(07-Jun) -- At a specially arranged "secret race," Alina Reh and Johannes Motschmann won the Berlin 10-K Invitational this morning in the wooded, Schm÷ckwitz section of the city, about 25 kilometers southeast of the Brandenburg Gate. Reh, a member of the SSV Ulm 1846 club, clocked 31:26, while Motschmann, who competed for Iona College in the NCAA system and who runs now for the SCC Events Pro Team, ran 29:11. Motschmann set a personal best, while Reh missed her career best time by only five seconds.
IMAGE: The wooded roadway in Schm÷ckwitz, Berlin where the 2020 Berlin 10-K Invitational was held (photo courtesy of Christoph Kopp)
The race was not open to the public, but was held under official conditions. A total of eight men and five women competed.
"It was one lap with two turns inside of the laps," explained athletes manager Christoph Kopp in a text message to Race Results Weekly. "The start of the ladies was exactly two minutes after the men field. The course was officially measured and we had also referees from our Berlin Athletics Federation."
Motschmann got a good fight from Nils Voight (TV Wattenscheid 01). Motschmann, a steeplechaser, had a one-second lead at the halfway point (14:36 to 14:37), and was able to widen the gap to 13 seconds at the finish (29:11 to 29:24). Third place went to Fabian Clarkson (SCC Events Pro Team) in 29:36. Voight and Clarkson also set personal best times.
Reh dominated the women's contest. She split the 5-kilometer mark in a snappy 15:45 with a 42-second lead over her nearest rivals, Katharina Steinruck (nÚe Heinig) and Caterina Granz, who were running together. Reh actually accelerated slightly in the second half, clocking 15:41 for the final five kilometers. Steinruck got second in 32:41 and Granz got third in 32:47. Steinruck's mark was just two seconds off of her personal best, while Granz --a 4:05 1500m runner-- smashed her career best time by over a minute.
The race format was similar to the "micro races" recently held in Norway, including the Forus Persel°p held on May 20 where Jakob Ingebrigtsen set a Norwegian national record for 5-kilometers. BMW Berlin Marathon race director Mark Milde, who directed today's event, said that his team was looking for responsible ways for top athletes to compete which would not encourage the spread of COVID-19.
"We wanted to set an example here in this special time," Milde said in a statement. "A running competition while maintaining minimum distances is difficult to design and carry out. We tested this on a small scale with separate races for five women and eight men. There has hardly been a running season this year, and it is in the stars whether or when there will be a normal again in this regard, especially for the top athletes. He added: "Here we wanted to provide a kind of motivational aid with this test race."