“Why should I put myself through this?” That was the very quick response of a 10km hobby runner to my question whether a well-known athletics association would participate in the Wall Race relay competition. The trainer and me looked at her puzzled and responded in unison: “Why not?” But this did not convince the running ambitious woman either. Thus we had to collect arguments and this is how the mission “Relay” has started.
Relay competitions are very exciting. And they are popular. They are carried out as the highlight at the end of athletics events for a reason. Who will win? Will anyone loose the baton? In the end a whole team is chuffed about the victory which they have achieved together.
At the relay competition of the 100MeilenBerlin it is similar, although there is no baton. And hardly a team starts to gain the victory, although among 25 relay teams per competition there is a good chance for a great placement. It is about the team spirit, the companionship, and the awareness of having together achieved something great by individual contributions. And all this at an event with a historical background. Sharing the thrill with the runner on track, the collective finish after 160.9km, the triumph after having conquered the track, highlighted by the award ceremony – priceless!
But who actually runs the competition? The answer is as multifaceted as there are runners out there. By the different distributions within the 2-person, 4-person and 10plus relays, a perfect distance is found for everyone. For example for ultra runners who do not dare to run the complete 100 miles yet, or who plan to use the 2-person relay as a training unit for higher ambitions. For marathon runners, who dare to go beyond the magical 42,195km or who need a long run as preparation for the (Berlin) marathon, the 4-person relay is the perfect choice. And everyone who has a preferred distance between 5 and 21 km is just right with the 10plus relay teams. Let’s go!
Mostly team members are found among friends. Or within the association. But as well like-minded colleagues compete together. Just have a look around! Or one can find the running companions at the Wall Race Relay Market. Maybe you are yourself the one looked for?
There are some people being even more creative. Like Bianca from Herford. She is organizing a Weight Watchers 4-person relay. Enthusiastic runners can apply for the team and in August the track will be mastered together. Great idea, we are curious about it.
We are especially delighted about the three registered inclusion relays from the Sportclub Lebenshilfe Berlin e.V. and the Karower Dachse. Where else can you experience community and team spirit like here, where disabled and non-disabled athletes share the track? Among other, Verena Bentele, paralympic star and Commissioner for the Disabled of the German Government, plans to start with a 4-person relay. The blind runner and twelve-fold gold medalist for Germany at biathlon and cross country skiing at the Paralympic Games is taking up this new challenge.
And it will be international among the relay competitions: We are delighted about a 2person female relay team from Denmark. Requests from Italy have reached us as well.
The registration is open till 15 June. Already now the team names tease about the crew and its members: “Mauersegler” (Wall Sailor) and “Mauerwegschleicher” (Wall Trail Lurker). “Stars & Sternchen” (Stars & Starlets) and “Pittiplatsch & Schnatterinchen” (fictional kobold characters on children’s television). ¨Die schnellen Hellen der Meierei Potsdam” (The quick pale beers from the Meierei Potsdam) run together with the “Gurkentruppe” (Cucumber Troop) or “just4fun”. Simply brilliant!
Personally I would be glad about a UNION relay which would then, of course, compete again the HERTHA relay (hint: Union and Hertha are local soccer associations). Or how about an “Allied Relay” involving French, British, Russians and Americans? That should be possible in Berlin?! What about professions? Who is faster than the “Berlin Fire Department”? Where are the “Racing Reporters” or a relay composed of administration officials, who run away from the cliché of Officials Pick-up (hint: Expression for the supposed inactivity at work. The first ones to make a move lose the game).
A family relay would be fantastic, with generations competing together. Maybe it will not be a 10plus team right away, but we are ready for surprises. It is still time left. And runners can be very creative, I know that. But the training should start soon and of course the registration. Remembering and commemoration. Participating. Having fun. Reaching a goal. And all this together. That’s how easy it can be…
Andrea Ness has been part of the org team of the Wall Race since this year. The enthusiastic runner is responsible for the relay competitions – as you could not miss to realize while reading. Everyone having questions can write an email to Andrea: