The Emil Zátopek Run Saturday 17 September 2022

Thames Valley Harriers and the Czech Centre London are teaming up to celebrate the legendary Czech runner and four-time Olympic winner Emil Zátopek.

The Emil Zátopek Run coincides with the centenary of Zátopek’s birth and will raise funds for the newly founded Zátopek’s Athletic Fellowship.

All proceeds from The Zátopek Run will be donated to support Zátopek’s Athletic Fellowship, whose aim is to ignite in young athletes the sporting and personal attributes that Zátopek represented and to help further their athletic careers.

The Run will take place on Saturday, 17th September at Wormwood Scrubs in three categories.

11.00am U11 – 2K
11.20am U13/15 – 3K
12.00pm Main Run – 5K

After the Run, we will get together at Linford Christie Stadium for the medal ceremony and a BBQ with Czech beer and other refreshments.

“We will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Emil and Dana Zátopek in the Czech Republic and I am proud that London will celebrate with us. I would like to invite all the runners in Great Britain to enjoy this fantastic race.” ~ Libor Varhaník, President of Czech Athletic Federation

Emil Zátopek is one of the all-time greatest legends. But he only started running in 1940 when he was randomly chosen to represent his company, the Czech shoe-making factory Bata, in a local run. Despite Zátopek’s initial hesitancy, he came second and found a new focus in life. He went on to become a phenomenon in the athletics world, known for his many achievements including two medals at the 1948 London Olympics, and a hat-trick of gold medals at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. Along the way, he set 18 world records.

Besides his athletic accomplishments, Zátopek also received international acclaim for his vocal condemnation of the 1968 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, which led to his denouncement by the communist government and a controlled detention in the countryside, away from his home in Prague. His moral stance, modesty and extraordinary sportsmanship remain inspirational to this day, both in Zátopek’s native Czech Republic and around the world.

The public’s continuous interest in Zátopek’s character has recently been reflected in a great reception of the new feature film Zátopek (2021), which had its international premiere at London’s Vue West End last November, as well as Richard Askwith’s book Today We Die a Little! The Inimitable Emil Zátopek, The Greatest Olympic Runner of All Time.