- by aiticon GmbH
A position on the podium for our boss, seventh place among all women, a respectable 25th place in the team score and all personal goals achieved: the corporate running challenge in Birkenfeld was a raving success for the aiticon team.
488 runners and 101 walkers had come to compete on the 5.1 kilometers long course of the 10th corporate challenge in the Birkenfeld/Nahe district, home to our "green satellite" - aiticon's Hoppstädten-Weiersbach office.
Expectations within the team ranged from "I'm gonna need at least half an hour" (Java developer Matthias Müller) up to "under 25 Minutes should be feasible on a flat course" (Julia Rauch, Marketing). The course had been described as extremely flat - ten meters in altitude across five kilometers really are little. And the weather promised excellent running conditions for this Saturday in September.
In the course of travelling to and warming up for the run, excitement started to grab the team. "I'm so nervous", said web developer Verzhiniya Kostadinov, who had set out to finish in under 30 minutes. "I'll just run with you as long as possible", said managing director Matthias Herlitzius, looking at Julia Rauch, who, having run several marathons, was the most experienced runner on the team.
Excitement is growing...
Taking our aspired finishing times into consideration, we had all found suitable places within the starting block - Matthias Herlitzius and Julia Rauch, who had smuggled her husband Markus into the team as a pacemaker and moral support - directly behind the starting line, Verzhiniya Kostadinov and Matthias Müller well within the midfield. After all, the course went on to a pretty narrow bike path after just a few hundred meters, and you wouldn't want to have to pass by or slow down too many other runners.
Now though - there was waiting. The District Administrator was planned to fire the starter's gun, but he took his time. The warm up's effect had long gone when the cannon finally fired. Quickly, the course's trickiness became all too apparent: The first kilometer went straight uphill with a high risk of running yourself into the ground with initial excitement.
Plus, by now, the sun had made a comeback - some of us might actually have preferred a little drizzle. After a short, but steep slope - lying enjoyably in the shadow - the course ran uphill again. The supposed ten meters in altitude, surely, were a mere rumor, that much had already become crystal clear. Every single step was becoming harder and harder, runners started making little pauses. Five kilometers, after all, are longer than you think!
In the end, though, all members of team aiticon reached their personal goals: our boss Matthias Herlizius almost managed to keep up with the Rauch family - his 25:21 minutes even brought him the third place in the official "bosses" score. Julia Rauch beat her own record on the five kilometer course (a short break notwithstanding) and ended up seventh out of 159 women; Markus Rauch, who, of course, had waited for his wife, still came in 85th out of 329 men. Verzhiniya Kostadinov, whose heart is in rock climbing and who doesn't actually run regularly, surprised (even herself) with a great 27:42 minutes and Matthias Müller was highly satisfied with his own 30:25 minutes (all the results are available here).
Bottom line: Great start with definitive room for improvement - next year!