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On the loneliness of the long distance runner: Literature marathon for the first time as part of the “international literature festival berlin”

Top-notch representatives including Alan Sillitoe and Dieter Baumann


On the loneliness of the long distance runner — that is the motto of two readings on running which will take place as part of this year’s 31st real,- BERLIN MARATHON, which for the first time will take place in cooperation with the 4th international literature festival berlin (ilb).

The slogan is at the same time a reference to Alan Sillitoe (London), who became famous around the world with his short story “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner“, published in 1959. Since then the (supposed) loneliness of the long distance runner has become a common phrase.

Sillitoe, who is now 76, will for the first time speak to an international marathon audience. This top-notch cast includes Günter Herburger (Munich), who has captured his long-time extreme passion for running in the monographs „Lauf und Wahn“ (Running and Madness) (1988) and „Traum und Bahn“ (A Dream and the Track) (1994) and who will be reading from his third volume, „Schlaf und Strecke“ (Sleep and the Course) which was published this year.

Others participating will be: The author Tom Ockers from Hamburg, who reported on the cold and calamities of the Siberian Marathon in his breathtaking work, „Eis-Lauf“ (Ice-Race) (2002) and the Olympic champion in the 5000m, Dieter Baumann from Tübingen, who worked through his ban from competition due to doping in a literary manner in his book „Lebenslauf“ (Résumé, or ‘Run of Life’) (2002).

These two readings will be part of the continuation of the so-called literary marathon, which now has been part of the supporting cultural programme of BERLIN MARATHON for 15 years.
“Through the new cooperation with the literature festival, our literature marathon is experiencing an enormous and welcome enhancement. Now we are at the forefront here as well,” announced Mark Milde, the Race Director of the 31st real,- BERLIN MARATHON.

Both readings will take place on Friday, September 24, 2004 in the theatre “Hebbel am Ufer” (HAU 3), located at Hallesche Ufer 31 in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Dieter Baumann und Tom Ockers will share the first part starting at 5 p.m.,
followed by Günter Herburger and Alan Sillitoe starting at 7 p.m.

The ilb, which will be taking place at various venues in Berlin from September 21 to October 2, 2004 , is one of the largest in the world with over 35,000 visitors and well more than 100 authors from around the world.

The event is put on by the Peter Weiss Foundation for Art and Politic and the Berliner Festspiele, under the patronage of the German UNESCO commission.

Further information on the ilb as well as the complete programme of events is available online at:

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