Karlsruhe in the rearview mirror: “That was just crazy!”
The Long Running Night in Karlsruhe is known for its unique atmosphere - and has lived up to its reputation as one of the best German running meetings in 2023. In the still very young track season, some athletes have already shown that they are a force to be reckoned with this year.
Words: Agata Strausa
Photos: Florian Kurrasch and Loris Kaufmann
Very close to the action
The longer the day got in Karlsruhe, the longer the distances became: The main program started with the 800 meter runs, then the 1,500 meter heats, followed by the decisions in the 3,000 meter obstacle and 5,000 meter. The sun went down, daylight was replaced by floodlights and colorful spotlights - but the races on the sports field remained exciting until the end. The atmosphere even increased towards the end: spectators were allowed - which is otherwise forbidden - to go onto the running track and cheer on the runners from very close.
“I have never experienced such an atmosphere before”
Luis Oberbeck, third fastest of the day over 800 meters, was overwhelmed by the atmosphere on site, “So many spectators were spread out all along the side of the track!” He is satisfied with his time of 1:46.35: “Having this time in the first 800 of the season gives me a lot of confidence for the next races.”
But even in Karlsruhe, Oberbeck didn't hold back: “I decided to start very quickly and I really started sprinting,” says the 23-year-old. “When we got to 100 meters, I noticed that everyone was next to me "The pace was completely crazy." After the first lap, he deliberately didn't want to look at the display for the transit time, said Oberbeck.
“I thought if I saw this now it would just make me sick.”
Then he just “took his legs in his hands”. In the end, Filip Ostrowski won the men's A race over 800 meters in a time of 1:45.62 minutes. Just behind, Robert Farken caused a surprise with a time of 1:45.65. After a long break due to injury, he returned with a world-class time.
Farken could probably have already made an exclamation mark in the 1,500 meter race, his main discipline. Because the race was fast: the winner from the Netherlands, Vermeulen Jochem, won in 3:35.80. 15 men ran over 1,500 meters in under 3:40 minutes - which once again shows how strong the fields in Karlsruhe are.
The results of the men's 800m at a glance:
1. Filip Ostrowski 🇵🇱 1:45.62
2. Robert Farken 🇩🇪 1:45.65 (PB)
3.Luis Oberbeck 🇩🇪 1:46.35 (PB)
Victory and meeting record for young star Olivia Gürth
The audience went wild in the women's 3000 meter steeplechase race: victory went to the U20 European champion Olivia Gürth in 9:41.23. The 20-year-old ran a courageous race from the front - and was finally able to sprint across the finish line with her arms raised. “I had already been to Karlsruhe the years before and had particularly fond memories of the races,” says Gürth. “After I was in front of one After I ran my personal best in the 2,000 meter steeplechase this week, I knew I was in good shape.”
Gürth is happy about the fast time, the victory and the meeting record are the crowning achievement of a successful evening. “The atmosphere in Karlsruhe is simply incomparable to any other meeting I have ever attended,” said Gürth.
The results of the women's 3000m obstacle at a glance:
1. Olivia Gürth 🇩🇪 9:41.23 (PB)
2. Michelle Finn 🇮🇪 9:43.83
3. Veerle Bakker 🇳🇱 9:52.95
Karlsruhe will be remembered
“When I arrived at the stadium, it was much smaller than I thought, more like a sports field with stands,” says Noah Löser. The Berlin amateur competed over 5,000 meters in Karlsruhe for the first time. “You came in and were almost overwhelmed by the volume and the movement,” says Löser. His conclusion is similar to that of the other participants:
“I have never experienced such a bad atmosphere before.”
- Noah Loeser