Roucek and Dzurinda to run New York Marathon

Либор Роучек

Well the papers are full of pictures today of the visiting Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda and the Czech government spokesman Libor Roucek, running round Prague in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Both men are keen marathon runners, and the two have even pledged to run the famous New York marathon in November. But the pictures show them apparently running through the streets of Prague alone, and so earlier today my colleague Rob Cameron asked Mr Roucek whether the Slovak Prime Minister's bodyguards were following at a discreet distance behind them.

Libor Roucek
Libor Roucek: "As it is with all prime ministers or presidents, there was one bodyguard riding a bike behind us."Radio Prague: Do you think he minded getting up at six o'clock in the morning to follow you around Prague? LR: "It's a normal jog, but of course there was a tough part from Kampa - which is near the River Moldau (Vltava) - up to Petrin Hill, so that was the toughest part of it."RP: That's quite a steep hill. LR: "It's a steep hill, and of course the bodyguard on a bike, he had problems. We thought we'd have to push him..."RP: How do you keep in shape, how do you keep fit when you're so busy being the government's spokesman? LR: "It's a problem. I have to use any minute I have to keep myself in shape. So that means twice or three times a week I go for a jog, I go to Stromovka or other parts of Prague, other parts of the country, and try to stay fit."RP: Were you racing against the Slovak Prime Minister yesterday? Did you let him win? After all, he is the Prime Minister... LR: "No, no, we were not racing. We were running together. We weren't racing at all."RP: I gather you've made a serious commitment to run in the New York marathon in November... LR: "That's right, we made that commitment. Both of us - Prime Minister Dzurinda and I - run regularly, we run not only 10,000 metres and 15,000 metres, but also half marathons and full marathons. Prime Minister Dzurinda is a regular marathon runner, he ran the oldest marathon in Europe - the Kosice marathon in Eastern Slovakia. I ran the Berlin marathon, I ran the London marathon, and so this year we decided to go to New York and run the New York marathon."RP: But I gather your boss, Prime Minister Milos Zeman, probably won't be running the marathon with you... LR: "You're right. He won't be running the marathon with me, but I'm sure he'll be keeping his fingers crossed."RP: Last year Prime Minister Dzurinda ran the marathon in Prague, and he got lost. Do you think he'll manage to find his way round New York? LR: "The marathon in New York is properly marked - I don't want to say the marathon in Prague isn't properly marked - but last year we got lost, and this didn't happen this year, and I'm sure it won't happen in New York either."RP: Well the best of luck to you. LR: "Thank you very much!"