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German Road Races (GRR) - ever closer links

2002-11-14

At its annual meeting hosted last weekend in Würzburg (by Residenzlauf Würzburg), the German Road Races (GRR) council, the association of road-race organizers in Germany, debate focused on internal issues and the problems relating to favorably advancing the road-racing circuit in Germany, and this includes the relationship between GRR and the German Athletics Association.

German Road Races members include all the major marathon organizers in Germany, not to mention many other popular marathons and races over other distances. Membership status has also been granted to three events organizers from Austria and Italy. Last year, a working party on GRR organization was set up, headed by Andreas Nels (Ford Cologne Marathon). It presented its findings at this years meeting, and after a lively discussion its fundamental recommendations adopted. The GRR will thus not aspire to be registered as an charitable association and will instead focus on more intensive work that is binding on its members, and on consultation on specific issues.

GRR has to date had two spokesmen - the Board has now been expanded to a total of six. The members are, in addition to the re-elected spokesmen Erwin Rixen (Olympus Marathon Hamburg) and Horst Milde (real,- BERLIN-MARATHON), Harald Rösch (Ford Cologne Marathon), Bernd Düngen (Rhein-Ruhr Marathon Duisburg), Gernot Weigl (Medien-Marathon Munich) and Artur Schmidt (Adventslauf Herborn). Its duties will be to devise new concepts for GRR. This will also include future links with the German Athletics Association. In addition to its work at the AGM, the new Board will in future also be authorized to issue statements spontaneously on GRRs behalf on developments and trends in road running, as this will enable it to help make certain the athletics community and the specialist bodies and agencies as well as the general public have a stronger awareness of the ever-growing importance of running.

To this end, the GRR also wishes to cooperate at the level of promoting new running talent by providing support for them. Another theme will be the implementation of the fee structure put in place by the German Athletics Association at the beginning of the year. GRR advocates allocating the German 10k and Half-Marathon Championships to established and successful event organizers instead of their being awarded on a rotational basis to the federal state associations. Road-race championships should be a strong ad medium for running and not simply small events with a few hundred competitors and hardly any spectators. After all, the incorporation of the German Marathon Championships into existing city marathons has more than proved its worth.

The German Marathon Championships will take place in 2003 in Duisburg, Hanover has applied to host them in 2004 and Regensburg wants to organize them in 2005. The new Board will immediately start work and hopes to arrange a meeting at short notice with the Governing Presidium of the German Athletics Association.

Finally, four new members were elected to the GRR (among others Morgenpost Dresden Marathon, Volksbanken Marathon Münster) - so that now over 30 major events are represented on the GRR.

The GRR has the following members:
The marathons:
Berlin, Dresden, Duisburg, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Leipzig, Mainz, Munich, Münster, Regensburg, Rennsteig, Schwarzwald, Weinstrasse, Würzburg - (South Tyrolia/Bolzano, Wachau, Vienna).

The half-marathons:
Berlin, Frankfurt, Paderborn, Stuttgart.

Other distances:
Berlin (25 km), Borgholzhausen, Hamburg (Alsterlauf/Stadtpark), Herborn, Kassel, Würzburg (Residenzlauf).


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