As every year, unless a pandemic prevents it, a very special running event will be held in the federal city this year. Around 10,000 fitness-conscious women who love to run take part in Switzerland’s largest women’s sports event.
Organizer Markus Ryffel is particularly happy that three female magistrates, Viola Amherd and Elisabeth Baume-Schneider as well as former Federal Councilor Ruth Metzler, wear a starting number. “These women are role models – they not only toast the VIP event with champagne, but also actively participate. This is by no means a matter of course and deserves great recognition.”
Two women at the beginning
Verena Weibel and Jacqueline Ryffel stood at the beginning of the women’s run with their idea of holding an event for women new to running. They fell on open ears. Because beginners prefer to compete among their peers, the decision was made to hold an event where only women are allowed. 1000 participants were expected at the first edition, more than 2000 took part, today the number of participants is around five times as high. Markus Ryffel, still the Swiss record holder over 3,000 and 5,000 m, although these times were around 50 years ago (!) knows why the health aspect is more important for women than for men. «Year after year, the Swiss Women’s Run is a festival for everyone, from small children to adults, funky, happy, fresh and colourful. The community spirit is important. Everyone will find the right run for themselves in the wide range of offers.» The experienced track and field athlete, who at the age of 68 still successfully teaches many women runners in his workshops and running training sessions, also emphasizes why more and more women are getting enthusiastic about running. “Running makes you slim, increases sleep quality, reduces stress, prevents cravings – the health aspects are clearly in the foreground and this is perhaps one of the reasons why 3,000 women register for the run every year.”
This trend can be confirmed by numbers. At the Bern Grand Prix on May 13, the proportion of women was 43 percent, and rising, and at the Santarun, which will take place again on December 1, the female gender was clearly in the majority with a whopping 63 percent.
When Markus Ryffel quotes the German philosopher Arthur Schoppenhauer in this context, who already knew 150 years ago “that health is not everything, but without health everything is nothing”, this may be an indication that health has not only been around for a few years is the focus of everyday life for many people, but undoubtedly for the majority of the participants in the 37th Swiss Women’s Run.
Bern Grand Prix: “Lose weight and reduce stress”
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