Berlin, September 16, 2018 – Costumes, red shoelaces and a dancing bear: Taiwan Excellence – an initiative of the Taiwan Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) – was again remarkably original and colorful during today’s BMW Berlin Marathon. While the Taiwan Excellence Marathon Team impressed the crowds with sound performances on the course across the German capital, their motivation was further fueled by an enthusiastic cheer team and bear mascot, awaiting them at the Taiwan Excellence hotspot at the 40 kilometer point of the course.
"The BMW Berlin Marathon and the Berlin Vital Trade Fair are the most important events for Taiwan Excellence in Germany. This multifaceted sporting event provides an opportunity to present our values and innovations to an audience with the same high level of expectations we have for our products," explained TAITRA Chairman James C.F. Huang.
The eight German and 12 Taiwanese runners began their day with a team photo in their official Taiwan Excellence gear and the distinctive #ReachYourExcellence laces in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin. The marathon started at 9:15 am. Coach Piet Könnicke seemed very confident as the team approached the starting line, commenting that "the training phase went very smoothly; our runners are well prepared for the big day." The same optimistic spirit prevailed at the Taiwan Excellence hotspot.
The visitors at the Taiwan Excellence Hotspot cheered when Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya reached the 40km mark, as he was already at a world record pace of 1:55:32. Also the Taiwan Excellence Marathon Team runners could improve their personal best, for example Cheng-Tse Lai, who arrived with 2:49:32 to the finish and thus improved his record with two minutes.
The Taiwan Excellence Marathon Team comprised 20 German and Taiwanese runners, meticulously selected by the Taiwan Excellence management. Achieving one’s best is this year’s prevailing theme, as manifest in the #ReachYourExcellence bright red shoe laces that the runners wore during the race. Some of the runners also wore virtual reality gaming backpacks to demonstrate Taiwan’s technological prowess, while others showcased the rich variety of Taiwanese fruits on their interesting running outfits. The German runners are important members of the team and have trusted Taiwanese brands for years.
In the days leading up to the BMW Berlin Marathon, visitors at the Berlin Vital, the sports, health and lifestyle trade fair held at the former Tempelhof airport, were introduced to Taiwan’s best smart technology and innovations in areas such as gaming, lifestyle, healthcare and sport. The Taiwan Excellence Pavilion honored innovations in these fields by showcasing Taiwan Excellence award products.
The #ReachYourExcellence shoelaces were a recurring element and symbol of the campaign that serves as an incentive to boost the runners’ self-motivation. The Taiwan Excellence red represents enthusiasm, wholehearted commitment and absolute determination. The shoelaces were there to remind runners of their goals and motivate them during their training and throughout the marathon.
The German-based runners were supported during their training by online coach Piet Könnicke from Potsdam. He offered the runners helpful training tips and accompanied them throughout their preparation for the race. Moreover, he created a tailored training program for each individual runner.
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