Bonn More and more marathon events are being cancelled. It is not clear whether the Bonn run can take place in October. DLV and German Road Races are working on an alternative concept.
"Cancelled" - this word appeared almost behind every date in the calendar of the German Road Races (GRR), written in capital letters. From week to week, professional runners and hobby athletes have had to delete more and more marathon events from their season's planning. Since Wednesday, the traditional Berlin Marathon has also been called off.
This means that one of the fastest marathon courses in the world will remain empty this year. No new world record attempt by Eliud Kipchoge, who set the current record of 2:01:39 hours in the capital in 2018. No 40 000 runners proudly crossing the finish line. "As hard as we try, it is currently not possible to host the BMW Berlin Marathon with its usual Berlin charm," the organisers announced. Initially, an alternative date was to be found for the races on 26 and 27 September - but "after extensive examination and various discussions, including with the authorities", a postponement to a later date was also not possible.
The cancellation is related to the declaration of the German government last week, which extended the ban on major events until October 31. Until now, August 31 was the deadline. This means that the Generali Cologne Marathon (4 October) and the Deutsche Post Marathon in Bonn (18 October) will also fall under the new regulations. "The health of all participants is always the top priority in our considerations. At the moment there are still some talks pending, after which we will make a decision and inform the participants accordingly", said Kai Meesters of MMP Event, who organise the Bonn Marathon. The organisers had already rescheduled the biggest sports event in the federal city from April 26th to autumn due to the Corona pandemic. In Cologne, too, no decision has yet been made about a cancellation: "But on the other hand, we are convinced that a running event can definitely be realised with appropriate measures.
The event would have a completely different appearance than before, but it could be a way back to normality, a goal and motivation for the people who are all running right now - and that's a lot more than usual," wrote the organiser of the Cologne running event on his website shortly after the new Corona specifications were announced.
But there is also hope for the running calendar. Together with the German Athletics Association (DLV), German Road Races is working on alternative concepts for running and athletics competitions in the stadium and on the road. Because: The German government has reserved the right to make exceptions - as long as organisers present a coherent safety and hygiene concept.
Among other things, the DLV and GRR propose a zone plan for the entire race site, defined running routes to the start and finish areas as well as several starting waves with small groups to equalise the field of participants. In addition, changing and showering facilities as well as physiotherapeutic treatments are to be avoided.
"Surely the concept will not be very target-oriented for the organisers of large marathon events with many thousands of spectators. However, for the large number of mass sports and public running events, which take place largely in camera, the concept is likely to tie the knot and make it possible to hold them," explained GRR board member Michael Brinkmann.
Hamburg is venturing onto the track with such alternative planning. The marathon is scheduled to take place on September 13 - with some cutbacks: No relay teams, no mass start, no spectator stands. Instead, minimum distance and starting waves stretched over more than two hours. The safety paper, which is to make the running spectacle possible despite Corona, comprises 40 pages.
(Original text: Sabrina Bauer;Translation: Mareike Graepel)