Biking & Running for a Drug-Free Nation
- The Czech Republic has the highest drug usage rates in Europe.
- Almost a third of all students in the Czech Republic have experimented with illicit drugs.
- Drug-Free World distributed over 90,000 pamphlets and IAS-sponsored Truth About Drugs booklets during this year’s Cyclo-Run.
- This is the 18th time that the Cyclo-Run has been held in the Czech Republic.
After a break of two years due to COVID lockdowns and restrictions, the annual Cyclo-Run for a
The “Cyclo-Run” is a 12-day marathon bike ride and run around the country that brings the truth about drugs to thousands of Czech youth.
To enable the Drug-Free World team to visit as many places as possible, the athletes cycle between larger urban areas. In all major towns and cities they stage running events and other activities where they are joined by hundreds of local youth. The Cyclo-Run is organized by Drug-Free World Czech Republic and is the country’s biggest national anti-drug campaign.
This year, the Drug-Free World team visited 41 towns and cities along the 745-mile route (1,200 km) including 9 of the country’s 13 regional capitals. The marathon ended in Prague and was timed to coincide with the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse.
Along the route, the Cyclo-Run team met with city officials and community leaders to discuss drug abuse and prevention. In response, many mayors and deputy mayors signed proclamations for their towns or cities to be drug-free.
During this year’s marathon, the Drug-Free World team delivered 241 drug education lectures to more than 7,000 children in 61 schools across the nation and distributed more than 90,000 fliers and
Educators and students got a lot out of the lectures. A teacher from the town of Vsetin, who attended a Truth About Drugs presentation in her school, said that she never saw or heard such a simple, powerful and truthful lecture about drugs. “We learned a lot of new and interesting things. Finally a program that makes sense.” In response to one of the lectures, a student wrote, “Fascinating. I was captivated the whole time. And it was fun too.”
The Cyclo-Run has helped to increase community based activity and responsibility in addressing the drug issue. When the Cyclo-Run team met city officials in the southeastern town of Vyskov, the mayor said that, after the marathon team visited there in 2018, it prompted the town to engage in more drug education activities for their youth.
Due to the popularity and effectiveness of the activity as a means to inform kids about the truth about drugs, the Senate of the Czech Republic has given the Cyclo-Run its official patronage since 2010.
With more than 20 large events across the country, including concerts, performances and sporting activities, this year’s marathon generated 71 print and online articles and TV and radio news spots, reaching millions of people.
Since the Cyclo-Run launched in the country in 2004, Drug-Free World volunteers have reached tens of thousands of youth with the truth about drugs.
Thanks to the support of IAS members, we are empowering youth all over the world to make informed decisions about drugs and helping them to live drug-free lives.