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June 2019-Jonas Koch

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. (Where you’re from, what you’re doing now…etc)

A: I’m from Emden, a city with a population of 50,000 in Northern Germany. Since 2013 I studied to become a college prep teacher for the subjects German and History in two different cities in Germany: Aachen and Hamburg. After I finished my university studies last fall I got the chance to participate in a program called “Teaching German in US Schools”.  So for this school year I’m part of the German Program at the Douglas High School in Box Elder and I enjoy it a lot! This fall I will start my career as a teacher somewhere in Northern Germany.

Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?

A: I’ve only been running for about 3 years because I felt I needed some balance besides my studies.

Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone?

A: I like both and try to mix it up. I run the group runs of the BHRC during the weekends and join the social runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I enjoy the company during and after the runs and sometimes it’s a good feeling to push and support each other. Some days I just run by myself.

Q: Do you prefer roads or trails?  

A: I don’t have a lot of experience on trails yet because I just haven’t had the chance to do trail running in Northern Germany. But I did some trail runs with the BHRC and I enjoyed it, because I have to watch my steps and it’s just more diversified. Otherwise I’m just used to road running. But I try to take some of the trail running experience with me and do it in Germany, too!

Q: What is your favorite distance or race?

A: I would say my favorite distance is 10k for a race. This is maybe the most common race distance in Germany and I participated at 7 or 8 10k runs in 2018. But I also finished my first half marathon last year, so probably it will change a little bit in this direction in the future.

Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A: Most of the times I’m motivated to run. But otherwise I’m not really thinking about skipping the run: I’m just coming back from school and get ready for the run without even thinking about it. That’s how I try to avoid lazy situations.

Q: If I didn’t run I’d ………..

A: Play soccer, table tennis (in Germany it’s a pretty big sports) or tennis. I try to do some of those things now and then but running is just the bigger passion of mine.

Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?

A: First of all it’s a sport you can just do everywhere and you don’t even need a lot of equipment for it. Also, I enjoy being outside in nature, exercise and see some progress most of the time.

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A: Not really. Maybe my breakfast is kind of a pre-race ritual: It doesn’t matter when a race is starting I normally eat some oatmeal with fruit 2 hours before the race starts. I just feel like I have to eat something before I take off for a run.

Q: What are your running goals for the future?

A: I try to improve every time. Last year I hit my targets for 10 k (below 40 min) and half marathon (below 1:30). So I just try to get a little bit faster at both and increase the distances for my long runs.

Q: Who inspires you most?

A: The spirit of the BHRC! I’m still fascinated about the idea that a running group can be way more than just running together. What an honor and experience to have met all of you guys. You made my time even better, more adventurous and memorable!

Q: What advice do you have for new runners?

A: Have fun and enjoy the process!