Active Brno: Don’t Let Cold Keep You Inside

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 and snow.

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 warm home.

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.

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