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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Slovak PM in solidarity marathon
New York marathon 1999
Mr Dzurinda wants to show his support for New Yorkers
The Prime Minister of Slovakia, Mikulas Dzurinda, has said he will take part in the New York marathon as a sign of support for the city in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

I am well aware I will not break a world record

Mikulas Dzurinda
"I want to go to New York to show my solidarity with the people of this injured city," he said.

"I am well aware I will not break a world record," the prime minister said.

Nonetheless, Mr Dzurinda is a seasoned marathon runner and has a personal best of two hours and 50 minutes.

The fastest marathon time run this year was just under two hours and seven minutes.


Mikulas Dzurinda
Mikulas Dzurinda: Got lost on Prague fun run
"We will face this danger most effectively by not being scared and by returning to routine life, our hobbies and going outdoors," he said.

Slovakia is on the waiting list to join Nato and has expressed its support for the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan.

"It is essential that everyone stands clearly on the side of the democratic forces that seek to defeat terror," Mr Dzurinda said.

Mr Dzurinda had not planned to take part in the New York marathon but changed his plans following the attacks and will pay for the trip out of his own pocket.

Last year he demonstrated his enthusiasm for running when he took part in a fun-run in Prague before attending official meetings.

After getting lost in the city's historic centre, he ended up running the route twice.

The Prime Minister of Slovakia, Mikulas Dzurinda
"I want to be with the people of America"
See also:

21 May 00 | Europe
Slovak PM's Prague odyssey
31 Aug 01 | Europe
Slovak PM unhurt in fatal crash
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