IAW-Runners Go Digital

  Three “Lousberglauf” participants Copyright: © IAW

At 7pm on July 1, nine athletic IAW employees joined 2,000 enthusiastic co-runners to tackle the challenging 5.555-kilometer course of the”Lousberglauf”. This is how the report of this year's IAW participation in the “Lousberglauf” could have begun, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major sporting events such as the European Football Championships or the Summer Olympics, but also to the Lousberglauf, which is an integral part of Aachen's sporting calendar, fell victim to the contact restrictions, protective orders, travel restrictions and the almost uncontrollable course of the pandemic . However, this only affected the real execution on the scheduled date in the runners' hustle and bustle, which would have made adhering to any distance rules an insurmountable task.

Digitalization does not stop at the “Lousberglauf”! This year, the organizers allowed digital participation in the running event as a substitute for a real run. Conditions for participation consisted in the completion of the distance of 5.555 km on any route within a period of one week and the recording of this run with a running app on the smartphone with subsequent upload of a screenshot of the app as proof of the required running time.

Nine motivated IAW employees answered this call in the period from June 29 to July 5, 2020, completing the distance partly in small groups on a wide variety of routes in and around Aachen. The team spirit was promoted by the uniform team outfit with IAW running shirts. Participation in the digital “Lousberglauf” was perceived as a success by the IAW participants. The fact that such a strong running team came together at the IAW despite the cancellation of the real run is seen by Julia Czerniak-Wilmes as a "great response, especially in times of Corona". Guido Bürschgens reports that the “Lousberglauf” "was a welcome change. Without any set goals due to upcoming competitions, I found it difficult to motivate myself to run in the past few months." Vera Rick particularly liked the fact that free participation without spectators and competitive competitors meant that there was no pressure to perform: "Otherwise, I would never have dared to take part in the “Lousberglauf”."

However, after this positive experience, however, everyone hopes that the “Lousberglauf” can take place again under regular conditions in 2021. Then, hopefully, numerous blue IAW shirts will once again be distinguished in the throng of runners!