It might seem unbelievable, but it is true. This year the Prague International Marathon (PIM) will celebrate its 15th birthday. Its success has motivated organisers to add to the races that have already become integral to the PIM's Running Circuit - a calendar of events that have earned importance in the Czech Republic and globally.
The unique scenery of historic Prague, combined with the professionalism of PIM's organisers, the programme of events and favourable services attract thousands of runners each year to their races.
In 2008 a record 35,000 runners from 81 countries took part in PIM-organised races. They could choose from competitive and non-competitive runs, inline races, eco walks and many other events in a rich programme. Quite a new feature in the Prague International Marathon's portfolio is corporate relay races.
In its 15-year history, PIM has focused mainly on organization of the oldest and most important race - the Prague International Marathon and also on other PIM events of the Running Circuit. During this time, the Circuit has expanded to four main events involving almost three dozen races each year in the 15 biggest towns of the Czech Republic.
Many of the world's best athletes - Haile Gebrselassie, Stefano Baldini, Paul Tergat, Antonio Pinto, Ronaldo da Costa and Moses Tanui - have participated in PIM's races throughout its history. Even the book "The World's Largest Marathons" placed Prague Marathon among the TOP 10 marathons of the world.
It has become a tradition that PIM's activities take place under the auspices of the president of the Czech Republic, the mayor of Prague and the Representative of the European Commission in Prague.
PIM was awarded the prestigious IAAF Silver Road Race Label for 2009 for its three main events, making it the only organization in the world to own so many of these awards.
In addition to its sports organisation, PIM has a cultural sphere. This year PIM is organizing an extensive exhibition of its photos at Prague Airport and presenting part of the exhibition in Brussels, thanks to the support of the EU Commission. In co-operation with the NABA academy in Milano PIM has initiated a student competition on art interpretation of the phenomenon of marathon. These works of art will be exhibited in the EU official gallery "La Galeria" in Brussels.