Bonn 11,500 people took part in the 13th Bonn Company Run on Thursday evening at the Rheinaue. A total of 21,000 euros was collected for charitable purposes.
The first runners had already crossed the finish line long before the last had crossed the starting line: according to organiser Weis Events, 11,500 people from 419 companies in Bonn and the surrounding area took part in the 13th company run at the Rheinaue on Thursday evening – not quite a record, but close to it. All runners had to go through the bottle-neck at the start, and that took a long time, but everyone, some dressed up as sheep, superheroes, bananas or bees, were entertained with loud mood music. Anyway, for most people, running was somehow secondary: more important was to have fun, the sociability and the party after the race.
The temperature conditions were perfect, which was also one reason for the active participation. The starting signal was given by javelin thrower Christina Obergföll, world champion and multiple German in javelin-throwing champion. Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan had done this in the past, but this time he preferred to run. He was one of the first to cross the starting line after warming up in front of the stage and running the 5.7 kilometer-long route through the Rheinaue past several music groups.
Food stalls and free massages
Next to the stage in the Rheinaue were many stands where you could eat and get a free massage. People were in good spirits and were in the mood to run.
For Mario from the German Academic Exchange Service, this desire even outweighed the urge to go easy on his injured leg: “My calf is slightly damaged”, but he still wanted to run, “because it's just fun to run in a team and meet new people”. The DAAD was represented by 62 people.
Many had come by car, which led to jams on the streets in front of the Rheinaue. Not all available parking spaces on the roads had been used, which mean that participants searched for parking spaces in the side streets. The teachers of the Lyngsberg School in Bad Godesberg were not among them: they had quite sportily come to the Rheinaue with bicycles. The primary school took part for the third time. “We train all-year-round just for today”, joked organiser Judith Samadi. “We take part because we want to do something together, as a team”, explained Conny Büsch-Dutz, “and we want to be a good role model for the pupils.” With eleven runners, the team was comparatively small.
The largest group was the city of Bonn, with 542 participants. The highest team donation amounted to almost 1,600 euro. Of course, it is all going to a good cause: about 21,000 euros was raised for the Germany-Luxemburg Cystic Fibrosis and Care Association. Organizer Burkhard Weis was happy, also because there were again no major injuries.
(Original text: Stefan Knopp, translation John Chandler)