A record 9,426 participants tackling the AVON RUNNING women’s race in Berlin
Nobody had expected an increase of such magnitude in the number of participants for the 19th AVON RUNNING women’s race organised by SCC Berlin.
2002-05-26The turn-out was massive. Nobody had expected an increase of such magnitude in the number of participants for the 19th AVON RUNNING women’s race organised by SCC Berlin.
A total of 9,426 runners from 24 nations meant that last year’s figures were exceeded by far. Despite rainy weather and a simultaneously held large demonstration which coincided with parts of the course on its way towards Brandenburger Tor, all of the nearly 10,000 female athletes demonstrated their own kind of women’s power showing that female running is strongly gaining ground.
Back in 1984, the SCC event organisers started their joint venture with AVON, attracting 645 female runners. Now they have all but arrived at a five-digit figure, staging Germany’s biggest single sports event for women – a dream come true. 3.,365 women competed over the 10 kilometre distance, while 5,489 opted for the 5k. Add to this the 572 ‚bambini’ runners (10 years and under) who ran 800 meters, and one can imagine that the organisers were faced with a problem or two when trying to accommodate such numbers considering the narrow width of some of the stretches leading through the beautiful Tiergarten park.
Aida’s march of triumph, from the PA system, and frenetic cheers from the spectators welcomed the last finisher in the walking event, Christiane Kreusler, who took 1:33:08 to cover the 10k. The youngest competitor in the bambini run, 3-year old Vincent Zimmermann, was accompanied home by his sisters. According to his mother he ‚ran’ his first race when she was still pregnant – competing in an earlier edition of the AVON women’s race!
In the 10 km elite race Kathrin Weßel (SCC Berlin), witnessed by her baby daughter, repeated her victory of 2000, in a time of 33:02 minutes. Second place went to Iris Biba (ASC Darmstadt) in 33:11, followed by Kristina da Fonseca-Wollheim (LG Eintracht Frankfurt) in 33:39, Susanne Pumper (AUT/LC Wien) in 33:44, and Carmen Siewert (LG Vorpommern) in 34:48. From the starting gun, Kathrin Weßel had surged ahead of the pack, but was caught by Iris Biba at about half way. For a while, both women then ran shoulder to shoulder, before Kathrin Weßel again gained a slight advantage at around the 8k mark. Over the last two kilometres, all the leading competitors encountered some extra problems having to find their way through the pack of lapped competitors.
The 5k race was dominated by Birgit Hunneshagen (WSG Königs-Wusterhausen) who finished in 19:07, ahead of Angelika Ehebrecht (Potsdamer LC) in 19:46. To round up the great afternoon, generous title sponsors AVON, represented by their chief executive Stuart McTavish, staged an emotional awards presentation and reaffirmed that they will continue to support this outstanding event.
For 2003, SCC-RUNNING expect more than 10,000 competitors, which is why the start and finish of the race are planned to be moved to spacious ‘Strasse des 17. Juni’ road, or – should the construction works be completed to schedule – to the extensive square in front of the new Federal Chancellor’s Office.
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