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Lauf-KulTour 2.0 Starts in the Direction of Chemnitz’s Sister City Düsseldorf

Starting on 21 August 2020, a duathlon relay will run on a 1,300-kilometer route from Chemnitz across Germany and back again within ten days.

On 21 August 2020, the Chemnitz association "Lauf-KulTour" (Running CulTour)’s team will start its project of the same name again - the Lauf-KulTour 2.0. After ten successful 4,000-kilometer relay races around Germany and a successful premiere of the new concept in 2019, twelve young athletes will again complete a 1,300-kilometer route to and from Chemnitz's sister city Düsseldorf. After the start on the campus square in front of the central lecture hall at Chemnitz University of Technology, they will travel via Jena - Weimar - Erfurt - Bad Salzungen - Gießen - Koblenz - Bonn - Cologne - Düsseldorf - Essen - Bochum - Soest - Waldeck - Mühlhausen - Halle back to Chemnitz.

In the concept of the Lauf-KulTour 2.0 all athletes will always be on the track at the same time. Eleven of the participating persons will be on the bike and the twelfth will run, thus setting the pace for the group. "The 2019 Tour has shown that the sporting challenge for everyone is to cycle an average of 120 kilometres in addition to the ten-kilometre run, and thus to be active for 11 to 12 hours a day. Since everyone in the team thus completes the entire route, the new concept has a very special appeal," says Philipp Liebs, one of the club's organisers. The graduate of the Chemnitz University of Technology has invested many hours of leisure time in the further development of this concept over the past few months.

Even though positive experiences have already been made with the Lauf-KulTour 2.0 in 2019 and contacts have been made to individual stage locations, new challenges have to be overcome due to the corona pandemic. The chairman of the Lauf-KulTour association, Steffen Kehrer says, "The route leads us through many federal states and districts with various valid protection measures. We are therefore keeping a very close eye on the developments around the topic of corona and are monitoring the measures in all districts along the route. We created our own hygiene concept at an early stage, which helped us to get accommodation provided, although unfortunately this is not the case in all places. All receptions and press meetings are held with the necessary distance and hygiene measures." In spite of the sometimes high stress and restrictions in the offices of the stage towns, there was and is a lot of support from local associations and mayors left and right of the planned route. "In our sister city of Düsseldorf, for example, we will again be received by Lord Mayor Thomas Geisel at the town hall," said Kehrer.

The route, which has been slightly modified compared to 2019, also passes through the home towns of some of the participants. Clemens Degenhardt, student of computer science at Chemnitz University of Technology says, "I come from Erfurt and went to school in Weimar. Therefore I am especially looking forward to day 2 of the tour, as we will pass through my old home town. I am sure there will be one or the other anecdote from childhood to tell the other team members.” Lea Zechner, who is taking part in the tour together with her sister Luise, adds: "I am looking forward to changing roles this year and to being part of the tour as a companion. The last stage of the tour will take us to our home town Halle, where our parents will surely accompany us for a while. But our aunt also lives near the route and will be waiting for us in Giessen at the stage finish. So the Laul-KulTour will be like a very special family outing for us.” The two sport students  at Chemnitz University of Technology and hobby triathletes are also happy to be able to exercise their sporting passion for a good cause.

Even if the Lauf-KulTour Corona has to calculate everything differently this year, they are still supporting the "Aktion Benni & Co" again. The association of the same name is committed to people suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. About 2,000 young people in Germany are affected by this genetic disease. Co-organizer Florian Mauersberger says: "It has always been important for us to keep the basic idea of the Lauf-KulTour and to use our ability to do sports and move freely to support people who unfortunately cannot do so without restrictions. The club members of the Lauf-KulTour are happy that they can make the 2020 project a highlight in a difficult year with the support of Chemnitz University of Technology, the city of Chemnitz as ambassador of the capital of culture application "Chemnitz 2025" and the Free State of Saxony within the campaign "Pack your studies - best in Saxony."

Until the start on 21 August at 9:00 a.m. in front of the auditorium building of Chemnitz University of Technology, Reichenhainer Straße 90, the team now has only one recovery phase left, with a final joint training session on 17 August.

Background: the Lauf-KulTour Project

Between 2007 and 2016, the Lauf-Kultour project was considered to be probably the longest relay race in the world. Within 16 days each extreme sportsmen and women circumnavigated Germany on foot and covered more than 4,000 kilometres per edition - for each of them this meant more than eight marathons. The idea for this action came to the then Chemnitz University of Technology student Dirk Lange in 2005 after a long-distance run around Jena. In 2019 the new concept of the Lauf-KulTour 2.0 was completed for the first time as a duathlon relay across Germany. Although this concept has been significantly modified in many points, it has not lost its sporting challenge and remains true to its social commitment.

TV-Tip: The club "Lauf-KulTour" will be presented on 21 August, the last day of the "MDR Vereinssommer," on the programmes "MDR um 2" and "MDR um 4". Further information: https://www.mdr.de/nachrichten/mitmachen/vereinssommer-aktion-ergebnisse-ueberblick-mdr-100.html

Homepage of the Lauf-KulTour: www.lauf-kultour.de

Contact us: Steffen Kehrer, phone 0176 20198002, e-mail steffen@lauf-kultour.de

Stage locations of the Lauf-KulTour 2020

Start: 21 August 09:00 a.m. courtyard of the central lecture building at Chemnitz University of Technology

  • Friday 21 August: Jena                             
  • Saturday 22 August: Bad Salzungen
  • Sunday 23 August: Giessen
  • Monday 24 August: Koblenz
  • Tuesday 25 August: Düsseldorf
  • Wednesday 26 August: Soest
  • Thursday 27 August: Waldeck
  • Friday 28 August: Mulhouse
  • Saturday 29 August: Halle

Arrival: 30 August: 17:30 "Capital of Culture Mile" on the Chemnitzer Brühl

(Author: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes
20.08.2020

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