Didn’t get an entry into the Berlin Marathon? Don’t worry! The Kosice Peace Marathon, which is a five-star certified race by European Athletics Running for All, takes place the following weekend on 1 October.
We give you six reasons to tie up your trainers and aim for this race.
Follow in the footsteps of Abebe Bikila
The Kosice Peace Marathon dates all the way back to 1924 which is only surpassed by the Boston Marathon in terms of antiquity. Runners will get the chance to follow in the footsteps of marathon legends such as Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila and Japan’s Takeshi Soh, who won this race in 1961 and 1976 respectively.
Quick times are certainly possible in Kosice. The difference between the lowest and highest points on the course is less than 17 metres and the cumulative elevation gain is only 74 metres. The course records stand at 2:07:01 and 2:27:44 respectively and Shem Kororia nearly broke the world record when the World Half Marathon Championships were staged in Kosice two decades ago.
A city steeped in history
Kosice was first mentioned in 1230 and the city has the distinction of becoming the first in Europe to be granted its own coat of arms. The standout landmark of the city - St. Elizabeth Cathedral - also dates all the way back to 1380.
Embracing the marathon
The citizens of Kosice have fully embraced the event and more than 100,000 spectators line the course each year to cheer on the runners. One of the attractions of the city - particularly for running enthusiasts - is the 3.5 metre-high bronze statue of a marathon-runner which has a plinth engraved with the names of each winner of the historic race.
A city of sport
Kosice was named European Capital of Culture in 2013 before being named European City of Sport in 2016. Naturally, Kosice provided the setting for the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 European Week of Sport. A 4.2km fun run made up part of the programme and a street athletics event - for elites and non-elites alikes - was held in the heart of the city the following week.
Come for the culture
The Kosice Peace Marathon happens to coincide with the city’s annual art festival - a boon for runners looking to insert some culture into their travels. The Nuit Blanche (or the White Night) gives prominence to leading Slovak and overseas street artists who transform the city with luminary and musical installations.
Click here for more information on the Kosice Peace Marathon.
The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong recognisable brand for running activities throughout Europe.
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