Zátopek themed run marks start of Czech EU presidency in Brussels

A special Emil Zátopek themed run was held in Brussels this Saturday to mark the occasion of the Czech Republic assuming its six month presidency of the Council of the European Union. Called the “Friendship Run in Pairs”, the race took at the Trois Tilleuls stadium in the Watermael-Boitsfort district with around 400 runners taking part. It honoured the relationship between Zátopek and his great French competitor Alain Mimoun.

Ambassador Edita Hrdá, the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the EU and Ambassador Philippe Leglise-Costa, the Permanent Representative of France to the EU, started the race, with the latter also handing over a symbolic EU presidency baton to Ms Hrdá. France held the EU presidency from January to June of 2022. Ms Hrdá praised France's work at the helm of the Council of the EU which was marked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and associated economic challenges for Europe. The French ambassador wished his Czech colleagues the best of luck during their country's presidency.

Several accompanying events tok place alongside the main race, including a smaller 400m run for children and an exhibition on the various regions of the Czech Republic. The whole event ended with the screening of the 2021 Czech biographical film Zátopek.

Author: Tom McEnchroe