ebm‑papst Marathon
our history

The event in Hohenlohe has tradition – the marathon has taken place in Kochertal since 1993

“That must be possible here too,”

said Rudolf Thoma to a colleague in 1992, after taking part in a half-marathon in Pforzheim.

Thoma:“I wanted to run a marathon.” The former head of the police department refused to give up until his idea had become reality.


On 11th September 1993, the 1st marathon took place in Künzelsau (Hohenlohe district), solely organised by the small Hohenlohe district police sports club.

A respectable 217 runners took part in 1993, completing 42.195 km in Baden-Württemberg's Kochertal between Künzelsau and Sindringen – almost everyone coming from the surrounding region. An extremely good turnout: “We were only able to start organising in January 1993, after the Red Cross spontaneously agreed to cover the route safety,” recalls Alfred Krämer, the former Chairman of the Police Sports Club.

Rudolf Thoma, then 53, of course took part. He crossed the finish line with a time of 3:52:03 – 9th place in his age category. The winner Helmut Bauer (TSV Gerabronn), who also participated in the subsequent marathons, covered the distance in 2:40:26 hours. Even back then, there were four participants in wheelchairs. 220 helpers were posted along the route, taking care of the organisation or handing out refreshments. Apart from a few minor details, everything ran like clockwork.

It quickly became clear to the approx. 60 members of Hohelohe's police sports club, however, that they would have difficulty organising such a large-scale event every year. The Hohenlohe Marathon was thus initially organised every two years.

ebm‑papst, which boasts a global workforce of approx. 14,000 employees, first got involved in 1999 and helped to promote the event for the police sports club. The result: Around 540 runners and – for the first time – inline skaters set off across the starting line in 1999 in Niedernhall, which was an ideal starting and finishing point for the event. Kai Halter, organiser from ebm‑papst, and Alfred Krämer had the use of a large recreational area with grassland, a large carpark, a gymnasium with modern sanitation facilities and overnight accommodation, as well as an open-air swimming pool, at the edge of the romantic town on the Kocher. And this is where the ebm‑papst Marathon takes place every year – thanks to ebm‑papst.


These days, more than 3,000 participants take their place at the starting line. There are also well over 500 helpers who make sure the event runs smoothly.

How did ebm‑papst get involved in the marathon? In 1999, ebm‑papst Mulfingen (Hohenlohe district), whose fans and motors are designed for continuous operation without interruption, was already thinking of organising its own marathon. However, after talking with the police sports club, who was looking for a partner, both sides came to an agreement: The police sports club and ebm‑papst could achieve the most when they joined forces. PSV Chairman Petra Baas is delighted with the successful collaboration of ebm‑papst Mulfingen: “It has enabled the event to make substantial progress.” The other dozen or so companies have also remained loyal to the event as sponsors and partners.