Ruhr Valley 10km, Half Marathon, Marathon

On Friday April 2nd 2010, members of LC (Lauf Club (Running Club)) Rapid Dortmund attended the Mermaid 10km road race in Marske, starting what we hope to be a long and exciting international club partnership. Andrew Hart and Clive Summersgill take up the story, as the two New Marske Harriers returned the favour on October 9th in Germany.

Andrew: Through the club partnership with LC Rapid Dortmund we were invited to take part in a 10k, half marathon, or marathon in Witten, near Dortmund in Germany. Clive and I opted for the half marathon. On the trip I took with me a New Marske Harriers flag and a New Marske vest to give to LC Rapid Dortmund club members in exchange for a running vest of theirs.

Clive adds: We arrived at Düsseldorf on the 18:05 flight from Leeds Bradford Airport arriving at Düsseldorf at approx 20:30, where we were met by Mark Tallon & his friend from LC Rapid Dortmund, Michael Beste, who drove us to Mark’s flat in Dortmund (Just one of many trips Michael made over the weekend to transport us about - Thanks Michael!).

Andrew: We were treated to an all you can eat breakfast buffet with Mark and his wife Vicky on Friday morning. Mark took us round Dortmund to see the sights including a trip up a 200ft tower to with great panoramic views of Dortmund.

Clive: I had been led to believe that Dortmund is a neglected industrial wasteland, having once been the heartland of German industries such as iron & steelmaking, coal mining & beer production. It is far from a wasteland & is undergoing a thriving redevelopment. Some of its industrial past can be seen from the view from the Florian Tower, which is situated in local parkland. Large areas are being redeveloped but, some of the relics from the past industries remain & are to be preserved as museums.

Andrew: With the run on a Saturday rather than on Sunday as is the usual in the UK, the group met up at LC Rapid member Gereon’s house for a carbo loading night.

Up bright an early for race day on Saturday, Michael Beste (Who competed in our own Mermaid 10km in April) took us to the start of the race in Witten to get our numbers and take pictures with the New Marske flag I had brought over. Knowing there was a vertical hill at 12 mile I set off at 1 hour 45 pace. Some of the route reminded me of running through Guisborough woods after we finished a loop of the Kemnader lake. I eventually finished in a time of 1 hour 52:10 minutes.

Clive: My race strategy was to just take it canny for the first few miles & then try to pick up the pace if all was ok, I hadn’t targeted a time & just wanted to do the race & enjoy the weekend. Having studied a map of the course & a graph of the elevations I was aware that the course was predominantly flat, with a sting in the tail from approximately 10 miles (something to note for next time folks) the sting being 2 hills the second of which is akin to running down Saltburn Bank, not fun with 12.5 miles in your legs. The course was through mainly parkland & short sections of traffic free roads, which made a welcome change to what we are used to in the UK, the course was also well marshalled with regular well manned water stations.

Mission accomplished I finished the race in 01:51:47, Andrew finished in 01:52:46 having ran away from me in the early stages, I caught him on the hills, a sterling effort on a tough course well done Andrew. Gereon Max & Dietmar Anthes from LC Rapid finished in 01:30:28 & 01:33:56 respectively, brilliant.

Andrew: Later that night eight of us met up for meal before we left the next day. It was great and Mark managed to translate everything where people had problems understanding. Our meals were all paid for by LC rapid Dortmund and I thank them very much.

On Sunday morning we went for a 6 mile run - a day after a half marathon race! I managed to keep up with Dietmar from LC Rapid, who had run 1 hour 32 in the half marathon the previous day.

Clive: Before the training run we presented LC Rapid Dortmund with a New Marske Harriers flag & took commemorative photographs. In return we were presented with LC Rapid Dortmund team vests, which was a lovely gesture.

Andrew: Being in Dortmund, we also had a tour of the 80,000 capacity football stadium. We also saw the track and facilities where Mark and the Dortmund runners train.


Later that night we caught the plane back to Leeds-Bradford. Last but not least I would like to thank Mark and his wife Vicky for giving us a place to stay and also all of the LC Rapid Dortmund runners I met up with over the weekend.

LC Rapid Dortmund are in the process of organising their annual track event in May 2011. When a date is finalised, New Marske Harriers are more than welcome to attend. It is also hoped, that LC Rapid Dortmund members will attend the Redcar Half Marathon in June.

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