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Out of love and passion for sports

TUC graduate and Lauf-KulTour initiator Dirk Lange is fascinated by endurance sports and has created an innovative start-up service portal on the Internet with his partners

  • Dirk Lange studied Systems Engineering at TU Chemnitz and has combined all the knowledge with his hobby - running. Photo: LaRaSch

“In the endurance-oriented mass sports – especially in Thuringia and Saxony – our online portal was already well established within one year“, rejoices the portal co-founder Dirk Lange. In 2014, the TUC graduate, together with his partners Alexander Pohle and Roland Scholz has set the goal to ensure greater transparency in the fields of sports – especially in the areas of running, cycling and swimming. From the initial letters of the founders derives the start-up portal’s name – LaRaSch. The portal entrepreneurs keep an eye even on such disciplines as skating, cross-country skiing, triathlon, duathlon and aquathlon. They research in the scene of event data, result lists, GPS tracks and altitude profiles with the aim to create across disciplines’ comprehensive analysis, informative overviews and forecasts. “The athletes are being photographed by us during the events, and the images end up in the photo archives of the LaRaSch portal, where these can be in part freely downloaded and shared on social media“, says Lange. Besides, several endurance athletes offer an insight into their competition and training routine in a blog. “Reading the entries, it is also clear that the endurance sport is characterized by athletes, who represent stable values and virtues“, says the graduate from Chemnitz.

Dirk Lange, who himself is a passionate runner, benefited from his extensive experience with projects in mass sports. For instance, 2007 he initiated the Lauf-KulTour with the help of students at TU Chemnitz, the longest relay race in the world, where twelve students circumnavigate Germany in 16 days for a good cause. The idea came to the former student in the field of Systems Engineering in 2005 after a 100 kilometer run around Jena: “After I had managed this within eleven hours and my pains faded, I thought: What is possible around Jena is also possible around Germany!“ The fact that it did not remain as a fleeting thought even today gives the native citizen of Bautzen precious moments. “I am pleased that more and more students know about the Lauf-KulTour and want to be involved. And along the 4,000 kilometer route has already been established a fan community.“ In 2012 he has passed on the baton of the team leader to a friend, especially since the center of his life became Jena.

Dirk Lange is also involved in other related projects – for example in the Chemnitz Marathon or the Fichtelberg relay race. “Mostly it is all about supporting others: for charitable contributions, for the promotion of athletes and financial hedging of sports projects“, says Lange. LaRaSch is for him the ideal way to connect hobby and profession. But what is the philosophy of LaRaSch? “We provide added value for stakeholders located in the popular sports. We provide information and transparency in the places, where these are needed, and link the interest groups around the sports. Here, the data occurring in the scene and its presentation are our passion.“

The basis for the leap to self-employment has already provided his thesis on the “Development of a system for targeted analysis of the competition-related recreational sporting events using the systems engineering“, which was graded 1.0. He gained more ideas later in the Sports Management degree in Jena and during his master’s thesis on company foundation. In Thuringia he is also connected with other major projects outside of LaRaSch. He is project coordinator of the construction of the new FC Carl Zeiss Jena football stadium. And as a young father, he is standing his ground. With the right time management and a great team, Dirk Lange brings everything well under one roof, as he assures. “Whereas, the team is essential“, he emphasizes.

Nowadays, Lange still looks back to his studies at TU Chemnitz: “There are many close relationships between students and teachers at the university, and there are many brilliant people that have inspired me in a special way. I was able to discover many new things, I learned from mistakes and was able to move much forward together with the right partners. Chemnitz was an ideal setting for it.“ Each student he only wishes to: “Use the freedom that is offered to you by TU Chemnitz! With great passion, your own initiative and given support you can achieve a lot here.“ The best example for this is Dirk Lange himself.

(Author: Mario Steinebach, Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos

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