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Košice Peace Marathon - The International Peace Marathon is the oldest marathon in Europe

Košice Peace Marathon - The International Peace Marathon is the oldest marathon in Europe

The International Peace Marathon (MMM) has been organized in Košice since 1924. It is the oldest marathon on the old continent and the third oldest in the world. The Košice Marathon is traditionally held on the first weekend of October, and it won't be any different now. Are you among his fans or even participants?

How the marathon was born

Do you know the story from history class or are you hearing it for the first time? This running race was created according to the legend of the Greek soldier Pheidippidus. He was sent to deliver an important message about the victory of the Athenians over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon in 495 BC. So he ran non-stop from the city of Marathon to Athens, where he delivered the message and then collapsed from exhaustion. Although the legends differ, the idea of running remained and the marathon became part of the Summer Olympic Games from 1896.

The beginnings of MMM in Košice

As we already mentioned, the first marathon was run here in 1924. At that time, only men took part. Women did not participate in the Košice Marathon for the first time until 1980. Since then, it has been more and more popular every year, thanks to the excellent organization. It became international thanks to the diverse participation of athletes from all over the world. In recent years, it has been dominated by athletes from Kenya.

International Peace Marathon Kosice

Awards for MMM

The route and conditions for organizing the Marathon are controlled and determined in advance. Since the organizers try to improve every year, our MMM also won world-renowned awards, which place it among the TOP world events of this rank. It is no longer just a sport, but a social event that is a sign of prestige. So what awards has MMM won so far?

  • priceless status The oldest marathon in Europe
  • in 2015 he received the 5 Star Quality Road Race certificate from European Athletics
  • in 2016, the marathon received the IAAF Road Race Bronze Label status
International Peace Marathon Kosice


  • In 2018, the marathon received IAAF Road Race Silver Label status
International Peace Marathon Kosice


  • for the year 2022, the Košice Peace Marathon (International Peace Marathon) is included in the World Athletics calendar with an Elite Label certificate (compared to 2021, this is a significant shift, when only 11 marathons in the world, of which 4 in Europe, have been assigned a higher certificate, i.e. Platinum Label)
International Kosice Peace Marathon


Criteria for the marathon

The length of the route for the marathon is given and the same all over the world, 42.195 km, or 26 miles and 385 yards. To the layman, choosing a route for this run might seem like a no-brainer, as well as picking up some of the accolades when some big names show up. The opposite is true, and every marathon must meet several criteria, such as:

  • preserved route length
  • prescribed number of elite athletes (in the relevant performance interval)
  • cooperation with authorized managers
  • fulfillment of anti-doping measures
  • television broadcasting and general media coverage
  • strict criteria for processing the results
  • technical - security measures of various kinds

MMM categories in Košice

Running a marathon is the dream of many runners. However, it is not as simple as it might seem. Careful preparation and self-control are necessary so that a person does not overestimate his strength and injure himself. Therefore, other races are also held during the marathon, which are very popular among participants and allow you to fully absorb the atmosphere of the marathon:

  • marathon – the main category
  • half marathon – half distance (one city circuit)
  • relay – the most popular category among runners
  • inline – for roller skate lovers
  • handbike
  • family run – Minimarathon - takes place already on Saturday, the day before the marathon

MMM route in Košice

Since 1924, when the marathon was run in Košice for the first time, its route has changed about nine times. First it led from Turni nad Bodvou to Košice, later in various other adjacent areas or villages with the destination in Košice. The city circuit started running in 1989, and the route has not changed since 1997 - the beginning and end of the city circuit is in front of the Double Tree by Hilton hotel, formerly known as the Slovan Hotel, on Hlavná Street. (The exception was the marathon during the pandemic, when the route had to be modified due to restrictions.)

Track profile

The current city circuit is without significant elevations and is fully asphalt. It consists of two identical circuits, while only one circuit is run in the half-marathon. The Košice Marathon can be classified as a fast marathon course. They must also meet predetermined criteria, such as:

  • low number of changes in running direction (currently 21)
  • few sharp turns
  • elevation criterion (the elevation between the lowest and the highest lying point is only 16.35 m on the city circuit in Košice)
Kosice Peace Marathon

Our TIP: Choose high-quality running shoes for running. Never buy running shoes right before an important run. Bet on running shoes that you have proven. In our offer you will find:

Registration for the International Peace Marathon

If you are also going to the marathon, you can also register HERE. After creating an account on the site, you can then register for individual categories. We're keeping our fingers crossed for you!

MMM 2023 - jubilee 100th year!

In 2023, the Košice Marathon celebrates a significant jubilee - 100 years since its foundation. In 2023, the marathon day fell on Sunday, October 1. On the eve of this important sports holiday, September 30, the opening ceremony will be held with the traditional lighting of the marathon fire. The entire accompanying program of MMM 2023 is varied and has been in the running spirit since the beginning of September.

Sold out for 6 months already for MMM

The organizers of the MMM announced that the participants literally threw themselves into the jubilee edition of the Košice Marathon. Registration had to stop 6 months before the race itself. As of September 7, 2023, the total number of registered runners for all disciplines is more than 16,800.

Representation from around the world and the proportion of women

After runners with Slovak citizenship, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Serbia and Great Britain took the highest places. A total of 59 countries are represented at the start. Women reach a total share of 34%, in the marathon itself it is 16.5%, which means a gradual approach to the European average.

My first marathon

More than 5,000 runners are registered for the marathon itself, as the main discipline. Of these, more than 1,000 ticked the box "My first marathon" in the application form. This, one might say, "subcategory" of the royal discipline, motivates runners to decide to run and conquer their first marathon. In 2023, our Olympic champion Matej Tóth also decided to run his first marathon. We are keeping our fingers crossed for him!

Olympic winners at MMM

In addition to Olympian Matej Tóth, other Olympic winners who were invited to this prestigious event with the support of the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee will participate in the relay race this time. A unique relay consisting of the holders of a total of 10 gold and 1 bronze Olympic medal will be presented on the track. Who will it be?

  • Robert Korzeniowski - this Pole is considered the best walker in athletics history by winning four Olympic gold medals
  • Anastasia Kuzminová - "our Nastya" is one of the most successful sportswomen in Slovak history, she won three gold medals at the Winter Olympics
  • Gabriella Szabóová - Hungarian speed canoeist who, in addition to many medal successes from world championships, is also the holder of three Olympic gold medals
  • Martin Koukal - Czech cross-country skier who, among other things, was a member of the relay team that won a bronze medal in the 4 x 10 km race at the Olympic Games in Vancouver

Marathon express

For all runners, but also running lovers and fans of the International Peace Marathon, a special train will again be sent from Bratislava to Košice. The marathon express, arranged also thanks to the financial support of the Košice self-governing region and in cooperation with the Košice Region Tourism organization, will set off from the Bratislava main station on Saturday, September 30 at 09:12. and will go along the northern route with the possibility of getting on and off in Bratislava, Trnava, Trenčín, Žilina, Liptovský Mikuláš and Košice.

MMM 2023 results

The jubilee hundredth year also brought an amazing track record!!! The Košice marathon is undoubtedly one of the best in the world.


1. CHEROP Philemon Rono (Kenya) 2:06:55 - MMM course record

2. WAMI Kebede Tulu (Ethiopia) 2:06:55

3. BERHE Berhane Tesfay (Eritrea) 02:07:07


1. CHERONO Jackline (Kenya) 02:24:43

2. SADURA Adawork Aberta (Ethiopia) 02:26:19

3. TADESSE Ayantu Kumela (Ethiopia) 02:26:33

Marek HLADÍK was the first Slovak to finish with a time of 02:22:14. He finished in 9th place overall.

You can see more detailed results HERE.

MMM 2022 - what to look forward to?

This year's date at MMM fell on Sunday, October 2. 2022. Runners will start at the traditional time of nine in the morning. The lighting of the marathon fire will take place already on Friday, so that all the key components and competitions of the MMM take place in the symbolic glare of this inherent fire. According to the organizers, this year's marathon is sold out, with more than 9,000 runners registered in all categories. So fans have something to look forward to.

  • within MMM 2022, on behalf of the Slovak Athletics Association, the Slovak Championships in the marathon of individuals and teams of men and women will also take place in Košice
  • the organizers promise a new start and finish design
  • new design of commemorative trophies for winners
  • more measured intermediate times will provide a better overview of the course of the race
  • renowned athletes such as:

Reuben Kiprop Kerio

Ayantu Kumela Tadesse

Tibor Sahajda

Matej Tóth at MMM

Who doesn't know the name of our golden speed walking Olympian? Matej also liked running, and he will participate in this year's marathon in a relay team with three other fellow runners. Come support him and maybe he will inspire you to start running, or if you already run, take part in this event next year.

Matej Toth and Kosice Peace Marathon


Our TIP: In addition to running shoes, proper functional clothing is also important when running. A running jacket can protect against unpleasant wind or cold, and running socks or knee socks are also important. For ladies, a properly chosen running bra will do.

MMM 2022 in numbers

• more than 9000 runners in all categories

• representation from 59 countries of the world

• the most registered women to date – 3,300

• 1686 runners want to complete the marathon

• the average age of a marathon runner is just over 42 years

• the jingle of the marathon, which was composed 60 years ago (year 1962) by Štefan Ladižinský (conductor, composer and founder of the Studio S theater in Bratislava) is still used

• since the marathon also carries a message of peace in its name, this year the organizers will honor the winner of the race from 2009, the Ukrainian Olena Burkovská, who achieved the then record time of 2:30:50 during her triumph in Košice

If you are interested in running and want to try it yourself, do not underestimate preparation such as warm-up or proper nutrition before and after running. Running is said to even slow down aging. You can read more about running in our blogs. 

We are also looking forward to the Košice Marathon and we wish all participants good endurance so that they can fulfill their planned goals.
Good luck running and the marathon in particular!

MMM 2022 results

The track record could not be broken this year. Nevertheless, it was a strong race that only confirmed that the Košice Marathon is among the world's best.


  1. Reuben Kiprop Kerio (Kenya) 2:07:16
  2. Aychew Bantie Dessie (Ethiopia) 2:07:19
  3. Yohans Mehasha Tadesse (Ethiopia) 2:07:19


  1. Margaret Agaiová (Kenya) 2:24:04 - track record in the women's category
  2. Ayantu Kumela Tadesse (Ethiopia) 2:24:29
  3. Emily Chepkemoi Arusi (Kenya) 2:25:39

Marián Zimmermann was the first Slovak to finish with a time of 2:28:19. He finished in 16th place overall.

You can see more detailed results HERE.

Congratulations to the winners, we look forward to the next year!

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