Marathon "Hazardous to Health"?
Athletes fear EM heat battle in Munich
Created: 08/10/2022, 05:35
By: Marius Epp
A highlight of the European Championships in Munich is the marathon.
The athletes are up in arms against the organizers - they fear a heat drama.
Munich - With the European Championships, the city of Munich is looking forward to the biggest sporting event since the 1972 Olympic Games.
Not only will the European Athletics Championships take place from August 11th to 21st, European champions will also be determined in eight other sports.
The anticipation is now mixed with sharp criticism - from the camp of marathon runners.
The marathon will take place on August 15th to mark the start of the track and field events.
The time causes discussions: The athletes and the German team doctor have no understanding for the planned starting signal at 11.30 a.m. (10.30 a.m. for the women).
European Championships: Marathon heat battle threatens - "Who makes these appointments?"
In summer, marathon decisions usually start early in the morning to avoid the midday sun.
According to the weather forecast, it should be sunny and between 25 and 30 degrees hot in Munich on August 15th.
Not exactly optimal conditions to run 42.125 kilometers.
Richard Ringer competed in the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Marathon.
© Takeshi Nishimoto/imago
"Who makes these appointments?" rages Germany's marathon Olympian Richard Ringer on
RTL / ntv
"We want to show our performance.
It's exhausting enough, no matter what the conditions are.” The whole thing has a “bitter aftertaste”.
The last and at the same time most strenuous phase of the marathon coincides with the sun's highest point at 1:19 p.m.
European Championships in Munich: Athletes attack the marathon schedule
“This is a time when every family doctor tells you not to strain yourself.
There is enough science to do so," explains DLV association doctor Paul Schmidt-Hellinger.
"None of us in the sports scene understood that," said colleague Hendrik Pfeiffer, expressing his displeasure.
"If you are confronted with temperatures of 30 degrees or more, then we come into areas where it becomes hazardous to health," he warns.
More than 50 athletes appealed in an open letter to the Munich organizers to protect the health of the starters.
So far, the European Athletics Association (EAA) has not moved.
Nobody wants pictures of falling marathoners or runners in wheelchairs - but unfortunately they are not uncommon in hot conditions, as the past has shown.
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All information about the European Championships 2022 in Munich can be found here.
Even with the German rowers, not everything is going smoothly before the European Championships: World Champion Oliver Zeidler described the conditions in the association as a "debacle".