Without doubt, Horst Milde is Mr. Berlin-Marathon. Without the 76-year-old this major athletic event would not exist. In the seventies he was the idea generator and for many decades the executive and head of the marathon. For a few years Horst Milde has now been supporting the Wall Race („The idea of the race could have been mine“) as well. Alexander von Uleniecki, chairman of the LGM and member of the organizational team, talked to the pioneer of the German running.

Horst, you are also an honorary member of the organizational association, LG Mauerweg Berlin, you are supporting with help and advice. Why so committed?

I think that this event as a run of commemoration to the Wall is a very important factor within the Berlin sport life. Nothing is more important than the remembrance of the past. Hardly anyone of the younger people remembers the Wall. Therefore it is a must to have this run. Und I can imagine the event to become more popular, although not everybody will be able to run a distance of 100 miles.

That sounds promising…

Well, trends are always changing. The shift to distances beyond marathon is currently in progress and more and more people will be calling the challenge. And if distances like the 100 miles are split to relays, as it is done already, the success won’t stay away. The two English soldiers, who ran-off the border and crossed the Havel river with assault boats in the late 80th at times of the Cold War, didn’t even dream of it. That was basically the first Wall Race even before the fall of Wall. A concept that was then taken over by the LG Mauerweg later on. I thought this to be an utopian dream and have never imagined such a crazy thing to be organized by you.

From your point view as an experienced race manager: What piece of advice do you give to the organizers of the Wall Race for the next years?

There must be enough positively crazy people who further push the event. And also have the vision to repeat that every year. Of course, one needs to stand together, work hard for that, because nothing comes from nothing. As well the development must fit. Every event has its faults which need to be eliminated. Furthermore a good relationship to the official Berlin institutions is necessary. If I wasn’t convinced by success of the Wall Race, I wouldn’t commit myself like this.

Talking of commitment. You will be among the early birds at this year’s Wall Race.

That’s true. I am honored to give the start signal together with the Pankower district city counselor Lioba Zuern-Kasztantowicz. But as a former confectioner, I am used to getting up early, not a problem. And running is still my passion, although I cannot run 100 miles anymore. Thus I like to participate, of course also at the award ceremony on Sunday.


Working together for the Berlin Wall Race: Horst Milde, founder of the Berlin Marathon, and Hajo Palm, chief of the Wall Race org team.