7th Berlin 10 km race of prisoners in Plötzensee prison on Friday, May 5, 2023 – Sunshine, but strong wind – Horst Milde reports.
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7th Berlin 10 km race for prisoners - shortly after the start - Photo: Horst Milde

7th Berlin 10 km race of prisoners in Plötzensee prison on Friday, May 5, 2023 – Sunshine, but strong wind – Horst Milde reports.

By GRR 0

The organizers of the 7th Berlin 10 km race for prisoners on Friday, May 5, 2023 at the Plötzensee Prison were lucky with their event. The sun was shining, but there was a strong wind blowing, which ruined best performances (which also wish to be achieved in a prison).

They were also lucky because the demonstrators of the „Last Generation“ were not active on Friday. The roads in Berlin were thus free again, a day before one would have been mercilessly stuck in traffic jams.

There was an organizational innovation and relief for the organization. A timing company (http://www.ssf-timing.de/ http://www.ssf-timing.de/) provided for fast result determination and printout of immediate certificates with name, time and placing, which could be handed out immediately with the winner inside honor to all participants. This immediate service could not have been offered with the previous „manual“ method. This was also the first time that there was a team ranking for the individual institutions.

The certificates for the participants – are completed immediately after the finish by the timekeeper with name, first name, placement, time, institution – Photo: Horst Milde

Here are the short results – the full results are available on the website of the timing company: https://www.strassenlauf.org/va_ergebnisse.php https://www.strassenlauf.org/va_ergebnisse.php

Special conditions for reporting from prisons in Berlin:
The full names of the prisoners may not be published – not even photos from the front that the faces are identified.  The photos of male and female runners, which can be seen here in full, are „external participants“ who are allowed to take part.

Result race entry 10km men (prisoners)
Rank M W Name Club AK SN# Time
1. 1. . E, Rachid JVA Moabit 120 00:40:04
2. 2. . E, Hamza JSA 104 00:42:11
3. 3. . C, Abdalhak JVA Heidering 113 00:42:48
4. 4. . E, Jamal JVA Heidering 114 00:43:32
5. 5. . S, Joris Leif JVA Plötzensee 135 00:43:45
6. 6. . U, Ucha JVA Heidering 116 00:46:29

Women 10 km (prisoners)

1. J, Julia Felix – JVA für Frauen 110 00:54:51
2. N, Fereshteh – JVA für Frauen 111 01:12:52

Result teams institutions – total 10 km
1. JVA Heidering 02:12:49
2. JVA Moabit 02:16:04
3. JSA 02:19:32

Ergebnis Einlauf 5 km – Gefangene
1. 1. . H, Urim JVA Heidering 57 00:23:54
2. 2. . T, David JVA Heidering 58 00:24:56
3. 3. . Z, Shukri Ahmad JVA Moabit 123 00:26:15

Frauen: 5 km Gefangene
1. M, Inara JVA für Frauen 53 00:31:38
2. B, Nadia JVA für Frauen 51 00:32:28
3. Y, Saskia Alexandra JVA für Frauen 56 00:36:15 

10 km Sportbedienstete
1. 1. . Pervelz, Jörg 26 00:52:13
2. 2. . Müller, Jens 24 01:14:50

Ergebnis Einlauf  10 km „Externe“ Teilnehmer
Rang M W Name Verein AK SN# Zeit
1. 1. . Chemnitz, Dennis Marcel 5 00:37:55
2. 2. . Fisher, Robert 8 00:40:05
3. 3. . Kallidis, Georg 13 00:40:05
4. 4. . Mitterecker, Thomas 21 00:40:06
5. 5. . Schwerdtfeger, Manuel 35 00:40:23
6. 6. . Eckhardt, Thomas 7 00:42:11

Ergebnis Einlauf  10 km „Externe“ Teilnehmerinnen

1. Kühlein, Alena 54:53
2. Spindler, Beatrice 55:01
3. Ryll, Christina 55:02
4. Kämmerer, Christina 55:02
5. Klebou, Carmen 56:11
6. Krüger, Heike 57:42
7. Walter, Christine 58:29
8. Kreck, Dr. Lena 1:06:3

The 10 km race of the prisoners was won by E, Rachid from JVA Moabit in 40:04. The time suffered greatly from the fierce wind conditions, the time of the course record holder 37:20 Felix H. from the previous year was out of reach. In the women’s race J, Julia Felix in 54:51 repeated her victory from last year (53:42).

The new team ranking of the institutions was won by JVA Heidering in 2:12:49 ahead of JVA Moabit in 2:16:04.

Dennis Chemnitz was the winner among the „external“ runners in 37:55 – in the previous year he won in 37:27 , among the external women Alena Kühlein won 54:53, in the previous year Linda Burmeister in 52:39. The Berlin Athletics Association (BLV) was present with two judges:inside, who supervised the sporting process.

A total of 53 prisoners (previous year 43) and 8 women (previous year 3 women) were on the starting line at 16:00 and 41 external runners (previous year 41).

Former Senator for Justice, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination Prof. Dr. Lena Kreck, who performed the award ceremonies last year, successfully participated in the 10 km race of the „external“ women this year.

Former Senator for Justice, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination Prof. Dr. Lena Kreck took part as a runner

Judge Jörg Pervelz,Director of the Youth Arrest Facility Berlin-Brandenburg, repeated his victory of the previous year as the best judicial co-runner ahead of Jens Müller.

Judge Jörg Pervelz, Director of the Youth Arrest Institution Berlin-Brandenburg, wins the race of the members of the justice system – Photo: Horst Milde

A group of runners from Ahlbeck (Baltic Sea) of the „Usedomer Laufmützen“ (see https://germanroadraces.de/?p=212832 – https://germanroadraces.de/?p=212832 , with Christina Kämmerer at the head, which is committed to charitable projects for years and collects donations (construction of a children’s and youth hospice in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) and was awarded by the German Athletics Association (DLV) last year, also participated in the 10 km race of the „externals“.


The running team of the „Laufmützen Usedom“ with Christina Kämmerer (r.) – Photo: Horst Milde

The running course is a 1,000m loop on the grounds of Plötzensee Prison and Plötzensee Youth Prison. It has to be completed ten times. The course was measured by World Athletics/AIMS A-grade surveyor John Kunkeler, who also accurately and meticulously measures the running course of the BERLIN MARATHON and the Berlin Half Marathon, among others. John Kunkeler also traditionally held the position of spokesman for the event.

The building yard of the JVA Plötzensee with its leader Köster marked according to regulations in each case the exact running course, so that shortcuts („schnippeln“) is not possible. The course is measured for competition, and if records were to be set, they would have to be officially recognized.

The races were led by Reinhard Roecher, marathon runner and former officer of the Prison Plötzensee, on a bicycle. He had to pedal quite hard to keep the course clear for the leading group at the high running speed with shrill whistles when overtaking.


Reinhard Roecher, marathon runner, leads the field of runners by bicycle – Photo: Horst Milde

In addition to the general organization by those responsible in the socio-educational department of the Plötzensee correctional institution, German Road Races is responsible for the sporting organization and also provides external volunteers for this event.

Of course, as with any running event, there are prizes. The first six (of the prisoners) will receive victory prizes from German Road Races (GRR) e.V., certificates, BERLIN-MARATHON jackets (which are highly desired), T-shirts from the BERLIN-MARATHON and also T-shirts and sports stuff from ISTAF Berlin.

For the second time, the administration awarded an „in-house T-shirt“ with the logo of the event of a sponsor to all participants and volunteers.


The „in-house T-shirt“ of a sponsor – Photo: Horst Milde

A special feature should be mentioned: Running friends from Switzerland provided the winners with an oversized chocolate bar of Lindt as a special award.

The sports staff of the seven Berlin prisons received – as in the previous year – a number of T-shirts from the BERLIN MARATHON and the ISTAF BERLIN as an incentive and reward for the prisoners for their training. In this way, prisoners in the individual prisons who are willing to train can be rewarded and motivated to participate in the training and for the next race in 2024.

The director of the JVA Dr. Uwe Meyer-Odewald presented the awards to the winners and the T-shirts to the sports staff (coaches) of the individual prisons

The prizes of GRR for the winners – Photo: Horst Milde

For the amusement of the visitors the „in-house band“ of the JVA Plötzensee „Notorius booknumbers“ plays, consisting of inmates and the music teacher Jürgen Bailey.

The event is supervised and supported by the staff of the participating correctional prisons, but also by volunteers from „outside“. The volunteers, led by Dr. Erdmute Nieke, take on tasks such as issuing race numbers and certificates, serving drinks, catering and serving as course marshals.

Positive effects of sporting activities for prisoners with limited movement possibilities – which go beyond push-ups and strength exercises – are indisputable and provide special motivation. Running and running therapy in prison provide a stress buffer and are thought to alleviate prisoner stress. The antidepressant and stress-reducing effects of running have been scientifically proven, which is why running in prisons is an important part of resocialization. Strengthening a positive self-image and improving the chances of reintegration through meaningful leisure activities in running in prison are now recognized by the justice system as an important factor, as a therapeutic measure and as an antidepressant in resocialization.

This race is not only a special event for the Berlin justice system – and thus a special “ flagship “ of the justice system – as well as for German Road Races a showcase event to bring the running sport closer to all members of society as a therapeutic for the soul.

Director of the Prison Authority Dr. Uwe Meyer-Odewald (right) during an interview with Felix Hackenbruch from the daily newspaper „Tagesspiegel“ – Photo: Horst Milde

At the end of the race, the director of the prison, Dr. Uwe Meyer-Odewald, who opened the event with a short speech before the start, thanked the organizers, participants, visitors and volunteers for a successful event, which was fun and enjoyable for everyone and will be continued in the interest of the prisoners!

Felix Hackenbruch, runner and journalist, writes in the Berlin newspaper „TAGESSPIEGEL“ on May 9, 2023 an article worth reading with the headline:“ JVA Plötzensee: Prisoners run for resocialization“: „During sports you forget everything, your thoughts are simply gone. Sport helps him to get his mind off things for a few hours. It’s the only compensation we have here“, says an inmate with whom he runs the ten laps together“.

Such contributions are important so that the public learns what goes on behind bars, what running can positively achieve – and the prisoner then says at the end: „We are also normal people“.

8th Berlin 10 km race for prisoners on Friday, April 26, 2024 at Plötzensee Prison!

Horst Milde

author: GRR