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MY JOURNEY - From Dresden via Boulder to Berlin

With high ambitions and after intensive training abroad, Marc Schulze of Dresden is coming to the 41st BMW BERLIN-MARATHON:

What led you to running? What key experiences have you had, and how long have you been running?

Like many others, my sporting career began with football, but soon that was not enough for me. My gym teacher suggested I run, and soon I wanted more, as I discovered that with my ambition I could have even greater success. That was in about 2001.

How are you training for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON? What distances are you running? Where and when do you run? With whom?

My training is very versatile. I do 400 to 1000 metre interval training sessions, 10-15 kilometre longer speed training runs, 35k long distance runs, as well as regenerative runs. Right before the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON I train twice a day, and since mid-August I have been training at altitude in Boulder, CO. I do most of my training alone when I am in Dresden (where I live), since I am not all that flexible between work and family. There are beautiful flat stretches along the Elbe River in Dresden that I can only recommend for every runner. When I am on a more relaxed run, I like going to the park in Dresden called “Großer Garten”.

What does running mean to you? What do you get out of it? And why do you feel like you need to run a marathon?

I do not run because it is good for my health or because I want to lose weight—those are not reasons for me. I run in order to keep improving. A little bit faster than last time, to see what all my body is capable of. Simply to hit the maximum and to belong to the best and the fastest. When I was younger, at 18, I started running the 800m. Then I was a 5000m and 10k runner for while, testing my limits. Then after I ran a few half marathons in the past few years, last year I decided to run my first marathon in Berlin. That is where I still have the most potential, and I want to work it to the max, like I did at the other distances. Last year I ran it in 2:21:39. This year I want to be considerably faster and finish under 2:20.

What part of the course are you most looking forward to?

To be honest, I am most looking forward to the start and a little bit more to the finish. At the moment I am so focussed that I can hardly wait to run in Berlin. The antsy legs and nervous head are unbelievable every time. If everything goes as planned, I look forward to the euphoria after the race as much as every other runner.

What experience/feeling are you most looking forward to on September 28?

The 15 minutes before the start. You start getting warmed up. You listen deep within, see thousands of other runners who all have the same goal. You trained hard, invested a lot, and are ready to give it your all. Everything seems possible as long as your head and legs cooperate.

Is there anything that makes the trip to the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON special? Something adventurous, elaborate, or personal?

Like last year, I prepared for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON again this year in Boulder (at an altitude of 1600-2600 metres). That is very intense and goal oriented training. It means I am far away from my family, but it is the perfect way to prepare physically and mentally for the 42.195 kilometres.

What else would you like to tell us about yourself outside of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON? Job, hobbies?

I am engineer of geodesy and am currently working as a research assistant and doctoral student at the TU Dresden at the Institute for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. I really do not have time for any other hobbies, which is ok with me.

Is there anyone who has especially supported you in your marathon endeavours?

Yes, for sure! For one, my girlfriend Anja, who still makes it possible for me to go train for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON despite us having a nine-month-old daughter, and my trainer, Jens Karraß from jkrunning, who provides me with training, contacts, knowledge and much more. Without him I would never have reached this level as an athlete or runner.