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Berlin’s most exclusive race of 2020

There was a limited field of runners and very few spectators, but the Berlin 10K Invitational was still a massive success

Photo by: Instagram/Alina_Reh

The Berlin 10K Invitational was run on June 7, and the event stayed true to its name, sticking to an invitation-only start list that featured just seven women and eight men. It’s been months since any races have been held in Germany, and race directors kept the event secret in order to avoid an overflow of runners looking to participate. According to the German Road Races website, event organizers didn’t even tell local media about the run. Despite its low-key format, the race was a success, with five men running under 30 minutes for the 10K and the lead woman, Alina Reh, posting the seventh-fastest 10K time of 2020.

The winners

The men’s event was won by Johannes Motschmann in a 10K PB of 29:11. He won by a comfortable margin of 13 seconds ahead of second place. Motschmann ran at Iona College, a Division I NCAA school in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he won the 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships in 2019. He also ran at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the steeplechase. The Berlin 10K was his first race of the year, according to his World Athletics profile (although he may have raced smaller events before the pandemic).

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Reh won the women’s race by an even bigger gap than Motschmann’s, beating second place by 75 seconds. She ran 31:26, just shy of her PB by three seconds. This was Reh’s second race of 2020, with her first in February at the Barcelona Half Marathon, where she finished in sixth place. She’s coming off of a stellar 2019 season after winning silver in the 5,000m at both the European U23 Championships and German senior championships. She also won the German senior 10,000m championship and captured another gold in the same event at the European U23 Championships, and she finished her year off at the world championships in Doha, although she registered a DNF in the 10,000m.

Return to racing

The race was organized by Mark Milde, the race director for the Berlin Marathon, and Christoph Kopp, who is the German elite athlete coordinator. The out-and-back course was measured officially, and timing was performed by judges from the Berlin Athletics Association, so while it was an extremely small affair, the event was up to the World Athletics standards.