Thank you, thank you, thank you ...
First of all, I would like to say THANK YOU to all my little "Jubi lambs”. Thank you for a great sports year 2022, thank you for your support, your motivation and your experiences.
Thank you for the great stories that reach me in the most diverse ways and make me marvel with full respect. With and because of you, my work is and will never be boring.
You are the best Jubilees a Jubilee Club can imagine. ;)
A long way from beeing a "puppy" to becoming a "shepherdess" ...
In 2021, I was still in my puppy phase with the Jubilees, but in 2022, things are moving forward more smoothly and with more self-confidence. I will start by sharing that the situation under the Jubilee banner for the runners, hand cyclists and wheelchair athletes in the Jubi Lounge at the MARATHON EXPO was "perfect" this year ... yay! Attentive Jubis who were in the Jubilee Lounge in 2021 know what I'm talking about. ;) Everything went down perfectly this year, so my biggest initial fear was defeated.
A challenge rarely comes alone ...
I was just getting used to the organisation and procedures of the Jubilee Club at the EXPO and the honouring of the new members on the day of the event. With that all working out, what new challenge awaited me? The Jubilee Club was celebrating its 25-year anniversary. Now that was a reason to celebrate. And my "little lambs" know how to celebrate. So, raise your cups and don't miss a thing.
How it all began ...
Many of you may not know how Germany's very first "Jubilee Club" came about. Well, we have Horst Milde to thank for that. He brought the idea back from South Africa from the Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans Marathon, where particularly loyal and long-time runners were rewarded and honoured. Horst thought, what they can do in South Africa, we can certainly do in Berlin ;). So. in September 1997, the first Jubilee members were honoured on a stage at the Marathon Expo. In 1998, there was a Jubilee stand at the Marathon Expo for the first time. One year later, the stand was turned into a separate room where people could meet with their peers over coffee and cake.
At the beginning of the Jubilee Club there were 176 members. Today, 25 years later, we are approaching the 7,000 mark. Wow! That makes an average of 280 newbies per year.
You can find out more about the Jubilee Club in the Event Magazine.
An anniversary without a cake ... would be like Berlin without a marathon!
SCC EVENTS provided a fancy cake for the anniversary. Horst Milde, as the "father of the Jubilee Club", took us back to the good old days in a cosy atmosphere and shared some anecdotes from the "beginnings" with us and many other Jubilees. Then finally the delicious cake (fresh cream & berries) was cut, and we made a toast to the Jubilee Club... to another 25 years!
Despite the very tight schedule around the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, the managing directors Jürgen Look and Christian Jost also joined in the celebration. We were in fine company as we honoured the occasion and heard many a story of bygone days. Prominent guests included: Monsieur Michel Descombes, our favourite "motivational Frenchman"; Bernd Hübner (with Jubilee number 201, the first male member and former department head); Günter Hallas (the first BERLIN MARATHON winner in 1974 with a time of 2:44:53); Wilfried Köhnke (with 46 successful participations, the undisputed leader among the men); Sabine Fimmel (with an insane 34 successful participations, the current leader among the women); Sigrid Eichner (who has already run more than 2,300 marathons); Heinz and Regina Sowinski (who started as volunteers and then headed the department together; Regina (called Nina) was awarded the first women’s jubilee number (F101) and has completed a phenomenal 33 Berlin Marathons); and Wolfgang Paech (who for almost 50 years has supported the event organization at SCC EVENTS, e.g. at the Breakfast Run, New Year's Eve Run and New Year's Day Run). Even one "king" was in attendance.
Meet the "Jubis" ...
This year, a small delegation from the Jubilee Club was also present at the "Meet the Legends" supporting programme. At this event, which always takes place on the Friday evening before the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, the top athletes are introduced to the public and loudly celebrated on a stage in front of the Hall of Fame at the Brandenburg Gate. Newcomers to the Hall of Fame who stand out for their special achievements are also recognised, congratulated and honoured here. This year Irina Mikitenko, Bart Swings and Heinz Frei were honoured and inducted into the Hall of Fame. You can find pictures in the Finisher Magazine.
Not only elite athletes participated. This year, and because it was so fitting, Jubilee members who got to finish their 25th participation at the 25th anniversary of the Jubilee Club all had a good time there too. The atmosphere was amazing. Thanks, guys, for representing the Jubilee Club in such a worthy manner. By the way, this event is always free of charge and can be attended without pre-registration.
The newbies are coming ...
On Saturday, September 24th, it was all about the skaters. Here, 20 future Jubi newbies were eagerly awaiting the start. After the finish line, they were welcomed by the head of department Thomas Köppe and his daughter. Overjoyed at their success, they were welcomed into the "illustrious" circle of the Jubilee Club in a relaxed atmosphere in the VIP area. A quick photo in front of the Brandenburg Gate, while the photographer still has the perfect light ... phew, done!
On Sunday, September 25th, the "newbie inauguration" was, as could be expected, somewhat more elaborate due to the high number of "newcomers", and also very exciting—for me too! The schedule was super tight and meticulously planned with all those involved. Now everything just had to run smoothly. But as life goes, theory and practice are always two pairs of shoes. ;) But I was ready to laugh it off if everything didn’t go quite as planned. The ceremony was to start at 3:30 pm. By noon, I had beads of sweat on my forehead and at least a thousand questions buzzing around in my head. A tiny fraction of those questions were:
- Are the stage and the equipment ready?
- Is the power connected?
- Are there enough grids for the barrier?
- Will the two presenters Sven and Max make it on time from their previous location and will the photographer also remember to be on time? Should I call again? Oh no, everything will be fine.
- Where is my material trolley with the envelopes for the newbies? Not here yet, great!
- When will my hard-working helpers and the department heads Simone and Martin turn up? Oh yes, that's right ... I only ordered them for 1 pm, I almost forgot ;)
- Where's my list again...I need my list to check off!!!!
- Will everyone make it across the finish line in good health?
- Will everyone find their way to the stage?
Finally, thanks to all the reliable volunteers and Simone and Martin, who always reassure me and make me feel more confident, the set-up and preparations went without any major incidents. Then Horst Milde, who received a short briefing, also arrived as guest of honour with his wife Sabine. Okay ... now everyone is here! Last technical checks and arrangements. Even the newbies were already standing excitedly in front of the barrier, but waited patiently until it started, almost on time, at 3:35 pm. The rest ...went smoothly, and I loved getting to greet all my new little Jubi lambs. The excitement, the happiness, the joy, also the exhaustion and the infinite relief to have finally made it... to see all these emotions in every single pair of eyes delivers pure goosebumps.
Every one of them deserves to be recognised in this way!
After the event is before the event. And so, super exhausted but proud as punch, I drove home that late afternoon, reflected on the events and began to make "mental notes" for the coming year and the honouring of the next newbies.
In total, the Jubilee Club grew by 310 new members in 2022. This means that there are currently just about 6790 members in total.
What begins with gratitude should also end with gratitude ...
What would all my organisation and preparation be without the people who make it happen? That's right, nothing! I am all the more grateful and proud to have these lovely people around me during this exciting time for all of us.
Thanks to my dear department heads Simone, Martin and Thomas and to all the volunteers involved who put their heart and soul into this "crazy" time with us. And that year after year. On behalf of all the Jubilees, I give you a big hug. :)
Last words ...
I'll make it short and sweet and just say: "Bye, see you in September 2023!"
Ick freu mich :)