Thousands of athletes worldwide take part in the 2:01:39 Challenge - Men's relay team breaks world record time, which Eliud Kipchoge achieved at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON
Even if the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON scheduled for this weekend was not held as planned, Saturday and Sunday in the sports metropolis of Berlin were nevertheless completely dedicated to sports. As part of the #20139 Challenge, athletes from around the world competed to find out how many kilometers they could complete in 2:01:39 hours. This time corresponds to the world record set by Eliud Kipchoge in 2018 at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. In addition to the thousands of recreational athletes, a top relay teams of women, men, and young athletes competed for the world record time. The relay portfolio was rounded off with an inline skater trio and the seven representatives from the pro clubs of the sports metropolis Berlin. The 20139 Challenge was held in cooperation with the city of Berlin and was also intended to highlight the fact that, despite the pandemic, runners are still active in Berlin.
A strong statement from the communityThe endurance community has made a strong statement with the #20139 Challenge that goes beyond the purely athletic performances: "Look, we are still here and stronger than ever before. SCC EVENTS, as the organizer, was pleased to be able to offer all participants in this "BMW BERLIN-MARATHON-weekend" a kind of new normal with the replacement event of the #20139 Challenge new normal. Michael Mueller, as governing mayor of Berlin, sent the relay teams of with a shot of a starting gun at 9:20 am on their laps around the Berlin Victory Column.
World record performance clearly undercut
This course was a tough one, because unlike a stadium track, the traffic circle around the Victory Column has no straights. The relay teams responded to this extreme challenge with regular exchanges. After 105 laps, it was done: The men's team with Philipp Pflieger, Richard Ringer, Florian Orth and Johannes Motschmann beat the world record of Eliud Kipchoge with 2:1:34 hours. Philipp Pflieger commented shortly afterwards, visibly satisfied: "I'll speak for all of us, it was a lot of fun to run at such an innovative event, especially in these times when there are hardly any opportunities to start. It was sensational." For the inline skaters, the wet weather of the last days posed a special challenge for the final preparations. Accordingly, their result of 70,24 kilometers was impressive. The women's quartet was also convincing and completed 36,58 kilometers follwed by the Juniors with 30,55 kilometres.
20139 Challenge a complete success
"We are very pleased with the results of the 20139 Challenge. I don't just mean the top athletes. With the extensive participation in the 20139 Challenge, the entire community has clearly shown the importance of endurance sports, especially in these trying times. This is a strong signal that is certainly not misunderstood by society or political leaders," commented Jürgen Lock, Managing Director of SCC EVENTS. Dr. Stefan Franzke, Managing Director of Partner für Berlin Holding Gesellschaft für Hauptstadt-Marketing emphasised: "The year 2020 has confronted each and every one of us with unimaginable challenges, and especially in these difficult times, Berlin stands for strength and cohesion - as it does in sports. Berlin's sport stands for community, integration, fairness and motivation. These messages should also be conveyed by the new motifs (see photo). We are very pleased that Berliners can experience this unique sporting event in the sports metropolis of Berlin today". Secretary of State for Sports Aleksander Dzembritzki added: "The fact that the 20139 Challenge can take place in this form in the middle of the Corona Pandemic is also possible because the sports metropolis Berlin stands together in solidarity. In May of this year, we adopted the Berlin Declaration for this purpose. Its title is program: Together for Sport. This weekend, an important message will be sent out into the world: the marathon is an integral part of the sports metropolis Berlin.
Participation is still possible until today 21:45 MEST
By 3 pm nearly 15.000 users from over 120 countries registered with the 20139 Challenge App. By the way, participation is still possible until 23:59 MEST today. So the latest start time would be 21:45 MEST. According to the current situation, viewers were only able to follow this event, which took place in compliance with current hygiene regulations, live on screen on rbb TV and streaming on sportschau.de. Follow-up reports will be available in the various news formats of rbb television.