Everything new at the ninth county run

For its tenth anniversary, the erlangen-hochstadt district will be given a fresh cell treatment. "We have noticed in the last few years that the interest is declining a bit and we have thought about how we can make the event more attractive", explains helmut schmidt from the rottenbach running club and member of the organizing team.

Up to now, the circuit has lasted from six in the morning until eight in the evening and has run as a kind of relay over a total of 150 kilometers, literally crisscrossing the entire circuit, with each participant being able to select and tackle a section that he or she felt comfortable with. "This had disadvantages: on the one hand, there were more supervisors than runners on some stages of the race. And secondly, the rough time frame was a problem, because many runners who were at the start early in the morning didn’t make it to the final event in the evening", explains schmidt further.

An added incentive

that’s why the landkreislauf will take place centrally at one place in the future. This reduces the time window, all runners can celebrate the start, finish and award ceremony together and the whole event is more spectator-friendly because there is simply more going on on the compressed course. The proposal fell on open ears, and because the rottenbach running club was so committed to the new concept, the municipality was also chosen as the venue. This was made even easier by the fact that mayor ludwig wahl, himself an enthusiastic runner, was immediately enthusiastic about the idea, says schmidt. He hopes, like all the other members of the organizing team, that the changes will meet with a positive response. "As an additional incentive, we have introduced a new bambini race and, for the first time, there will be a timekeeping system, because the runners are very interested in how they have done, also in comparison to others, reports hans-peter schneider of the gymnastics club herzogenaurach, who is also responsible for the event.

However, the pressure to perform is not to be exerted: the county run is to remain an event for everyone "with which we hope to bring the topic of mass sports even more into the communities", emphasizes schneider. In the future, the communities should apply for the organization of the run, and the local associations – supported by the district and sponsors – should take care of the implementation.

In rottenbach, in addition to the running club, five other associations are involved and ready for the premiere of the new district run, which in the future will run through erlangen-hochstadt from year to year. "Also to further strengthen the "we-feeling" in the district", explains district administrator eberhard irlinger. This was one of the reasons why the event was started in 2003. Another concern of the initiators was the topics of exercise and health, irlinger continued. Running is a sport that can be practiced by anyone, alone or in a group, regardless of age.

Registration is still possible

and obviously an event like the landkreislauf motivates many people to get over themselves and start doing sports. "At TSH alone, 38 newcomers signed up for the free running preparation that began eight weeks ago. If you add to that those who take advantage of the offers in buckenhof, hemhofen, neuhaus rottenbach and uttenreuth, on 16. June there will be around 100 beginners at the start", hans-peter schneider calculates. A total of 300 advance registrations have been received at the moment.

The registration deadline, which for organizational reasons was scheduled for today, wednesday, has been postponed until next monday, as the organizers hope that the number of participants will double. "Those who make up their minds at the last minute can still register on the day of the event up to 30 minutes before the start", says schneider.

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