The biggest sports event in Hohenlohe attracted many participants and spectators.
The biggest sports event in Hohenlohe attracted many participants and spectators.

Kay-Uwe Müller clinched his fifth victory on the marathon course. 10-kilometer runner Veronica Hähnle Pohl broke the track record. But the 24th edition of the running event was also a farewell. For the last time the police sports club Hohenlohe was the organizing club. Starting next year, TSV Niedernhall will take over the cooperation with ebm-papst.

Under the direction of the Hohenlohe Police Sports Club, the starting shot was fired for the first marathon in the Hohenlohe district in 1993. Back then, without the support of ebm-papst and between Künzelsau and Sindringen. 217 runners were counted on the marathon course. In addition 220 helpers. Winner Helmut Bauer (TSV Gerabronn) finished after 2:40:26 hours. At first the event took place every two years. In 1999, ebm-papst then joined in the organisation of the event. Now the era of the police sports club is coming to an end. TSV Niedernhall was already involved this year and involved in the organization to ensure that the transition went as smoothly as possible. "It was a great long-term cooperation for which we are very grateful," said Hauke Hannig, press spokesman for the ebm-papst group. "We are now looking forward to our future cooperation with TSV. For Petra Baas of the police sports club, it had already been a strange feeling in the morning. "But we decided it and handed over an event that works," she said.

Even though the ebm-papst Marathon is primarily intended as a family celebration and run for everyone, it also attracts fast runners every year. Veronica Hähnle-Pohl of TSG Heilbronn had just recently returned from the high altitude training camp in St. Moritz and had set herself the goal of breaking her own course record of 2016 over 10 kilometres. It succeeded. After 36:15 minutes she crossed the finish line again. "I always like coming here," she said, "It's just a great event." The time was almost enough for the overall podium. Only three men were faster. The fastest of them was Steffen Burkert (35:32 minutes). The Künzelsauer, who lives in Munich, combined the start with a visit to his home country. He left Tobias Feyrer (35:43 minutes) and Benjamin Keiderling (36:00 minutes) behind. Lukas Eisele (LG Filder) had registered for the half marathon at very short notice. With 1:10,47 hours he was almost four minutes faster than Gebrengus Luel (1:14,06 hours) at his first half marathon under competition conditions. Christian Muth (1:17,00 hours) finished third. Shortly behind was Stefanie Doll (1:17.04 hours), sister of biathlete Benedikt Doll (bronze medallist Olympic Games 2018), who crossed the finish line. "I was still looking for a test run for the Berlin Marathon," said Doll, who ran for the first time in the Kochertal. "I am positively surprised. This is a really great event here. It was also a great atmosphere on the track."

Kay-Uwe Müller has a very special connection to the ebm-papst Marathon. A few years ago he already had the Finisher Medal tattooed on his arm. In the last two years, however, he was at the Transalpin instead of in Niedernhall. "Now I wanted to be here again," he said. And he won his fifth victory in 2:36,32 hours ahead of last year's winner Martin Schwab (2:47,06 hours). The fastest marathon woman was Iryna Zghurska in 3:24,47 hours. In the duo marathon there are three classifications. The fastest men on the track were Steffen Mader/Till Federolf, who were on the road for a total of 2:40.27 hours. Carmen Ohr and Elena Müller formed the fastest women's duo in 3:20.26 hours and Sara Stark/Thomas Graf (3:59.37 hours) were the fastest in mixed. A total of over 3000 athletes took part.

The 24th ebm-papst Marathon started on Saturday. In the afternoon, more than 300 Nordic Walkers took to the 7.5 and 12.5 kilometre routes. After the children's runs on Sunday afternoon, the hand bikers and inline skaters completed the race.