This year, Mankiewicz was again represented at a number of running events. Keeping fit has a long tradition with us, so naturally we competed in the MOPO team relay run this August.

One of this year's runners was our colleague Karl-Heinz. He relates his story below, about his personal experiences and adventures, both before and during the run.

“Don’t give up, keep fighting!” one of the participants called out to me as I paused to regain my breath during the MOPO team relay run in Hamburg's city park. He then took me by the shoulder and pulled me along with him, and I was back running again.

That's what I love about sport, and it's no different at work: mastering the challenges as a team, motivating each other and celebrating our successes together. When I ended my active career as a soccer player 20 years ago – almost on the second-league level – I could look back on many great team moments. With our participation in the MOPO team relay run, which is organized annually by Hamburg’s Morgenpost newspaper and other sponsors in August, I was able to add a further team spirit highlight to my experiences. With 13 teams in total, Mankiewicz was pretty well represented in the 5 x 5 km run. Admittedly, I had to be asked twice whether I wanted to take part. That was because I harbored some doubts, which proved justified at the start of the first training session, whether I would have enough breath to do it. However, a challenge is there to be overcome. But that’s easier than done: With a motley crew of representatives from management, HR and production, we signed up for the run as the team "Seitenstecher" (stitch sufferers).

My wife asked me, shaking her head, how much training had I had for this. The answer in my own mind was lots, but I was kidding myself. I didn't want to let my colleagues down, so I first sought out a training plan from my teammates. The goal was clear: run a good time for my team and hand over the baton smoothly. In reality, of course, it was different. First of all, our vacation intervened and my jogging equipment somehow never found its way out of the suitcase. But the clock was ticking, the event approaching fast and I had yet to make up lost time. I eventually pulled myself together and started with some training runs around our neighborhood. I hoped that would be enough.

On August 17, we gathered our team at the start line. All in all, it went quite well for us. Although shortly after the starting signal, thoughts about when the run would finally end were already crossing my mind. Because in addition to the physical challenge, I had another hurdle to overcome: I had to be at a school parents' evening by 7 p.m., so it meant I had to really step on the gas. What can I say? I managed to achieve my target time for the run with the team and I eventually made it to the school (still in my running gear).

Ultimately, it was much less about the sporting result than about the shared togetherness and team spirit. In any case, the MOPO relay race has welded us together as a team and we are already working on the next event. Hopefully by then we will all have trained a bit better.

Thank you, Karl-Heinz, for your honest and heart-warming story. We are already looking forward to seeing you and our many other colleagues again next year at the start of the next MOPO team relay run

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