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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”

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


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: