czech-Canadian, the city has a strong hold over me. While I trained relentlessly … MORE

    Running in the majesty of old Prague brings with it a majesty that’s hard to explain. A Czech-Canadian, the city has a strong hold over me.

    While I trained relentlessly all through the cold Montreal winter to prepare for the race, unfortunately I fell very ill upon arriving in Prague and did not sleep for the three nights preceding the race, plus my head was in a daze and I lost 13 pounds through dehydration. The morning of the race I could barely move, but decided I didn’t go all the way to Prague not to at least try to run. To make matters worse, it was incredibly hot, about 30 degrees celcius, with no shade to be found on the course at all.

    Starting the race in Old Town square, it took about 10 minutes for us to get going from when the race actually started. The difficulty and treacherousness of running on cobble stones was more than compensated for by the stunning surroundings.

    While I did ok for the first hour, the heat really started to affect me after the 10k mark and I started taking frequent walk breaks. The further we went, the more breaks I had to take. Also, the further we went out of the downtown area, the race support thinned out dramatically. By the 30k mark, I was barely holding it together, could hardly walk and had fits of crying that my sister-in-law, racing with me, was very patient with.

    The aid stations were positioned every few km, offering sugar cubes, bananas, water, an electrolyte drink… even beer at one point. More importantly, they were very well stocked with huge cold, wet sponges, which offered a very welcome, if short lived, relief from the sweltering sun.

    While the course is quite flat, the lack of shade and extent of cobblestones are challenging.

    Though I often doubted it would ever happen, we finally rounded the corner towards the finish line, back in Old Town square. I got a rush of energy and we both started near sprinting. Since it took us 5:46 to complete the marathon, we were about the only runners in sight, and everyone eating lunch at the restaurants next to the course started cheering for us, in our Canada singlets. It was such an exhilarating feeling, having hundreds of people cheering for us, understanding the kind of pain we were in and our joy at reaching the finish line.

    Crossing that finish line is one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had. I literally collapsed on the ground just after the finish, incapable of going any further, but full of joy at having succeeded.

    Eventually I dragged myself over to the complimentary massage tent set up in old town square and lay on the ground waiting my turn. Lying on the massage table in the square, looking up at all the history and beauty surrounding me, and getting the most wonderful post race rub down, I had this overwhelming feeling of contentment and appreciation for the experience of running accomplishing such a memorable personable feat in a place of such significance. Also, the run had gotten rid of what ailed me and I was fine from then on!

    So, while it was a very difficult day, it ended up being a wonderful day and a wonderful experience for me, though it was my worst marathon performance. Also, this was the marathon at which I discovered that all the fun people are at the back of the pack. It’s a totally different world back there!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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