It’s been two weeks since we took a trip over to Prague and, as with many holidays, I took my running stuff with me. It was my hope to get out and run a couple of times whilst we were there, but I was enjoying some much-needed relaxing so much that I only went out the once, but what a wonderful run it was. Instead of running more I decided to use some time to relax and sleep during the day. Coming back from Prague it seems that this recovery week has allowed me to go into the last few weeks of marathon training feeling really strong, a far cry from last year!
As for running in Prague itself, it was wonderful, it’s such a beautiful city and you can spend so much time looking upwards at all the incredible buildings that you don’t look where you’re going. We must have walked 10-15 miles or more over the course of the week, so there was a lot of time spent on feet as well as the single run. Our hotel was based in the new town and one area we’d not actually seen much of was across the river and around the park you can see from almost everywhere in the city due to it being the only notable hill. The first mile was spent working my way towards the river, very stop-start at the various road crossings, but mostly down a very gentle incline to the first piece of notable scenery, the Dancing House.
The dancing house (also apparently referred to as ‘Fred and Ginger’) is directly next to the river, and the bridge crossing it lends itself well to taking photos.
As you can see, the weather was perfect! Crossing the bridge I was in a part of town I’d not seen before, and, without the benefit of live maps on my phone (data roaming costs suck), I tried to find the park. Somehow, I managed to find the wrong park at first, when I go to the top of a short and sharp rise and didn’t seem as high above the city as I’d hoped, the view was still pretty good and certainly beats the roads from Southampton.
A quick check of my handy travel-map and I’d worked out where I was in relation to the big park, so I headed straight towards it and directly at a large brick wall surrounding the park without any kind of entrance, I had to follow it back down the hill virtually to the height of the river again before getting inside and seeing this was where the real hill was.
The path zig-zagged up through the trees and (with a little bit of walking due to the steepness of the gradient) I made it up to a point where I had a first real view of the city back towards our hotel, where my lovely wife was having her afternoon nap.
From here it was on-wards and up-wards until I found a place to get a real panoramic view of the entire city.
I was high enough up the hill now to be nearing the top, so I followed the old town wall and got some more beautiful views of the city as well as the ‘pretend Eifel Tower’ that I went up with Becca the following day. It’s a lot smaller than the Eifel Tower, but as it’s mounted on the top of an existing hill, it doesn’t need to be that big to have some incredible views.
A little bit further along the path at the top of the hill and after heading down the hill and back up again I was able to get an incredible view of Prague Castle, which is located on the same side of the river as the park.
Then came what I thought would be the best bit of the run, DOWN THE HILL! Sadly, because it was so steep and cobbled, I wasn’t able to bomb down the path as quick as I would have liked, I also had to avoid large groups of tourists and schoolchildren struggling to walk up the hill the other way that I needed to avoid. I worked my way towards the castle and then back over the river along the famous Charles Bridge. Where, although it was tempting to have a caricature drawn of me by one of the 150 (approximate number) artists on the bridge, I didn’t want to tempt fate by putting the rendering of my already prodigious nose in the hands of a caricaturist!
Back on the flat I was able to cruise back alongside the river back to the Dancing House and then retrace the way I’d come back to the hotel. The route worked out as just over 10k, and I completed it in a little under an hour, including all the time taken with photos and marveling at the city. This was never meant to be an ‘effort’ run, more of a tourist run, but there was definitely a good hill to put the effort in on (400ft of elevation in approximately 1 mile), so I rewarded myself with a nice long bath back at the hotel.
Prague itself is a stunning city and the food there was both delicious and good value (providing you didn’t eat in the big tourist areas), and I’d recommend a visit to anyone. I’m not sure if we’ll ever go back as we have a long list of other places we want to see first (and I’ll probably want to run around), but I will always remember my run in the sun in Prague.
Run Length: 10km Time: 58mins Shoes: Skechers GoBionic