His address on Hauptstrasse is well-known among the hard core BMW MARATHON fans: just past Innsbrucker Platz, rock music streams out from the second story balcony. For almost twenty years, musician Sebastian Faust has been providing his own special motivation here.
Sebastian Faust does not even have to leave his four walls to travel to the marathon. It all began in 1985. A radio station called out to the Berliners who live along the course to put their speakers out on their balconies to cheer on the runners. Faust, who had just moved to Hauptstrasse did not make them ask him twice. As a professional musician, the man from Berlin quickly noticed that not every song that was playing on the radio was idea to motivate the runners. So the next year he put together his own mix—with success! The “rock shower” with hits by Aerosmith, ACDC and the Rolling Stones were hits with the runners too.
“When the top runners are through, then things really get going” Sebastian Faust tells. “Clapping, calls of ‘bravo’, air guitar solos, dancing—you see it all with the runners. Some have even sent us photos of our balcony that they took as they ran by. One guy actually sent me his medal in thanks,” he proudly reports.
Since 1992, Faust has been collecting signs from along the street. His balcony is now almost completely decorated with them. He has also improved his technology. Instead of living room speakers, he now uses his band’s system on the balcony. “We get set up and start testing early on Saturday,” he explains. “The skating race is so-to-say our dress rehearsal. Most of them are too fast to really hear us. But sometimes they will wave or turn a pirouette.” On Sunday, the space on the balcony is packed with friends and family—even if everyone’s ears hurt afterwards. “Even the police are aware of us. They have a look up, but they know that we turn down the volume as soon as the broom wagon passes by, and we have never had any problems,” says Sebastian Faust.
The 59-year-old spends a lot of time selecting the music. “I get started right after the marathon to select the songs for the next one. It is important that the songs all have good rhythms for running.” Of course, he always puts in some current hits too. For 2014, that means that songs like “Auf uns” by Andreas Bouranis (a German hit), as well as “Tage wie dieser” by the Toten Hosen will be in the list, as well as classics like “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner. Faust also differentiates between the runners in various situations in the race: the runners in the back third mostly get songs that are meant to motivate them to keep on going. This year he also created a special “rain band” mix that is to help the runners in case they have to run in adverse weather conditions.
He is used to the fact that his wife can only shake her head at his passion. “When the music gets going, though, she enjoys it too,” he says. “Our four kids are long gone. We don’t really need such a big apartment any more. But as long at the course of the BMW BERLIN MARATHON leads past our apartment, I don’t want to live anywhere else.”