MY JOURNEY - "It is simply fun to work with others."
36 days. 36 fates. 36 stories to the 41st BMW BERLIN-MARATHON
“Even when I sometimes get yelled at by aggravated drivers, I enjoy helping out at the BERLIN MARATHON to ensure that everything runs well and the athletes have fun!” Patricia Schwietzke has gotten tough skin when it comes to keeping the course free of cars and cyclists, as well as pedestrians, along the course on the last weekend in September.
The now 26-year-old has been volunteering at this major event for 11 years — with only one break when she spent the year abroad. "I was 15 when I first heard that they were looking for volunteers, and I really didn't know anything about the marathon. At the time, I was motivated by the chance for the responsibility and excitement that would come with the position. Getting a chance to help protect the marathon course where some of the best runners would be racing also was not something you get to do every day. I have made new friends as a volunteer. We comprise a little safety crew that is always at the same spot on the course. It is simply fun to work with others." And she says that even though she is at one of the more difficult positions at a busy intersection. "A lot of the drivers are infuriated by the roadblocks and they let their anger out at us. We pass out flyers with alternative routes, so drivers can avoid the roadblocks, but that does not always help. They often end up swearing at us." Nonetheless, the young woman thinks it is worth it to support the motivated runners on their big day.
"For me, the heroes of the marathon are the ones who wear costumes – whether it is super hot in it or not – and run the whole race in them. I totally respect that." Patricia Schwietzke also started running after being a volunteer. So far her longest distance is twelve kilometres. Next March, though, she is going to up it to 21.0975 kilometres – where? At the BERLIN HALF MARATHON, of course!
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