If you’ve been running for a few years, basically every runner comes to the conclusion: best times were yesterday. Slow is the new fast. A conversation with a former colleague did little to open our columnist’s eyes.

It’s not about kicking everyone in the leg who likes to compete with themselves. And it’s not about suggesting that competitions aren’t hip. I am also very happy to be able to take part in running races again after years of the pandemic. I don’t want to question the events or the competition with myself today. I also find it exhausting to answer the basic question of addiction – basically opening a drawer according to the motto: “Anyone who runs two hours a day and wants to run faster and faster is addicted”. Linked to the recipe for success: “Run addiction withdrawal in 30 days – this is how it works” – irony button off.

Mike Kleiß has been doing sports since he was a child. “Those who exercise achieve more” is his motto in life. Running was always his favorite topic. For seven years he has been running between 15 and 20 kilometers almost every day, often in marathons and sometimes in ultra marathons. So far, our columnist has published two books on running. He is the founder and managing director of the communications agency GOODWILLRUN. Mike Kleiss lives with his family in Hamburg and Cologne. He writes about running here every Thursday.

Let her go, I think more and more. just let her go Because one day something will change. Then when you can no longer bear the smell of sweat in the air in the finish area of ​​the marathon, maybe only when you can’t get off the toilet because of the sheer stress and excitement in the run-up to a running competition and miss the start. I know runners who would have loved to be among the hustlers for years – but are nowhere near good times.

It frustrates many to see others posting their times of success on social media. And what is terribly sad is that some even give up running because of this frustration. I’ve often talked to runners, especially in the last few years, when more and more digital runs were taking place – thanks to Corona. Some were visibly annoyed that the digital runs were now literally flooding the social networks with their results. They felt like they couldn’t keep up. Running suddenly became digital stress for some. Totally absurd when you consider that many do this sport to reduce stress!

For my former radio colleague Anja von Hübbenet from SWR, running is the perfect balance to her stressful job as a news editor. Anya walks slowly. And Anja runs long and far. Not because she’s ashamed, but because she wanted to be among runners who don’t constantly post their best times, she founded the secret Facebook group “Die Glückslaufer”.

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“I’m definitely one of those who would like to be a “Hetzer” and can’t. I was about to give up. But sport should make me healthy and, above all, happy! I won’t win the Berlin Marathon in this life anyway.” Anja writes to me. I commit myself: there are millions of lucky runners who somehow admire the rushing of others, but also find it nonsense. Few admit it. They are mostly in secret somewhere. But there are so many lucky runners.

I myself was a propagandist for a long time. And I confess: I will definitely be one again and again. But for my standards, I just jogged through the last few competitions. And in contrast to the Hetzers, who gave up at 34 degrees, I crossed the finish line quite casually. And crazy: I saw something of nature, had a nice chat, and still burned 10,000 calories in three days.

Maybe I’ll just visit Anja’s secret group. And enjoy as an oasis. Because there it’s not about times, posting top performances is not desired, it’s about the feeling of happiness when running. And when others have long since rushed themselves to death, the lucky runners are still running.

Slowly but they are running. In a world that is getting crazier, in which our worries are increasing, in which a terrible war is currently raging, in which we may sometimes even no longer know how we are going to pay our bills tomorrow, it is so important to be happy to be. Keeping rushing from day to day makes really little sense. I will keep that in mind from today onwards. Do you join? Just become a lucky runner from time to time. That’s how it works.