Birell Prague Grand Prix Highlights and Elite Field

On Saturday’s evening September 9, the illuminated streets of Prague play host thousands of runners and spectators along the course. The first of the two races — the adidas Women’s Race 5 km — is a purely women’s affair. Open to all runners while also featuring international stars, the second race — the Birell 10k Race — kicks off just as the sun is setting. And there’ll definitely be plenty to feast your eyes on set against the backdrop of Prague at twilight! Whether on the streets of the capital or broadcast live on Česká televise and www.RunCzech.com, you won’t want to miss out on the Birell Prague Grand Prix.

Key information:

  • 2017 marks the 22nd event year.
  • The Birell Prague Grand Prix will be broadcast live on ČT Sport as well as online on RunCzech.com. The broadcast commences at 19.20 CET on Saturday 9th September
  • The Birell Prague Grand Prix is the sixth RunCzech Running League race, a series comprising seven races spanning five Czech cities. Together with last year’s latest event, the Prague Relay, a total of 82 840 runners took part in RunCzech events 2016, almost eight thousand more than 2015
  • The race has been awarded the IAAF Gold Label presented by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the fourth time in a row. All seven RunCzech Running League races boast Gold Quality Labels which places the Czech Republic at the top of the world rankings for organisers of long-distance runs
  • It is the second oldest RunCzech Running League race, after the Prague marathon
  • The 10K race has evolved from an exclusive event for invited elite runners into a running celebration with thousands of participants. The adidas Women’s Race 5 km is open for women participants only, the second race is the Birell 10 km Race open to all participants — leading international long-distance runners, men, women, amateur as well as performance runners
  • The course of the Birell 10 km Race is renowned for its speed. Last year five men managed to complete the race in incredible times all under 28 minutes
  • The Birell 10 km Race will be kicked off by Prague City Mayor Adriana Krnáčová and Unstoppables project participant Michaela Hájková. Petr Dolínek, Prague City Deputy Mayor, will launch the adidas Women’s Race 5 km
  • Both 5 and 10 km races may be completed either as an individual or as art of a three-member team three-member team. Each member runs the entire distance and the final results are then added up
  • The Birell Prague Grand Prix boasts a really strong start line. A total of nine men taking part are capable of completing the 10K in under 28 minutes
  • Kenyan runner Abraham Kipyatich from the RunCzech Racing Team will be keen to defend his victory from last year
  • Other hot favourites include two Kenyans with the same surname — Bernard and Mathew Kimeli. Both are part of the RunCzech Racing team, though Bernard runs for the main RunCzech Racing Team and Mathew for the RunCzech Racing Alumni. Ethiopian runner Jemal Yimer Mekonnen is also sure to have his sights set on a podium spot as will Kenta Murayama and Tetsuya Yoroizaka from Japan
  • In terms of the women, last year’s Birell Prague Grand Prix winner Violah Jepchumba will be sporting the number one shirt, however will face competition from world record holder in the 10km Joyciline Jepkosgei (who set world records also for the 15 km, 20 km and half Marathon distances at the 2017 Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon)
  • We can also look forward to checking out the biggest Czech long-distance stars on the course. Jiří Homoláč is the favourite among the men, though Vít Pavlišta and Jan Kohut will also be pushing for spots on the podium. The clear favourite among the women is Eva Vrabcová-Nývltová though Petra Kamínková will also want to impress fans with a solid performance. Others to watch out for include Anežka Drahotová and Monika Hloušková
  • The adidas Women’s Race 5 km will attract the greatest number runners from abroad from Slovakia, Germany, Russia, Poland, Japan, Hungary, France, Great Britain and China. The Birell 10k Race will draw the greatest number of participants from Slovakia, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, USA, Poland, Italy and Japan
  • The top level of medical care offered along the course will see some new features this year. Four mobile AED cycle patrols furnished with an automatic external defibrillator linking up to medical professionals will move in among the runners. 10 AID Stations (labelled as such) will also be dotted around the course
  • An autograph signing event featuring the world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei, Jiří Homoláč and Eva Vrabcová will be held from 4pm on Thursday. A joint run will take place one hour later from the same spot
  • Light for the World is the main charity partner to the Birell Prague Grand Prix. As is the case each event year, almost 300 candles lined to form the shape of Africa will light up on Letná steps as a way of saying thank you to all the runners who purchased their start numbers via Light for the World
  • The official race hashtag is #PragueGrandPrix.

Interesting statistics:

  • Capacity for the Birell Prague Grand Prix is 11 000 runners
  • A total of 64 nationalities will appear at the start line
  • The vast majority of the long-distance runners taking part are university educated (58%), with school leavers making up 34% and the remaining 8% made up of those with only basic level education
  • 715 volunteers will be helping out during the race
  • There will be over thirty three thousand visits to www.runczech.comfrom all over the world on race day (32 217 in 2016)
  • Almost one hundred and fifty thousand users (149 876 in 2016) will receive messages from RunCzech channels via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
  • competing runners will comprise 65 percent men and 35 percent women
  • the average age of women taking part is 35.6 years, the average age of men is 38.4 years
  • on average women will manage the race in 0:59:44, men in 0:51:39
  • Jan is the most common man’s name taking part, followed by Petr and Martin. Among the women, the most common names are Jana, Petra and Lucie
  • twelve men and seven women will be celebrating their birthdays on race day
  • the oldest male participant: Petr Prokeš (CZE): 71 years
  • the oldest female participant: Wendy Wallinger (GBR): 65 years
  • the gender composition is pretty clear here since only women are allowed to take part
  • 35.4 is the average age of the women taking part
  • on average runners manage to complete the race in 0:32:46
  • the most common names of those appearing at the start line are Jana, Petra and Lenka
  • one runner will be celebrating her birthday on race day
  • the oldest participant: Renata Procházková (CZE): 70 years

Used during the race:

  • 291 traffic signs
  • 44 550 safety pins
  • 42 278 cups
  • 26 369 freshening up sponges
  • 11 000 pieces of thermal-insulating sheets
  • 11 000 medals
  • 3 924 m of fencing
  • 97 portable toilets

Drunk:

  • 22 708 litres of Mattoni water
  • 5 478 litres of Gatorade (hypotonic drink)

Eaten:

  • 1 785 kg of bananas
  • 1 158 kg of oranges
  • 21 kg of salt
  • 14 kg of sugar

Records:

  • World record — men: 0:26:44 (2010), Leonard Komon (KEN)
  • World record– women: 0:30:04 (2017) Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN), Prague
  • Czech record — men: None recorded by the Czech Athletic Federation
  • Czech record — women: None recorded by the Czech Athletic Federation
  • Race record — men: 0:27:28 (2014), Geoffrey Ronoh (KEN)
  • Race record — women: 0:30:24 (2016), Violah Jepchumba (BRN)
  • Fastest Czech men: 0:29:26 (1999), Pavel Fashingbauer
  • Fastest Czech women: 0:33:07 (2015), Eva Vrabcová