Bonn. Thousands of employees participated in the company run at the Rheinaue. But it wasn’t about speed, it was all about team spirit. Some firefighters worked up a big sweat, running with all their gear, while others ran in tutus.
Time is not a factor in the Bonn Business Run at the Rheinaue. No clock is running and the fastest runners don’t get rewarded. There are other categories where teams can score. Take, for example, the size of the group: With 416 runners, the “Stadtsprinter” were way ahead. The Bonn city administration had given city employees the opportunity to run for free, with the starting fee and matching shirts covered by the health department. The event took place Thursday evening at the Rheinaue.
Natalie Widmann from the health department had prepared well, albeit unintentionally. "I just like to run, also in my free time," she said. But the company run offered the opportunity to take part in a sport with co-workers, instead of just sitting opposite one another in the office. And sometimes the executive floor also showed its silly side. Men and women from the Schlumberger sparkling wine company in Meckenheim squeezed themselves into pink tutus. "Earlier I had a suit on, now we are all elves," said office manager Andres Contreras with a glass of champagne in his hand. Yes, even before the start, there was a toast.
“Running connects people,” says organizer Burkhard Weis. He is at the event for the twelfth time and calls it “Bonn’s largest company party.” The number of participants was not quite as high as last year, but there were more than a hundred team tents, in which the runners celebrated until 11pm. There were bands to provide for a good mood along the 5.7 kilometer route, and aerobic dancers for the mass warm-up.
The fact that team spirit was the most important benchmark of the competition was evident at the finish line at the very latest. If an athlete got left behind in the confusing field of participants, the rest waited. Florists from Blumen Köppler in Beuel even schlepped their boss Stefanie Elsner over the entire distance: She broke her foot a few days earlier during their training together and instead of leaving her on the sidelines cheering with her crutches, the team rigged up a wagon with padding and decorations, and brought her along the route.
The only runners with a heavier load to carry were probably the firefighters from the Bonn Fire Department. Normally, they run into burning houses with all their gear, but this time they ran the 5.7k with all their equipment and of course the other runners. Firefighters from the Rhein-Sieg district used the run as an opportunity to advertise for another event: The Siegburg City Run which will benefit victims of the devastating fire along the railway.
Orig. text: Nicolas Ottersbach