On Saturday, April 2, the 90th anniversary of the international race walking event Poděbrady Walking will take place at the Spa Colonnade
The history of the race walk races in this Central Bohemian spa town dates back to the end of the 19th century.As early as in 1894, a race walk race took place from Karlín in Prague to Poděbrady, which was still two years before the resumption of the Olympic Games.At its birth, there were then so-called pedestrians (then a term for race walkers) from the AC Královské Vinohrady.At that time, probably few people would expect the race, which was a match for club championship titles, to become world-famous.
The Poděbrady Walking meeting has been held every year since the 1929 season, with the exception of four war years. It is thus one of the most traditional race walking destinations.At the same time, it is also very popular among domestic and international athletes.
During the ninety-year history of this race, world records were set in Poděbrady and the world's biggest race walking stars competed there.Thanks to this, the event gained more and more fame and more and more elite competitors from all continents involved it in its calendar.
Poděbrady experienced a big celebration of the sport in 1997, when they hosted the 18th World Cup in race walk.At the time, Ecuadorian Jefferson Pérez and Spaniard Jesús Angel Garcia shone here, when winning the 20km and 50km races in unique times of 1:18:24 and 3:39:54, which are performances of the highest quality.
In 2017, the European Race Walking Cup took place here, where the best race walkers of the old continent gathered here.The race was also a part of the celebrations of the 120th anniversary of the Czech athletics.Last May, the top European walkers returned to Poděbrady to compete in the European Team Championship.This is a competition which will also take place on the Spa Promenade in 2023 and 2025, and this is a further proof of the fame of the Poděbrady race walk.The trust placed by the management of the European Athletics is a great reward for the organisers, but also a commitment.
In addition to the European and world elite athletes, the spectators have the opportunity to see home walking stars at the Poděbrady Walking meeting, as the Czech Republic's men's, women's, junior women and junior men championships also take place as part of this race, and our best athletes will never miss this race walk holiday.
The meeting also received other additional honors, as it was included in the highest category of the World Athletics Race Walking Gold series.The Poděbrady competition will also include an interstate match.
It is no coincidence that the Poděbrady meeting is popular with the world's best race walkers.Since the 1990s, they have been racing on the kilometre circuit in the Spa Park and the track is very fast.If we add to this the picturesque atmosphere of the spa town and the traditionally great spectator scenery, it is no wonder that the competitors like to return to Poděbrady.
The list of medalists from the Olympic Games and the world championships who have performed in Poděbrady in the past is really rich and the organisers intend to maintain this trend.It is difficult to imagine the world race walking calendar without this event.
The 90th Poděbrady Walking meeting will also be associated with another important jubilee. The Czech athletics is celebrating its 125 years this year. The race itself will be complemented by a rich accompanying program, which will include public race walking races for young people and legends, the mayor's run and the popular Athletics for Children.