MY JOURNEY - "I thought to myself, 'I can never do a marathon!'"
41 days. 41 fates. 41 stories to the 41. BMW BERLIN-MARATHON
She just it: At age 40, Anja Sonntag-Wisoschinski turned her life upside-down. Rather than making the daily journey into the law office, like she used to, she now heads out across sticks and stones out in nature.
The story of the 42-year-old marathon runner began with the words: "I'm going for a jog." That happened 7 years ago. Back then, after the birth of her son, she had kept a few pounds too many. She wanted to get rid of them, but since the nutritiously conscious woman did not believe much in diets, she needed a different solution. So she grabbed a pair of cheap running shoes and set off. She pulled off 5 kilometres on her first run. "Of course I took a few breaks to walk, but pretty soon I did not need them any more," the runner reports. After a few difficulties at the start, she realized the problem was not the running itself, but the cheap shoes. She quickly found a solution at the nearby adidas factory outlet near her hometown of Uehlfeld, where she purchased a complete running outfit. And from then on, she put on her new running shoes three days a week.
"I was fascinated by the changes in my body. I lost weight and my body was suddenly so firm." Euphoric from her success, she increased her course to 8 kilometres. "When I noticed the 8 kilometres were getting easy, I upped it to 10." She ran her first race, a 6 KM run in Neuhaus, crossing the finish in 36 minutes. "I was so proud and happy. I suddenly realized that without knowing it, I had done everything right: I worked my way up from zero to 10 KM, in small steps without any pressure in a completely healthy manner." Anja wanted to find out if she could experience even more success if she trained with others, so in 2011 she joined a running group in her region. It was not just ANY running group. These runners had set a very specific goal: The BERLIN MARATHON. "I thought to myself, 'I can never do a marathon!' But it wouldn't hurt to train with them." And so, a casual jogger developed into a passionate runner. The group met on Sundays for their regular long-distance runs. "With the group, I was able to run up to 27 kilometres without stopping."
On Sunday morning Anja joined the thousands of other runners at the start on the Boulevard Straße des 17. Juni. "All I wanted to achieve was finishing. I didn't care at all about the time." Anja ran at a comfortable pace and finished in 4:42:19. "When I was done, I asked myself: That was everything? That was the marathon?" She didn't really realise what she had accomplished until her friends congratulated her, calling out: "Anja, you are crazy!" Since that experience in Berlin in 2012, Anja has been infected with marathon fever. She has already competed in the Roth Challenge, the Frankfurt Marathon, and a few other open races. "But the first one will always be the best one." And in the meantime, Anja has started her own endeavour together with a small sports company, offering running training and zumba courses. She has set up a sports massage room in her basement, with a glass case displaying her most special memento at the entrance: the running shoes she wore at her first marathon.
More news can be found in our news archive