New complex houses Prague Marathon offices and has space for recreational runners to use before and after a workout.
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A unique “running mall” opened last Saturday in Prague, which will serve as the focal point for all running activities in the Czech capital, including the offices of the Volkswagen Prague International Marathon. Members of the IAAF Road Running Commission, including ING New York City Marathon race director Mary Wittenberg and former Virgin London Marathon race director Dave Bedford, were on hand for the grand opening.
“The idea of creating a place for people to meet which all runners can draw inspiration from is absolutely great,” said Wittenberg, who was on her first trip to Prague. “We had been thinking about doing the same, however you’ve beaten us to it.”
The ground floor will house the main reception area, a cafe and water bar, a specialized adidas running store, a conference room, and a running club. On the second level, runners can take advantage of dressing rooms and showers, and use the venue as a kind of launch pad before heading out for a run in nearby Stromovka or Letna Park, two of the city’s leading running spots. The top floor is the main base for the Prague International Marathon team, which heads the RunCzech Running League. This year the league anticipates seeing up to 80,000 participants take part in its races.
“Until now, we’ve only ever had the chance to meet up with runners for a few days during the year, always around race time,” said Carlo Capalbo, the gregarious Italian who directs all of the RunCzech events. “But now we’ll be able to have them here every day. It will have a positive impact on everyone and I’m sure we’ll be able to draw inspiration from one another. We’re one step closer to transforming the Czech Republic into one of the best running locations in Europe.”