BTC Cross Regionals

Rennen

Text: Nele, Aina, Sophie, Florens // Photos: Maja Hitij and Marta Robles Diaz

October 28, 2021

Our vision in the form of a running event

Finding ourselves in-between socially empowered running crews and officially credited athletic clubs, common ground is not always given. Cross Country however, unites all of our beloved features of running: it’s raw, it’s dirty, and it’s a team event, full of people who are ready to give their very best.
We had the pleasure of taking part in some of Berlin’s few cross country races, like the Sägerserie of LG Nord (BTC Blogpost) or the cross race in the Volkspark Hasenheide.

Now being officially credited as one of Germany's athletic clubs, we could not wait to finally host our own, official event. BTC Cross Country Regionals - open to anyone willing to celebrate running. Because we believe that running is a team sport: Every runner is a valuable member to the running community no matter the pace or experience. Closing the gap between elite athletes and rising newcomers makes running fast more human - it pushes and helps us to become a better runner.

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XC Races of the day

3,3km - Short and spicy

The 3,3 km race took place at 10am with a chilly 9 degrees and sunny weather. Björn’s RedBull mega cool music station warmed up the morning. Erik says: “Björn helped me to feel better with his personal comments. You could hear him all over the course, and it felt special and motivating for me.”

This competition was open for all, so a mixed crowd on the start line consisted of the BTC family, Berlin Braves, BerlinBagels and other club, crew and individual runners.

The winding route made it possible to run alongside or towards others during the race, to cheer each other on, and to see the runners all over the course. That was a win-win situation for runners and those who supported them.

I ran on a cross country team in high school, so it was much fun to get back to it. The course was great for spectating but tricky with the sharp turns! Die Strecke war toll zum Zuschauen, aber schwierig mit den scharfen Kurven!

– Jen DiMascio-Donohue (winner of the 3,3km-race)

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6,6km - Twice the fun?

Later that morning, the 6,6 km race started. Some runners performed in both distances. Florens also shared his memory of the day: “Despite the route being rather flat, it was tough due to the grass and the various sharp turns. But the location was remarkable, and the atmosphere was just right.”

Erik added: “The grass and the turns got my legs tired already after the three laps of the first competition already. And the following second competition was more like a solid tempo training."

Some other runners also told us about the difficulty of this type of competition, like Robel: “I still haven't recovered fully from the marathon. And cross country requires a little bit of strength training and preparation too.”

Many runners expressed great appreciation for BTC managers who organized this awesome race with partners and sponsors. Also, big shout out to the coaches and the cheering squad!

It was nice to see how much fun it was for the team to heat the grass!

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Pros were also on the starting line

Even two olympic semi-finals athletes didn't want to miss out on such a cool event: Robert Farken, this year's olympic athlete in 1500m, raced both distances and won them in a casual manner. The women (and of course men) could compete with Caterina Granz, who also stood at the starting line for 1500m in Tokio one and a half months ago.

It wasn’t so much of a surprise to see these two claim the first place, but making the podium was not the only prize awarded!

„Running is a team sport“- it's not only the motto on our banners, it’s what we live: because of that we also awarded a prize for the best atmosphere at the course. And no, not to ourselves but to... The Berlin Braves! You can easily find them in an event like this: Just go to the spot with the highest volume, the wildest dancemoves and the most hands reaching out for a high five and you’ve got them.

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That was super fun. I'll gladly come to Berlin again!

– Robert Farken

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SeXCy Friends & Family

Beginner's luck? We don't think so

Organising an event this big would not have been possible without the incredible amount of support we received. Everything starts with a vision, and this one is all thanks to Sven and Björn.

To have this event run so smoothly, credit is due to our BTC helpers, who were either in off-season or preparing for a different race - but never too above to not help out. They made sure that everyone was feeling welcome, distributed race bibs and organised the bag drop. Much love to you!

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A big kiss to all 

We are also extremely grateful for the support of Nike. They have been with us almost since day one and support us in realising our vision that running is a team sport and deserves much more attention.

To our extended running family - thank you, it was a feast! Having olympionikes, the BerlinBraves, Kraftrunners and BerlinBagels with us made this event unforgettable. Not to forget our cheerskiezpizza friends who took such good care of our glucose and caffeine levels with oven-baked fresh pizza, banana bread and some of Berlin’s best coffee. Drooling? So were we. And to top it all off, we also had a refreshment station to really, really up the caffeine. RedBull supplied drinks and made sure the vibes were just right with a DJ station, which was used for announcements and cheering too.

Last but not least - we would not have been able to show and share so much of what running means to us if it wasn’t for our incredible media team. Marta, Maja & Tim - thank you so much for capturing this day! 

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