21st Berliner Wasserbetriebe 5 x 5 km TEAM-Relay from 11 until 13 August 2021

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40th Cross Country Run – as young as ever – 1,576 runners celebrate the anniversary

Gottschalk (SCC) won easily, Uta Pippig jogged along ... and came in second – A hefty fight for the pineapple in the youth race...


The 40th Berlin Cross Country Run organised by SCC RUNNING celebrated its anniversary in the Grunewald Forest with an increase in participants and the champions of the original race in 1964 in both the elite and mass races.

Ex-European champion in the 1500m, Bodo Tümmler (SCC), and world champion bicyclist Rainer Podlesch (Zehlendorfer Eichhörnchen) – who came by bike directly from his training—gave the starting shot together for the main race (8800m) at noon, assisted by the symbols of the cross country race—two stuffed wild pigs.

Before the race, the head of the event, Horst Milde, honoured Wolfgang Paech and Jürgen Kirstein (both SCC), who both have been there every year since 1964 and on Sunday successfully finished their 40th race! The runners returned the favour with an anniversary gift to Horst Milde, who initiated the race in 1964 with Hartmut Lehmann from the sport department at the Free University of Berlin. At the very last minute, Uta Pippig –the three-time Berlin and Boston Marathon champion—arrived and was greeting with applause. She greeted the other participants briefly and then joined them in the general race, in which Ex-Senator Wolfgang Nagel – converted to runner – could also be seen. Michael Gottschalk won the main race easily in 30:35 ahead of Ingo Ortel (31:07) and Desmond King (all SCC) in 31:19, (a kind of anniversary present for the organiser as well), ahead of Marco Lützenberger (PSV) 31:57 and Peter Bobbert (LAV Tempelhof) in 32:25. Michael Gottschalk praised the not so easy course that demands a lot from the participants. Astrid Carl (Berlin) won the womens race in 38:18, ahead of Uta Pippig (USA) 38.40, Karsta Parsiegla (Teltow) 39:10 and Kerstin Snigola (SSV Lichtenrade) in 39:45.

The Berlin youth championships of the Berlin Athletics Association (BLV) were run at the same time. The large field fought hard all the way to the finish, for the traditional cross country pin and pineapple.

The youngest participants were Anna and Yasmin, both born in 1999, who ran hand in hand across the finish line—followed by their mothers, who proudly accepted their participant certificates, decorated with wild pigs. “This cross country race is as young as ever, despite its 40 years. Through the natural obstacles of the Grunewald Forest in the autumn, this race requires great effort, which thus also gives it its direct and motivating appeal. “We are pleased that this traditional race still plays such an important role in the running movement,“ summed up Horst Milde the successful end of the race. This cross country race, as the oldest public race in Germany, created the basis of the ever growing running movement.

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