The word must have gotten out that the real,- BERLIN MARATHON was opening up
for a new wheelchair sport—hand cycling—as there were quite a few
hand cyclists who made it to the premiere in Berlin.
"5" />Well-known faces
In the end there were just about 140 participants registered. There were
several well-known faces to be seen, hand cyclists who once participated in the
wheelchair race of the MARATHON, several of whom are members of the
BERLIN-MARATHON Jubilee Club: including Friedhelm Müller (16), Urs Schild
and his wife Gabi from Switzerland (16), Errol Marklein (12), Hans-Albert
Werkmann (14), Markus Pilz (12), Karl-Heinz Bauknecht (11) and many others.
Considered to be a good thing
Hand cycling was so to say “tested out” at the 24th Bewag BERLIN
HALF MARATHON on April 4, 2004 and at the 13th Bewag City Night on the
Kurfürstendamm on July 31, 2004, and determined to be a good thing .
After the start at 8:40 a.m. on September 26 on the Straße des 17.
Juni, several groups formed according to their abilities. The largest group
passed the half marathon point with 11 cyclists, and finally led the field with
9 cyclists across the finish. It was a thrilling finish, with the favourite
Errol Marklein with race number H 1 finishing just ahead of Michel Wijlens of
Holland, who found his way to this sport despite being a
„pedestrian“, and ahead of Stefan Lange from Hamburg.
A time of 1:17:02 for the men
Despite the rainy weather, the winning time of 1:17:02h was faster than any
time a wheelchair racer had finished (the course record, which was then also a
world record was set by the repeat champion Heinz Frei (Switzerland) in 1997
with a time of 1:21:39). And that is likely also the kick that this new and
faster sport apparatus offers to the former successful wheelchair
athletes—a new challenge with opportunities to reach new dimensions.
A time of 1:24:43 for the women
The women started within the whole field according to their times, and the
young woman and world champion from Holland, Monique van der Vorst, won in the
fantastic time of 1:24:43, five minutes ahead of Andrea Eskau of Wuppertal -
(the course record for the wheelchair race of 1:42:07 is held by Janette Jansen
(HOL). Just about eight minutes later, the French woman Christyne Saladin
secured third place.
"5" />Results only according to an open class
This year there was only one open class of hand cyclists. In the future, it is
likely that the general classification according to handicap as is standard for
wheelchair racing will be used. One thing is for sure that due to logistical
considerations there will have to be a (not yet set) limit for participation
like there is for the runners next year, in order to guarantee safe and fair
conditions for all participants in the real,- BERLIN MARATHON.
The introduction of the new sport of hand cycling was in any case an additional
enrichment for the organisers of the real,- BERLIN MARATHON.
Dr. Reiner Pilz