Homepage New articles

A marathon and ultramarathon runner, record holder and most importantly a running miracle. When, after a serious car accident, the doctors told him that he would never run again, René decided to believe, not to lose heart. And he started training again. Despite the fact that the accident had left him with a broken sternum, ribs and vertebrae, he completed a marathon a few months later, and in a few years, he set out to conquer Iceland. To this day, he regularly runs "for those" who can't run, and helps raise money for various charities. For me personally, René is proof that with determination, faith and a strong will, you can move even the highest mountain in your life.

Video

René, what has running brought to your life so far?

I think I could talk about that for a long time… Running definitely brought a lot to my life. Whenever I don't feel well and go for a run, my bad mood subsides after a few kilometers. Maybe I should rather talk about what my running has brought to others.

Since 2012, when I ran around Iceland as part of the 1 man, 30 days, 30 marathons event, I have been running regularly for the Wheelchair Sports Club in Prague. I‘ve also collaborated with Icelandic rehabilitation institutes, the Czech Association of Paraplegics, Firefly or Light for the World. Recently, I‘ve had the opportunity to calculate how much money for charity I‘ve managed to raise during that time, and I got to the amount of over a million and a half. I think that‘s what makes me feel most accomplished.

What is the strongest experience you have had thanks to running?

I was most touched by one such experience from Iceland. The director of the rehabilitation centers invited me for a tour of one of the clinics and personally showed me everything. After visiting special gyms, we got to the so-called start-up flats, where people are learning to live in a wheelchair after an accident.

Rodinný dům na prodej Praha 4 - Braník - 217m
Rodinný dům na prodej Praha 4 - Braník - 217m, Praha 4

I noticed a newspaper clipping stuck on one wall. It was an article about my run around the island. Money is definitely a good thing, and I hope it helped the clinic a bit, but when you can provide mental support and motivation to others by doing something you like, it means so much more. I like to think that the run wasn‘t totally pointless, if it helped someone find the strength to battle an unfavorable fate rather than giving up.

So one can say that running is a form of therapy for you?

Definitely. And not just for me. It's not that long since I ran 70 kilometers for the Addictology Clinic, where they treat alcohol addiction and use running as part of addiction therapy.

Is it harder to train your mind or body while running?

It depends a lot on the situation. If you don't feel like running, it's definitely much harder to convince your head. Because the moment you tame the mind, your body and legs follow. Once you are in a good mood and have a positive attitude towards running, your body is usually not a problem.

While running, when do you feel a crisis coming on?

It is said that the biggest crisis during a marathon occurs after about thirty kilometers. I think it depends on many individual factors. The psyche plays a big role, and it also matters if you got enough sleep, if you‘re eating healthy or how much you‘ve been training.

Personally, when I‘m 32 kilometers in, I always tell myself that I can do the ten that remain to the finish line, even if I had to crawl the rest of the way. (laughs) I've reached the stage where I think, "You've done hundreds of marathons, you‘ll make it this time, too."

Have you been running since you were little?

In elementary school, I didn't really enjoy running. It didn't come until high school. I‘ve been running marathons since I was 24. Gradually, I‘d worked my way up to three to four marathons a year over time, but it wasn't like it was the purpose of my life. I had a great turning point after my car accident, I was thirty-three at that time.

Can you describe more specifically what happened to you then?

I was sitting in the passenger seat. And the friend who was driving hit an oncoming vehicle. An airbag inflated in front of his seat, so he got out of it with a broken wrist. I did have my seat belts fastened, but there was no airbag there, so I suffered a compression fracture of the vertebra in the impact. During the flight to the hospital, they had to resuscitate me three times in a helicopter and connect me to artificial lung ventilation. I also had multiple rib and sternum fractures, and bruises of the lungs and heart. I only regained consciousness after the operation, with titanium screws in my back.

How long did your recovery take?

It took half a year for me to get better. I had to learn to walk in a way that wouldn‘t damage my spine. I couldn't sit for several months, only lie down or stand. I remember the first time I tried to get up from the hospital bed, I felt like I would completely fall apart.

What was going on in your head when you were leaving the hospital?

I wondered if I would ever be able to run again. I asked various doctors about it, some of whom told me I should be happy I can walk. The prospect of running a marathon was out of the question.

Then I approached a young doctor at Prague's spondylosurgery department with my favorite question if I would ever be able to run a marathon again. And he replied, "Do whatever fear and pain allows you to do, you can always give up later." These words were very motivating for me and gave me a lot of strength. Exactly five years after the accident, I set out on my run around Iceland.

You wrote a book called Run While You Can. I saw it got a lot of positive reviews. Did you get any reaction from the readers that pleased you?

Yes, I get those sometimes, for example on social networks. What pleased me the most was that one company ordered several dozens of books as a Christmas present for their business partners.

How long did the preparations for your run around Iceland take?

About a year. First I got in touch with the wheelchair club, for which I‘ve actually put in those kilometers in Iceland and raised money. It was necessary to find sponsors and so on, the preparations were really long. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I‘d make it, but that‘s where the challenge lay. I wanted to find out what my body and mind could handle, it was a great adventure. About a month in advance, I began to get ready for Iceland in the Czech Republic, by running at least half a marathon every day.

Luxusní byt na prodej Praha - 320m
Luxusní byt na prodej Praha - 320m, Praha 5

How many kilometers have you actually put in within your Iceland run?

I ran an average of 44 kilometers a day, which was almost thirty-two marathons in those thirty days. Every day I had to put in a little more than a marathon to make it work. I had an accompanying vehicle with me, with my girlfriend behind the wheel. She‘d given birth two months before then. Every day, she left before me and we had an agreement that she would always hand me a sandwich or a drink through the window after ten kilometers or so, and I‘d keep running.

So the baby went with you?

Exactly! (Laughs) Just last year, I took my son, who is already seven years old, to Iceland and showed him the places he‘d "seen" with me when he was two months old. (laughs)

Did you have days when you wanted to throw in the towel?

The seventh day was the worst for me. I remember it very well. I was soaked to the bone, the wind was blowing at speeds of over 50 kilometers per hour, in gusts of over 80. It's a feeling similar to trying to run in a pool with water reaching up to your neck. As soon as I was done for the day - after eight hours, which was my longest time - I collapsed in the bed and slept for about ten hours.

When I woke up next morning, the thought whether I would force myself into running that day passed through my head. But after a few kilometers, my stiff legs warmed up again, and I knew he had another day and another marathon ahead of me. After those days, paradoxically, I got into a state where I felt pain only when I wasn‘t running.

How much money did you raise for the handicapped thanks to Iceland?

When I went for a run around Iceland for the first time, I managed to raise one hundred and fifty thousand for Czech wheelchair users and some more money for Icelandic rehabilitation centers in thirty days. For the third year, we got about eighty thousand for my run from the easternmost to the westernmost point of Iceland. But there were also events, where I managed to raise over 600 thousand for two consecutive years through running.

Do you still sometimes feel back pain while running?

Yes, sometimes I do feel my back, especially when I'm running a longer route and have a heavier backpack on my back. Experience has taught me that it‘s reasonable to run with a backpack weighing maximum of 7 kilos. But when I compare the pain and my current state to how it could have turned out, I am very grateful.

Do you think that half marathons or marathons are for everyone?

Yeah, technically yes. I firmly believe that every person with average health can do this.

How long should I train for a marathon?

If you don't want to mess up your body, it‘s good to train at least a year. Personally, I‘d vote for double the time.

What do you think about the opinion that running is harmful to your joints and knees?

Well, I‘ve been trying to damage my joints and knees for over twenty years, be in the mountains or in off-road contitions, and I have zero problems. I don‘t go for massages and I don‘t take any special joint nutrition. It's all about adequate preparation. If we give the body enough time to adapt, it can handle impossible things.

How many kilometers do you run in a day?

When I start running, I try to put in at least ten kilometers. It varies from month to month, but I usually run several hundred kilometers. But not all kilometers are the same. It depends a lot on intensity, speed and conditions.

What‘s the most important thing in running?

Someone might say shoes. (laughs) But I don't think so. When it comes down to it, you can run marathons or even ultramarathons barefoot. The crucial thing, and I can‘t stress this enough, is long-term, conscientious preparation. Running technique is what I consider important. It‘s said that everyone can run, but if you want to run something longer and more intense, then good technique is a must.

How about your plans? Will there be another island?

Probably not, but this month I would like to undertake a hundred-mile project (160 kilometers, ed. note) from Kralupy nad Vltavou to Sněžka. I would like to dedicate this run to the Wheelchair Sports Club Prague again.

Fast confession:

How many marathons have you already completed?

I could never quite count them. I think that overall, somewhere between two and three hundred.

What do you enjoy most about running?

Probably freedom. The fact that one can run anytime and anywhere without needing anything to do so. Come to think of it, not even shoes.

What thoughts run through your mind when you feel like you can't go on anymore?

That it's just a feeling.

What‘s your motto?

As long as you‘re in your senses, you can push forward.

What is your second favorite sport?

Any outdoor activity.

What would you like to achieve one day?

My biggest dream is to venture to the South Pole.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My children.

Who is your role model?

I have a couple. Of those who are still among us, I will mention Dean Karnazes, and then, for example, Amundsen or Zátopek.

How many kilometers do you run per month?

It depends. I admit that there were months when I ran zero kilometers, but there were also months when I ran 1,200.

Name three reasons why people should start running.

Mental health, physical health and friends.

How do you like to relax?

When I'm not running, my other favorite relaxation activity is lazying in bed.

What would your dream vacation look like?

I‘d put on my Skialps and head to the South Pole following the example of Amundsen.

What did you want to be when you were little?

A lot of different things, but I recall there was a construction engineer or a garbage man among them.

What famous athlete would you like to have a dinner with one day?

With Dean Karnazes.
Question by the interviewee for the editor:

When will you run a marathon?

If I start training now, maybe in ten years!
Luxury Prague Life

Share / become a fan

Photo gallery (3)

View photo gallery

About the author

Nela Štefanová
Luxury Real Estates
Luxusní rodinný dům Praha 6 - Ořechovka
Praha 6

Luxusní rodinný dům Praha 6 - Ořechovka

5 + 1 246 m²
46 900 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní vila na prodej - Praha - západ - 632m
Okolí Prahy

Luxusní vila na prodej - Praha - západ - 632m

6 + KK 632 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní vila na prodej Praha východ -1406m
Okolí Prahy

Luxusní vila na prodej Praha východ -1406m

5 + KK 298 m², ter. 31 m²
19 860 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní vila na prodej v Průhonicích
Okolí Prahy

Luxusní vila na prodej v Průhonicích

4 + 1 500 m², ter. 200 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní vila na prodej v Šáreckém údolí
Praha 6

Luxusní vila na prodej v Šáreckém údolí

7 + 2 440 m², bal. 5 m²
price upon request
Show property
Rodinný dům na prodej Praha 4 - Braník - 217m
Praha 4

Rodinný dům na prodej Praha 4 - Braník - 217m

5 + KK 217 m²
21 594 642 CZK
Show property
Luxusní penthaus na Praze 1 - 226m
Praha 1

Luxusní penthaus na Praze 1 - 226m

4 + 1 226 m², bal. 7 m², ter. 24 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej Praha - 320m
Praha 5

Luxusní byt na prodej Praha - 320m

5 + KK 320 m², bal. 4 m², ter. 38 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní kancelář s terasou Praha 1 - 465m
Praha 1

Luxusní kancelář s terasou Praha 1 - 465m

4 + KK 465 m², ter. 144 m²
40 251 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní vila na prodej s pozemkem na Praze
Praha 5

Luxusní vila na prodej s pozemkem na Praze

9 + 2 576 m²
price upon request
Show property
Prodej luxusního bytu Praha 1- 212m
Praha 1

Prodej luxusního bytu Praha 1- 212m

4 + KK 212 m², ter. 7 m²
price upon request
Show property
Byt Smetanovo nábřeží 191m
Praha 1

Byt Smetanovo nábřeží 191m

4 + KK 191 m², bal. 3 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt se zahradou na Praze 8 - 346m
Praha 8

Luxusní byt se zahradou na Praze 8 - 346m

4 + KK 146 m², ter. 27 m²
price upon request
Show property
Byt Malá Strana Magenta 31m
Praha 1

Byt Malá Strana Magenta 31m

1 + KK 31 m², bal. 3 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní penthouse Troja 311m
Praha 7

Luxusní penthouse Troja 311m

4 + KK 311 m², ter. 95 m²
price upon request
Show property
Penthouse s výhledem na Hrad na prodej - 288m
Praha 1

Penthouse s výhledem na Hrad na prodej - 288m

5 + 1 288 m², ter. 42 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt k prodeji - Praha 5 - 93m
Praha 5

Luxusní byt k prodeji - Praha 5 - 93m

3 + KK 93 m², ter. 11 m²
11 258 000 CZK
Show property
Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4
Praha 4

Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4

3 + KK 137 m², ter. 17 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 1 - 721m
Praha 1

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 1 - 721m

Atypický 721 m²
price upon request
Show property
Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4
Praha 4

Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4

3 + KK 137 m², ter. 17 m²
price upon request
Show property
Prodej rodinného domu na Praze 5-191m
Praha 5

Prodej rodinného domu na Praze 5-191m

5 + KK 191 m²
19 850 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady

2 + KK 62 m²
13 980 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady

2 + KK 57 m²
11 920 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady

2 + KK 53 m², bal. 3 m²
11 850 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady

3 + KK 93 m², bal. 3 m²
19 453 408 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 53m
Praha 6

Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 53m

2 + 1 55 m², bal. 2 m²
6 198 000 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 105m
Praha 6

Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 105m

3 + KK 105 m²
10 934 000 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 47m
Praha 6

Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 47m

2 + 1 49 m², bal. 2 m²
5 746 000 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 8 - Libeň - 60m
Praha 8

Byt na prodej - Praha 8 - Libeň - 60m

2 + 1 60 m²
6 457 000 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 8 - Libeň - 73m
Praha 8

Byt na prodej - Praha 8 - Libeň - 73m

2 + 1 73 m²
7 340 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní penthouse na prodej Praha
Praha 6

Luxusní penthouse na prodej Praha

4 + 1 242 m², ter. 68 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Nové Město
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Nové Město

7 + KK 259 m², ter. 12 m²
price upon request
Show property
Vila na pronájem - Praha 6 - Hanspaulka - 256m
Praha 6

Vila na pronájem - Praha 6 - Hanspaulka - 256m

5 + KK 256 m², bal. 15 m², ter. 24 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt na pronájem Na Hřebenkách - Praha
Praha 5

Luxusní byt na pronájem Na Hřebenkách - Praha

4 + KK 199 m², ter. 14 m²
85 500 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 4 - Záběhlice- 64m
Praha 4

Byt na prodej - Praha 4 - Záběhlice- 64m

2 + KK 64 m², bal. 6 m²
5 980 425 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 4 - Záběhlice - 85m
Praha 4

Byt na prodej - Praha 4 - Záběhlice - 85m

3 + KK 85 m², ter. 11 m²
7 811 050 CZK
Show property
Prodej rodinného domu Praha 5 - Malvazinky
Praha 5

Prodej rodinného domu Praha 5 - Malvazinky

5 + KK 156 m², ter. 21 m²
17 722 500 CZK
Show property
Luxusní loftový byt 69m na Praze 2
Praha 2

Luxusní loftový byt 69m na Praze 2

3 + KK 69 m²
7 987 030 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 9 - Kyje - 71m
Praha 9

Byt na prodej - Praha 9 - Kyje - 71m

1 + KK 39 m²
4 769 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní kancelář na prodej, Praha 1 - 209m2
Praha 1

Luxusní kancelář na prodej, Praha 1 - 209m2

5 + 1 209 m²
price upon request
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 9 - Libeň - 49m
Praha 9

Byt na prodej - Praha 9 - Libeň - 49m

2 + KK 49 m², bal. 3 m²
5 874 300 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na pronájem Staré Město - 212m
Praha 1

Luxusní byt na pronájem Staré Město - 212m

6 + KK 212 m², bal. 5 m²
100 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt s terasou Troja 152m
Praha 7

Luxusní byt s terasou Troja 152m

2 + KK 152 m²
32 400 000 CZK
Show property
Obchodní prostory k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 280
Praha 8

Obchodní prostory k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 280

Atypický 280 m²
price upon request
Show property
Obchodní prostory k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 70
Praha 8

Obchodní prostory k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 70

Atypický 70 m²
price upon request
Show property
Restaurace k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 519
Praha 8

Restaurace k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 519

Atypický 721 m², ter. 202 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 446
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 446

Atypický 446 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 332
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 332

Atypický 332 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 361
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 361

Atypický 361 m²
price upon request
Show property
Byt na prodej Praha 1 - Josefov - 125m
Praha 1

Byt na prodej Praha 1 - Josefov - 125m

3 + KK 125 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 483
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 483

Atypický 483 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 249
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 249

Atypický 249 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 490
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 490

Atypický 490 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní kancelář na prodej Nové Město - 109 m²
Praha 1

Luxusní kancelář na prodej Nové Město - 109 m²

3 + KK 109 m²
18 184 000 CZK
Show property
Kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 1 - 387m2
Praha 1

Kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 1 - 387m2

Atypický 387 m²
155 000 CZK
Show property
Prodej luxusní administrativní budovy v Praze
Praha 6

Prodej luxusní administrativní budovy v Praze

966 m²
42 000 000 CZK
Show property
Supermakléřky - real estate comics