The ambassadors of the Berlin Wall Race
Especially for foreign athletes, it is sometimes difficult to get one’s bearings at an event as a new participant.
The international ambassadors of the Berlin Wall Race want to provide support: They are the contact persons for interested runners in their home countries, and impetus for critics and new ideas as well.
Friends of the 100MeilenBerlin who want to represent the Berlin Wall Race in their home country are invited to write an email to Itta Olaj: international@100Meilen.de
Mauro Firmani (Italy)
Not many runners are so closely linked to the 100MeilenBerlin as four-times finisher Mauro Firmani. He uses to run 15 to 20 marathons and ultramarathons a year, this is why he knows a lot of races, but also many runners from all over Europe. In 2015 he finished the famous ultramarathon “Nove Colli”, a very demanding race over a distance of 202 kilometers with more than 3.200 meters of elevation.
Mauro is also founder of a group of pacemakers: The “marathontruppen” offer their services at eight or nine races a year.
However, our Italian ambassador is not only active in running. Every year in December, he organizes “Maratombola”, a marathon for charity. Finishers can win bibs for different marathons, and within the past three years, more than 6.000 € were raised for charity.
Kim Budzik (USA)
In 2013 Kim Budzik participated in the Berlin Wall Race for the first time and immediately was caught by the atmosphere along the track. The summery temperatures in Berlin were in her favour, since the Texan is quite a heat runner. The best evidence: Ambitious Kim finished the legendary Badwater Marathon through the Death Valley six times already. At 50 degrees Celsius among the shades which are hardly found there.
Kim Budzik’s email address: usa@100Meilen.de
Jürgen Englerth (USA)
Jürgen Englerth ran his first Berlin Wall Race in 2015. The IT-Manager is frequently traveling between the USA and Germany, and is very active in the US running community. He is a member of the New York City Marathon pace team and is organizing ultra marathons on the East Coast. He is a regular finisher of „The Great New York 100 Mile Running Exposition“. He has finished over 40 ultras and 110 marathons world wide, and the Berlin Wall Race is one of his favorites. „The perfect organisation is unique for a 100 mile race. I can recommend this run to newbies and expert runners alike!“
Berit Jessen (Denmark)
Berit Jessen from Denmark, who started ultra running several years ago, is a strictly positively thinking person who is always seen laughing or at least with a smile – the exterior characteristic of her attitude towards life. Her specialty are hour races, but with the Berlin Wall Race 2014 she accomplished her first official 100 miles race. She has proven her ability to master such a distance many times before at 24 hour races. For a charity event she ran 170 km across Denmark.
Berit Jessen says about the ultra long running: “Ultra running is a mental challenge for me as well as a physical achievement. Fast times and long distances don’t mean as much to me, though, as running experiences and all the dear runners that I’ve met during the ultra running.” And she has another compliment: “I like running in Germany, since all running events are organized very thoroughly and the runners and spectators are very enthusiastic. In addition, I have come to know many German running companions.
Berit Jessen’s email address: danmark@100Meilen.de
Tomoyuki Maruyama (Japan)
In 2015, Tomoyuki Maruyama participated in the Berlin Wall Race for the first time. He completed the 100 Meilen Berlin both in 2015 and 2016 and won a Back-to-Back Medal. Tomoyuki finished about 100 marathons and 15 over 100km races mainly in Japan.
Tomoyuki Maruyama’s Website (in Japanese):
Olivier Varnewyck (France)
Unfortunately he did not accomplish the complete 160,9 kilometers, but the fail inspired his ambitions.
In 2014 he finished the race in a total time of just over 24 hours. Thus the next target of the French 100Meilen ambassador is clear: Finally finish within 24 hours and get that buckle!
Garfield Jones (Wales)
Born in Wales in 1956, Garfield has always been a sportsman (rugby player and referee, martial arts, volleyball) and from age 11 running, firstly for fitness but later for pleasure. He started to run half marathons 15 years ago, marathons 10 years ago, but he had heard about 24 hour walks when he was a teenager, and he always wanted to try that… And so he did. Garfield has finished the Berlin Wall Race in 2014 and 2015, and he has passed the 100 mile barrier 12 times so far (his 24-hours PB is 171 km).
When not running himself, he loves to get involved as a marshal, sweep runner, toilet cleaner, cook, driver, crew, supporter. He likes being a runner and he likes the company of other runners.
Garfield Jones‘ email address: cymru@100Meilen.de
Jin Cao (China and Norway)
We are especially delighted about the dedication of Jin Cao in the group of the 100-Miles ambassadors. Jin was born in China and now lives in Oslo for some time. Before he spenta few years in Germany. It seems this time has left its marks, since an on-line test, which is not to be taken too seriously, revealed 72% “degree of German”. This is probably the reason why he shows up at so many ultra runs round here, as in 2013 for the Berlin Wall Race. But the all-time happy Jin was also able to master such tremendous challenges as the “Spine Race” (more than 400 km).
He writes about the 100MeilenBerlin: “I wish every visitor to Berlin could spend some time along the wall, or even join our Berlin 100 Meilen run. Feel free to take a break at each monument or tombstone, remembering those people who once struggled and perished along the long way to freedom.”
Ariel Rozenfeld (Israel)
As a father of three, Ariel is trading the stock market for a living. In addition he follows his passion by coaching in the long distance running and health/nutrition fields- and by being a successful ultra marathon runner himself.
Ariel has a Marathon PB of 2:41h, and he is one of the leading ultramarathon runners in Israel, recognized mainly by winning the Sovev-Emek ultra marathon race in Israel between 2011 and 2014 (61-100 km). In 2015 he became the fastest Israeli ever to complete the Spartathlon race (246 km between Athens and Sparta). In August 2016 he won the Berlin Wall Race, and a few months later he became one of our 100Meilen ambassadors.
Traviss Willcox (Great Britian)
To Great Britain the 100MeilenBerlin have a very special point of contact: One of the first partner runs was the Thames Path 100, a challenging 100 miles run from London to Oxford. Thus it was only matter of time until a runner from England would be ambassador for the Berlin Wall Race. With Traviss Willcox this position is now assigned to a literally crazy runner who started his running career only in 2009 at the age of 42. In 2011 and with 114 marathons run in one year he already set a Guinness record. One year later he ran “only” 77 marathons, but added four 100 miles races. Typical of Traviss!
Traviss Willcox‘ Website: traviss.co.uk
Patrik Gullerström (Sweden)
Patrik is a proud father of three daughters, living in Sollentuna in Sweden. He got into ultra running when he and his wife got kids and were building their house at the same time, and there was no time left for sports – except running late at night.
„After I ran 100MeilenBerlin for the first time, I was sold on this race. Even if I made so many mistakes. It just verified my beliefs that ultra is all about minimize mistakes. For me, 100MeilenBerlin is a perfect race. I like the track, tarmac, flat, lots of aid stations and excellent organization. Also, it has a great purpose. To remember, what I hope, a brief history in time. When people were not free. We should remember that we shall not close boarders but open them. Especially in these times when the world seems to go the opposite way.“
Patrik Gullerström’s email address: sverige@100Meilen.de
Hervé Laville (Switzerland)
Our youngest ambassador was born in 1996 (!), he lives close to Bern and is a trained chef.
He started to run ultramarathons quite early, already at 16 years of age during his high school degree, when he was preparing for the Swiss classic, the 100 Kilometers of Biel. Remarkably, he had never run more than 10 miles before that…
On shorter distances Hervé sometimes enjoys real „racing“ and shows what a talented runner he is. His personal best over the marathon distance is 2:58, and over 10 kilometers he already ran under 34 minutes. However, when he does an ultra, he has got only one goal: to finish. Time does not matter at all to him. He appreciates the Berlin Wall Race – which in 2017 was his tenth ultra altogether – because it is well-organized, and because there is only one big loop to run.