A glance backward: Berlin Wall Race 2015
The 2015 Berlin Wall Race was dedicated to Marienetta Jirkowsky, who was killed in an escape attempt on November 1980. In her honor, the finisher medals included a portrait of Marianetta.
In 2014 Marco Bonfiglio had to settle for second place at the Berlin 100Meilen, back then bested by Mark Perkins. But at the fourth edition of the Wall Race the likeable Italian dominated the race from the beginning. Only on the first 30 km could the Frenchman Stephane Ruel stand up to him. After that it was clear how the race would turn out, namely with the first Italian victory in the history of the Berlin Wall Race.
The 37-year old never showed any real weakness, and for some times it even looked like a new course record (13:06:52), which in the end remained unachievable. But still: Bonfiglio crossed the finish line with aplomb at the Cantianstadion after 13:40:11h. He was thereby about 25 minutes faster than last year. Second place went to Stephane Ruel being almost 2 hours behind and only shortly before the local Berlin hero Marc Cornelius Jaenicke – there was only about a minute between them.
Video report by sportfanat.de (english subtitles)
Patricia Rolle from the LG Nord Ultrateam was able to achieve among the women what Marco could not do: She was the first woman at the Berlin Wall Race to run the course in less than 16 hours and broke the course record in an incredible way. It took the 45-year old 15:57:39 hours for the 160,9 km around western Berlin, improving the old record set by Annett Bahlcke by more than 1 hour. Second woman was Ursula Hotz from Switzerland (19:29:40) before Tia Jones from Australia (20:39:36).
Among the 2-person relays, “Team Karl Friedrich” popped the champagne corks at the end. Anna Rentsch and Steffen Bruntsch from LG Mauerweg crossed the finish line after 18:01:57 hours. Among the 4-person teams, “Schleichende Hallunken” were first (13:11:09), and the 10plus competition was won by “Team Axel Springer” (13:05:10).
All competitions were influenced by the not very comfortable, hot and humid weather with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. The rate of athletes who quit the race was therefore quite high at 28 percent. Even so, 33 women and 179 men reached the finish line as solo runners within the time limit of 30 hours. The previously announced severe thunderstorms thankfully spared the 100Meilen race. But with no doubt: Without the 27 aid stations and more than 400 volunteers along the course, the number of DNFs would have been much higher. In hindsight, the organizers‘ decision to make the carrying of water bottles mandatory for all participants was the right call.
Two ultra runners provided a special and out of the ordinary highlight during the race. Conny Balke from Berlin and Karl Rohwedder from Braunschweig got married during an interim stop at the registry office in Hennigsdorf. After that, both continued the race as a married couple. During the last meters before the finish, the traditional Wedding March was played from the speakers.