A look back to the Kosice Peace Marathon 30 years ago

In 1989 the Košice Peace Marathon was held just a few weeks before the ‘Velvet Revolution’, which brought radical changes in what was then Czechoslovak society.

The race also had a radical change of its own. After 63 years the course was changed from simply going out-back to the turnaround point at Seňa to a loop almost entirely within the city. This, later modified and improved several times, remains the basis of the present course.

The 1989 event was only the ninth edition to incorporate a women’s race and the winner this time was home-grown Alena Peterková in a new course record of 2:31:28 – nearly nine minutes ahead of her North Korean competition. Her record lasted 20 years. Peterková later placed fourth at Boston in a personal best of 2:25:16.

Another home grown runner, Karel David, won the men’s race. In an even-paced run he beat his Soviet competition by 13 seconds. It was the 12th Czechoslovak victory in the men’s race, achieved by nine different runners.

At the time David ranked among the best marathoners in Europe. He started the Olympic Marathons in Seoul and Barcelona and won marathons in Vienna, Bonn and Palermo. In 1991 in Tokyo he ran a personal best of 2:11:12.

970 men and 31 women crossed the finish line that year which was again located at Lokomotive Stadium.

posted Tuesday August 20th