The German architectural marathon (Deutsche Architekturmarathon) will be celebrating reaching double figures this year. This relay run will take place for the tenth time in May this year in Mainz. We spoke with Hartmut Woike, one of its instigators.
Mr. Woike, you have been working in the construction sector for 27 years now, and are yourself a keen runner. How did you get the idea to launch an architectural marathon?
There has been an architectural marathon in this form since 2009. It is a development of the German architects’ and engineers’ run, the Deutsche Architekten- und Ingenieurlauf, which used to take place in an abandoned mine 700 meters underground. I had the idea for it in 2007 during the 30th anniversary celebration of AS Architekten-Service, together with Astrid Oestereich, then acting general manager of the Thuringia chamber of architects, and Evelin Portz, managing director of the Chamber of Architects and Civil Planners in Hessen.
What is your objective with the marathon?
We want the entire “construction family,” i.e. in addition to architects and engineers, also contractors and developers, to have an opportunity to come together for a sporting achievement. The architectural marathon is intended to be a community experience for everyone, calling for both stamina and team spirit. Even beforehand, architectural students design the trophies before they are made by construction sector trainees.
What sort of a response do you get? Are there a sufficient number of architects who are also enthusiastic runners?
For me it isn’t about organizing a mass event. I want to offer a platform for intensive exchange aside from normal working life which can be very busy. It works very well. This year the German Architectural Marathon will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. Everyone involved can be proud of that—both organizers and runners.
Will you go the whole 42.20 km?
I did at one time. My wife and I prefer to run the half-marathon, 21.10 kilometers. But runners can also join into teams of four and run sections of between 7 and 14 kilometers.
Not only is the BAU team running. It is also sponsoring the event. You must be a BAU enthusiast then…
Yes, I’m a real BAU fan. It would be hard to find a more diverse or more popular trade fair and trade visitors and exhibitors alike love it.
Your marathon is held for a good cause. Yet another reason to run…
That aspect of it is particularly close to my heart. With every kilometer they run, participants raise 42.195 eurocents of support for young disabled German athletes. So everyone involved is helping to convey positive values of fairness, team spirit and dedication.
Hartmut Woike is Marketing and Sales Director at AS Architekten-Service
On May 6 the German Architectural Marathon will be run once again in cooperation with the Gutenberg Marathon in Mainz. Runners can enter in groups of four and run part legs of 7, 9, 12 or 14 kilometers. The relay marathon is not only aimed at architects but at all developers, building craftsmen and -women and builders who are sportingly inclined. Registration is open online until April 30.