Pardubice Wine Half Marathon, Czech Republic

Pardubicky Vinarsky Pul Maraton

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Time of year: April

Value for money: 5

Location: 4

Crowd support: 3

Organisation: 5

PB potential: 4

Course: Mainly flat

Competitors: Approx 1000

Locality: Pardubice is about 100km from Prague and is quite a large town by Czech standards. The centre is picturesque and there are a few good places to visit nearby and in the town.

Getting there: If you are travelling from abroad, it’s best to fly to Prague and then get a bus or train to Pardubice.

Webpage: http://www.pardubickyvinarskypulmaraton.cz/en/

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My experience (2011): A well-organised and fast 3-lap course around the town. It’s the Czech Championchip for half marathon distance but there are all abilities taking part. The weather was warm and perfect for running. I felt great and took off at a quick pace and managed to hold out for a personal best and finished ten minutes behind the winner so was well-pleased. Also the first time I’ve managed to run under 1h20, so another big milestone.

My experience (2012): Coming into this race I was hoping to improve on my time from 2011, but in the week preceding the race I managed to pull a muscle in my chest trying to undo a pedal on my bike. I tried to massage it the day before the race but only made it worse so took a painkiller and prepared to run even though it hurt just to breathe!

The weather was once again warm and sunny and I was looking forward to it, although I was nervous of my chest. My brother had come out from England to run with me so that was great and my wife came along with my son and her dad too which meant there was quite a crowd supporting us!

After the first kilometre I noticed that my chest didn’t hurt much anymore and concentrated on my rythm and breathing and was a little unlucky to finish 1 minute slower than last year.

I love this race, and the atmosphere there. Another bonus is that it’s cheap – and I usually bump into a couple of other Brits at the finish line.

My experience (2014): Last year I ran the Prague half marathon but decided to come back here this year. I had been training well and was hoping for a new pb, but this wasn’t to happen! I had a stressful journey into Pardubice and then I couldn’t park the car. By the time I got to the start line I was bursting to start, and this together with seeing some fellow triathletes at the start pushed me over the edge! I started the race far too fast and after 6km my achilles started hurting and I had to slow down. It made the race very difficult and I was surprised to finish under 1h20. After my previous half marathon and marathon experiences last year I must remember not to rush at the start of the race 🙂

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