There are only a few weeks left until the schoolchildren's and bambini races at the 19. France-switzerland-marathon. Since the 42.195 kilometers are a bit much for the very young, a distance of 500 meters (bambini) or one kilometer (schoolchildren) is offered for the young runners. Participation is free, the entry fees are paid by the sparkasse forchheim.
The two friends maximilian wicklein (9 years old) and simon nanke (11) will also be there. Wicklein was already running at his grandfather's hand when he was two years old, his buddy is once again threatening to outrun the competition in ebermannstadt. The neunkirchener holds the course record in the 1000-meter schoolchildren's run. But he has been running along the banks of the river wiesent for only three years now. "I'm rough, have long legs and am pretty fast", simon nanke explains his recipe for success with a grin. He would prefer to compete with older athletes, but the athletics association only allows this to a limited extent. "I had someone running in front of me who could pull me along. Then my times became even better", he says ambitiously.
A marathoner and clubber
Simon nanke doesn't even get to train anymore. At least when it comes to running. For this, in addition to the school requirements at the gymnasium eckental and the kicking in the junior team of the 1. FC nurnberg hardly any time. And yet he is faster than almost anyone else, reports his father, ralf, who is also a sports enthusiast. "Over 800 meters, he is currently the best runner in his age group in germany." He set the best mark of 2:26.46 minutes in hochstadt last week.
His goal at the france-switzerland-marathon is not only the top place, which after many victories in a row hardly anyone could dispute with him. He is mainly interested in improving his best time. "For that you need the right posture and breathing", explains simon nanke. If the schuler run doesn't tire him out, he can run the tenth marathon over 4.2 kilometers again, just like last year. "One kilometer was simply not enough."
Buddy with more experience
Maximilian wicklein is two years younger than his friend. Both met through their parents who share the same employer. But the "smaller" one already the much rougher running experience. This shows his collection of medals of the FS-marathon, which he hoards like a treasure.
Also because this time his four-year-old brother benni is at the start again. At the 2011 bambini race, max took his first steps over the 500-meter distance. At that time still a little unsteady at the hand of his grandfather. "But when he was three, he thought the company was silly and went off on his own", says mother julia. In the meantime, you can see the elementary school runner at the brandbach run in front of his own house, the winter forest run in erlangen-bruck and the autumn run around thurn castle, among others. The reward for the effort: the first trophy for the third place in the bambini run 2016.
However, the TSV neunkirchen athlete is much more competitive in the school run. The little ones are more playful, which is why he aims to complete the school run in less than four minutes.
The critical moment is the start "when everyone is pushing and shoving each other in a very confined space." Then one was not allowed to stumble, otherwise one could not land in front. The two experienced marathon presenters markus schmidt and michael cipura were on hand to make sure no one got hurt.