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The joy of pushing the limitsThe joy of pushing the limits

The joy of pushing the limits

5 min reading time
In the last week of September, a sense of excitement lingers in the streets of Berlin, getting the city ready for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2022. As in previous years, the entire range of BMW Group electric models will accompany runners as lead and safety cars in this year’s marathon as well. To capture the true spirit of this cheerful event, we asked Franziska Dittmann, the German model and nutritionist, who ran her first marathon in 2021, to share her experience with us about this incredible journey.

16 September 2022

Congratulations to:

Eliud Kipchoge for breaking his own world record again at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2022.

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The joy of self-discovery 

Since 2011, BMW Group has been the title sponsor of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, which gathers many athletes from all over the world who RUN FOR JOY, which is also for Franziska Dittmann, the professional model and the amateur runner the reason to run.

BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Franziska Dittmann BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Franziska Dittmann
I was curious about what it was like to run a marathon. I also want to know how far I can go without hurting or injuring myself.
Franziska Dittmann

Fashion model and writer

Dittmann graduated from nursing school, but only worked in a hospital for a year before deciding to follow her passion and start a career as a model. She has now been pursuing her dream profession for 14 years. During this time, she has developed a nutrition concept that enables people to achieve healthy weight loss, which she explains in her book: Modelsize.me. For Dittmann, running is not only a way to stay healthy, but also a chance to focus and reflect on herself.

A call to an adventure

Running a marathon had long been on the wish list for the Berlin-based author. When she decided to run a half marathon a few years ago, she got injured the day before and was therefore unable to participate in the half marathon or do the proper training for the real marathon itself and had to wait for another chance to cross it of her bucket list. In 2021, after collaborating with the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON as the official face of the communication campaign, the professional model was again inspired to run a marathon.

And that was the first time I thought, okay, sometimes things just come with a delay, and I think you should just take them.
Franziska Dittmann

Fashion model and writer

BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2021 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2021

Before the marathon:

Training, excitement and a joyful anticipation

Dittmann has a free-time running routine, but running a marathon is different. She needed a proper training plan and didn’t have a moment to lose. So, with the help of a friend, the 34-year-old model set up an intensive training program to prepare for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2021.

The importance of listening to your body

Everything seemed to be going as planned until her story took yet another turn: A week before the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2021, Dittmann felt the pain in her knee again that had sidelined her last attempt. She decided to rest for a week before the race and focus on her diet, eating a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein while avoiding alcohol. This eating plan prepared her body and mind for her next journey.

I knew I had to load up my carbohydrate storage. This is especially important the night before the marathon. And no alcohol of course particularly in the last training phase, so that your body isn't weakened by anything else.
Franziska Dittmann

Fashion model and writer

The big day: joy at its highest level

Finally, she was there, standing at the starting line of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, surrounded by hundreds of runners. At the time, the energy of the event and the people happy to start the race influenced her style of running, but today, looking back at that moment, she has one piece of advice for any first-timers who may find themselves in the same situation:

Watch your pace!
Franziska Dittmann

Fashion model and writer

BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Elektromobilität BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Elektromobilität

Run, run, run

Driven by the enthusiasm and euphoria of her fellow runners, Dittmann ran the first 21 kilometers full of energy, unaware that the hardest part was yet to come. At some point around kilometer 30, she felt that pain again. This is where the mind wants to give up but the body presses on.

You have doubts for the first time. That‘s the point where you think you can‘t do it. But your body does.
Franziska Dittmann

Fashion model and writer

Take a moment, recover, and run again

After running 35 kilometers, at the hardest moment, when tears rolled down her face, her family and friends reached out to her with their support.

There was this emotional moment when all my friends just stood there. And when I see my husband who cheered me on. And I looked at him and I felt like I wanted to go home. But then a friend of mine ran along for a bit, holding my arm.
Franziska Dittmann

Fashion model and writer

So, this first-time marathon runner decided to stop at a rest station, where she was attended by a physiotherapist. The last kilometers became really hard, but there was hope, the end of the road was in sight: the Brandenburg Gate – the finish line.

And then you keep going and think, Okay, I’ve really got this. That’s where it all comes together again. I think that’s where you get the drive.
Franziska Dittmann

Fashion model and writer

BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Franziska Dittmann BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Franziska Dittmann

Crossing the finish line: The joy of achievement

Running a marathon is a character building exercise. Pushing your limits, staying focused and crossing the finish line (➜ Read more: Beyond limits). Dittmann’s journey, with its ups and downs, did not end once she crossed the line. She can use this experience to inspire her for the rest of her life. To keep going and not giving up, to take a break and gather strength and to be aware of her capabilities even when it seems to be the lowest moment.

What you take with you for life after this journey is that when you think you can’t take it anymore, that’s not the end. There’s still so much more you can do.
Franziska Dittmann

Fashion model and writer

BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Elektromobilität Franziska Dittmann BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Elektromobilität Franziska Dittmann
i4:    
Electric range 416–590 (WLTP) in km
Power consumption 22.5–16.1 kWh/100 km (combined)
iX:    
Electric range 394–607 (WLTP) in km
Power consumption 21.5–19.5 kWh/100 km (combined)
iX3:    
Electric range 453–461 (WLTP) in km
Power consumption 18.9–18.5 kWh/100 km (combined)

The Joy of pushing the limits

Those who have run a marathon may already know it is all about challenging your boundaries and pushing the limits to discover new horizons. For the past 50 years, the BMW Group has been exploring and challenging the boundaries of electric mobility and opening up new opportunities (➜ Read more: Ten years of BMW i). In the long run, the BMW Group has set itself the ambitious goal of shaping the future of individual mobility in a sustainable way (➜ Read more: How BMW protects our environment). At the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2022 the entire range of BMW Group electric models will accompany runners as lead and safety cars, showcasing the efforts and steps that have been taken to reach this goal. Today, what seemed a long way 50 years ago is becoming more and more achievable with every new step, and the finish line is getting closer.

BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Elektromobilität BMW BERLIN-MARATHON bmw berlin marathon 2022 Elektromobilität

Author: Narges Derakhshan; Art:Shin Miura, Madita O’Sullivan, Carolin Wabra; Photos: SCC EVENTS, Norbert Wilhelmi, robin_we1, Sebastian Wells