Despite snow and ice, there are many opportunities to run in organized races throughout the winter. Photo credit: Gabriela Zalubil Reichlova.
Not long ago, as soon as the weather got cold, I
automatically moved my running to a treadmill inside of a fitness center. In my
head, running was a warm-weather sport and only crazy people ran in the cold
When I moved to New York City, I saw that the running
races continued year around. I actually tried a couple runs in the traditional New
Year’s Eve four-mile race — which started with fireworks at midnight in Central
Park and had champagne at the midway point — yet, I never willingly trained
outside in the cold.
Then, I moved to Brno. There weren’t many people running
13 years ago, but I always seemed to see the same guys flashing through the
dark and cold streets. And, low and behold, there was even a regular series of
races throughout the winter.
The point? Runners are crazy everywhere.
The other point: I started running in the winter and,
well, I love it. I do more running in January and February than I do in August
and September. The optimum temperatures for a run are -1, 0 and 1.
There are a lot of positives to winter running:
The cold fresh air is exhilarating.
Toughing your way through terrible weather — rain, snow, sleet — feels like an accomplishment.
There is an interesting science to mixing and matching your clothes and accessories for both over-heating and freezing wind.
The pathways have less bikers and the scooter people have been forced to their feet.
It is quiet and peaceful when, right after a fresh coating of snow, you make the first tracks (although that is a tough, wet-shoe workout.
If you need some structure, the winter racing series — Brněnský
běžecký pohár — starts today just north of Brno. It is the 21st year
for the 10-race series. Over the next five months, the races take the runners
to different nooks and crannies around the area. There will be snow and ice and
cold, but it will feel like an accomplishment when you have returned to your
Nov. 17, 2019 — Běh o pohár Jehnic
Nov. 30, 2019 — Mikulášský běh Okrouhlá
Dec. 14, 2019 — Vranovský žleb
Dec. 26, 2019 — Štěpánský běh Syrovice
Jan. 4, 2020 — Kuřimský kros
Jan. 18, 2020 — Radostická nerezová desítka
Jan. 25, 2020 — Rájecká desítka
March 7, 2020 — Modřický pohár
March 14, 2020 — Běh kolem Myslivny
March 22, 2020 — Brněnská přehrada
For more information about the individual races (in Czech only, so use Google Chrome or a translation program), Click Here.
For the Brněnský běžecký pohár main page, Click Here.
Each raceday has children’s races in the morning. Then there is a short race that is around 5 km and starts at 10:30 a.m. and a longer race of about 10 km that starts at around 11:15 a.m. Entry for the races is 80 Kč.
There are several categories for scoring and determining champions. There are plenty of slower runners who are just there to get in a decent workout.
Get the news first! Sign up for free to our daily newsletter here. Top stories of the day in your mailbox every morning.