Three Golds, three Silvers. This is how the work of the RunCzech Running League organizers is recognized by the IAAF.
There are over 100,000 road races in the world (49,961 in the U.S. alone) ranging from short events with a handful of runners to at least one giant with more than 200,000 participants in the Philippines. Of all of these events large and small only 37 have been awarded the International Association of Athletic Federations Road Running Gold Label attesting to their excellent quality, and now Prague has been awarded three of them. The RunCzech organization is one of the two top organizers with a grand total of six gold and silver labels. Only the Nova International Organization also boasts six labels of quality for its Great Run series. “The latest Gold Label being awarded for September’s Birell Prague Grand Prix (6 September) is another great honor for us, however it also requires a commitment that we mustn’t rest on our laurels” revealed Carlo Capalbo, President of RunCzech Running League Organizing Team. With a time of 27:35, last year’s winner of the 10k, Daniel Chebii ended 2013 with the fourth fastest time in the world rankings while Josephine Chepkoech won the women’s division in 32:00. A Women only 5 km also forms part of the program.
Other RunCzech League races bearing the Gold Label from the International Association of Athletics Federations include the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon (5 April) and the Volkswagen Prague Marathon (11 May) which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
RunCzech races, awarded the Silver Labels include the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon (21 June), the Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon (14 September) and most recently, the Mattoni České Budějovice Half Marathon (7 June). Along with Albany, New York in the USA, these rank as the smallest cities in the world to have achieved such an honor.
The group will also be applying for the Silver label for the 2014 Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon which would increase the overall number of RunCzech labels to seven.
The IAAF Quality Label evaluates the overalll race quality, the number and level of elite runners from a specific number of countries, media service and anti-doping checks as well as other factors. For the year 2014 there are 78 races awarded IAAF Label, 6 of which form part of RunCzech.