Bonn To mark the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven, the Bonn Marathon on April 26 will also be under the insignia of the Bonn composer. So far 10,500 participants have registered. There’s novelty in regards to the half marathon.
Whoever starts the final spurt of the Bonn Marathon on April 26th on Sternstraße, could at least get an idea of Beethoven's birthplace in Bonngasse by looking to the left. In view of the cheering crowd on the edge of the street and their own euphoria, probably only few will think of it at this moment. Nevertheless, Beethoven will accompany the participants of the 20th Deutsche Post Marathon every step of the way. On the occasion of his 250th birthday, the running event is all about the famous Bonner. "Especially in the Beethoven Year, everything runs only with Ludwig van Beethoven," said Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan at the presentation with representatives of the organizer MMP Event and the title sponsor Deutsche Post on Tuesday in the Post Tower.
The medal therefore adorns the composer's portrait, the Beethoven special stamp is printed on the participants' shirts, and even the route is designed to suit him: On Münsterplatz, the participants will walk around the Beethoven monument for the first time in the direction of Bottlerplatz and finally onto the home stretch to the market. A pianist will play Beethoven works on the side of the track. But even at the start the participants will have a Beethoven classic in their ears. Each starting block will be sent out on the track with the European anthem "Ode to Joy". Those who are not sure of the text can simply look at the back of the person in front of them - notes and text are printed on the back of the participants' shirts.
"This is the biggest sporting event we have in Bonn," said Sridharan. In addition to marathon and half-marathon distances, participation as a relay team and on inline skates will be offered again. The Lord Mayor will be competing with his own relay team for the "kinderherzen Bonn" foundation, and he has actress Liz Baffoe on his team as a prominent supporter.
And Deutsche Post is also celebrating a special number at the anniversary run, with the Bonn-based company being a title sponsor for the tenth time. "Running is in the DNA of our company," said Axel Breme, Vice President Brand Management Deutsche Post DHL Group. For every runner who makes it to the finish line, the company also plants a tree.
Two half-marathon start times for the first time
So far, 10,500 participants have registered for April 26. "We are thus clearly above the previous year's level", said project manager Philipp Weber of MMP Event. The organisers are expecting a record number of more than 14,000 starters. This means that the 200,000th runner in the entire marathon history of Bonn could also start. Since the majority of the runners will be halfway through the race, the organizers have planned an innovation for this year. In order to avoid the waiting time in the individual starting blocks, there will be two half marathon starting times for the first time.
In spite of this multitude of anniversaries and special features, many things will also remain in the usual form. The "German Half-Marathon Youth Cup" initiated last year will take place again this year. Top young athletes in the age groups U18 and U20 will compete against each other. The winner of each age group will receive 2000 Euros, the runner-up 1000 Euros and the third 500 Euros. A total of 14,000 euros in prize money will be distributed. "Many young people who ran last year will participate again this year," said Thomas Eickmann, head coach of the LAZ Puma Rhein-Sieg. In addition, as usual, there will be grandstands on the market square as well as a fan gathering area, an MC entertainment and the donation spot for Bonn sports clubs on the Münsterplatz.
Beethoven himself will provide a free starting place for all runners whose birthday is on December 17.
Further information and registration at www.deutschepost-marathonbonn.de
Original text: Sabrina Bauer
Translation: Mareike Graepel