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Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon Highlights

Celebrated for its spas and famous film festival, Karlovy Vary is also the backdrop to one of the world’s most picturesque half marathons. 21 kilometres and 97.5 metres in length, competitors find the course flies by while also invigorating their runner soul.  Far from an ordinary race, Karlovy Vary is a true running gem!

Key information:


  • This is the sixth race event
  • The Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon will be broadcast live on ČT Sport (from 18:00) and on runczech.com (from 17:20)
  • The Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon is the third event in the RunCzech series which comprises a total of eight races in five cities around the Czech Republic. A record 82 883 runners took part in RunCzech races held last year.
  • The race is awarded the IAAF Road Race Gold Label for the third time now. Karlovy Vary is the smallest city in the world to pride itself on such an award given by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
  • The race kicks off from Liberation Embankment at 17.30. The dm Family Run gets underway from the same location at 16.00.
  • Race capacity remains unchanged since last year, amounting to 4 000 competing athletes. An additional two hundred runners will be joining the dm Family Run, however which will host 2 700 participants spanning all ages.
  • The half marathon will guide runners through the most beautiful parts of the spa town. The long-distance runners will head off from Liberation Embankment, cross the famous promenades, the St. Mary Magdalene Church and the Grandhotel Pupp.
  • The course is undergoing a change this year. Due to reconstruction work underway on Doubský Bridge, there will be no access to the racecourse which means more of the runners’ time will be spent around the city centre.
  • The half marathon will be kicked off by Karlovy Vary Deputy City Mayor Čestmír Bruštík, the dm Family Run by governor for the Karlovy Vary region Jana Vildumetzová.
  • Runners taking part in the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon will also be able to use the brand new RunCzech mobile app. It contains a race guide, your start number, offers from our partners, live online monitoring of runners on the course and loads more. The app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
  • Runner pre-registration is one of the most widely anticipated new features. In practice this means that if runner can’t take part in a race, they can transfer their start numbers to someone else. 
  • Whereas previous event years of the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon have typically been headed by African stars, the organisers this year were keen to give European and, above all, Czech athletes a chance to take to the limelight through the EuroHeroes project. For this reason Karlovy Vary will only be inviting European elite runners to take part this year. The project is organised in cooperation with European Athletics.
  • The main stars to feature at this year’s race include Ukrainian runner and two-times Olympian Sergej Lebid and Czech runner Eva Vrabcová-Nývltová
  • Having finished as the second best Czech at this year’s Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, Ondřej Fejfar is the clear favourite to win among the Czech men. When it comes to the women, we can expect to see household names Ivana Sekyrová as well as Petra Kamínková, who has reigned supreme in her category over the past three years.
  • In addition to elite runners, as part of the Catch a Star project, the race will also feature relay teams. Participants will include actor/entertainer Dalibor Gondík and his running crew from new Czech film The Smiles of Sad Men. Director Dan Svátek, who has also written a book on Josef Formánek plus actors David Švehlík and Ondřej Malý will also be taking part.
  • Karlovy Vary City Mayor, Petr Kulhánek will be taking part this year as an official race pacemaker, guiding runners to finish in 2:00.
  • The half marathon weekend will also include the dm Family Run and Marathon Music Festival featuring DJs and bands along the course.
  • The top level of medical care in Karlovy Vary this year will include a professional medical rescue service team plus 15 medical points dotted around the course.
  • Centrum Hájek, z.s is the main charity partner to this year’s Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon.
  • The greatest number of foreign runners taking part come from Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Great Britain, USA, Hungary, France and Israel.
  • Set along the Ohře River, the Mattoni FreeRun is a five-kilometre course where everyone can run whenever and wherever. A number of other courses are planned for the Karlovy Vary region in Sokolov, Chodov and Cheb.
  • The official race hashtag is #KVHalf
  • The organisers will also be giving out awards for the fastest man and woman in the Karlovy Vary region with trophies for the region’s king and queen designed and produced by the AJETO Glassworks.

Interesting stats

  • Capacity for the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon is 4 000 runners
  • Capacity for the dm Family Run is 2 700 participants
  • A total of 47 nationalities will appear at the start line
  • 65,20 % of runners are men, 34,80 % are women
  • The average age of women taking part in the half marathon is 36.9 years, the average age of men is 40.1 years
  • On average women manage to complete the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon in 2:07:37, men in 1:52:13
  • Jan, Petr and Martin are the most common names of participating men whereas for women these are Jana, followed by Petra and Lucie
  • The most common race surnames among men are Novotný (15), Novák (14), Svoboda (11), Marek (11) and Procházka (8). For women these are Nováková (8), Dvořáková (7), Novotná (6), Procházková (5) and Kučerová (5)
  • Six men and one woman will celebrate their birthdays on race day
  • The vast majority of long-distance runners are educated to university level (58 %), with college-educated individuals making up 34% and the remaining 8 % made up of those with high school education
  • The average runner takes 17 216 steps to complete the 21.0975 km course
  • The oldest man participant: Karel Červenka (CZE), 76 years
  • The oldest woman participant: Susana Blechman (ISR), 70 years
  • 660 volunteers will help out on race day
  • The most widely represented professions of those taking part in the RunCzech Running League are admin workers (320), managers (302), students (175), teachers (145) and skilled workers (97)
  • The least represented professions of those taking part in the RunCzech Running League are brewers (1), couriers (2), librarians and those working in the print industry (2), editors (3) and politicians (4)
  • On race day almost fifteen thousand people from all over the world will visit the runczech.com website (14 578 in 2017)
  • Messages from RunCzech channels on social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) will reach over 85 000 users on race day (87 214 in 2017)

Key statistics

Used during the race:

  • 408 traffic signs
  • 23 540 safety pins
  • 45 985 cups
  • 22 268 sponges for freshening up
  • 3 094 thermal sheets
  • 6 500 medals
  • 4 482 m of fencing
  • 117 portable toilets


  • 18 340 l of Mattoni water
  • 5 685 litres of Gatorade energy drink



  • 1 419 kg of bananas
  • 841 kg of oranges
  • 18 kg of salt
  • 24 kg of sugar


  • World record – men: 0:58:23 (2010) Zersenay Tadese (ERI), Lisbon
  • World record – women: 1:04:51 (2017) Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN), Valencia
  • Czech record – men:                 1:01:31 (1997), Jan Pešava
  • Czech record – women:                 1:11:01 (2018), Eva Vrabcová-Nývltová
  • Race record – men: 1:00:54 (2017),Wilfred Kimitei (KEN)
  • Race record – women: 1:08:19 (2017), Yvonne Jelagat (KEN)
  • Fastest Czech man:          1:06:51 (2016), Milan Kocourek
  • Fastest Czech woman:        1:17:31 (2013), Ivana Sekyrová

Official partners

  • Generali
  • dm
  • Unicredit bank
  • Kaufland
  • Gatorade
  • Hilton Hotels in Prague
  • České Dráhy
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Prague Airport

Official media partners

  • Česká televize
  • Seznam.cz
  • Radiožurnál
  • Forbes
  • Hospodářské noviny
  • Reportér
  • Deník

Media partners

  • Běhej srdcem
  • Run magazine
  • Newton Media
  • Railreklam
  • Praha TV
  • Český rozhlas Junior
  • Behej.com
  • Impact Digital Media


  • Barilla
  • Hansgrohe
  • Meggle
  • Pedigree
  • Lavazza
  • Messenger
  • Ajeto
  • Johnny Servis
  • Emspoma
  • Komwag
  • FG Forrest
  • Čechymen
  • PRE
  • DPP
  • IDC-softwarehouse
  • Palestra
  • Italsko-česká obchodní komora
  • Záchraná služba
  • Výstaviště Praha
  • Incheba
  • Národní muzeum
  • Spolchemie
  • Active Times

Regional partners


  • European Athl
  • Praha
  • CzechTourism
  • MSMT
  • ČAS
  • Evropská komise
  • AIMS


  • Praha 1
  • Praha 2
  • Praha 4
  • Praha 5
  • Praha 7
  • Praha 8
  • Pražské Jaro
  • Prague City Tourism
  • Karlova Univerzita
  • FTVS

Regionální partneři - Olomouc

  • dpmo
  • pevnost poznání
  • šantovka
  • AGEL
  • autocentrum OL
  • drapal
  • vystaviste OL
  • Omega
  • drbna OL
  • radio hana
  • radio cas
  • OL4you
  • NH olomouc

Regional partners - Liberec

  • Liberec město
  • Liberec kraj
  • AutoTrend
  • Nemocnice Liberec
  • Tulipán
  • Český rozhlas Liberec
  • Sport park Medical
  • Sport Park Liberec
  • nyc sport
  • ASP Group Liberec
  • Technická univerzita v Liberci
  • Technické muzeum Liberec
  • Forum Liberec
  • Grand hotel Imperiál
  • Ligranit
  • Liberecká drbna