Rhein-marathon Düsseldorf, organiser of the yearly METRO GROUP Marathon Düsseldorf and part of the Golazo Group, appointed former top triathlete and marathon runner Sonja Oberem as new Managing Director and Race Director.

As a former elite athlete, Oberem brings a lot of experience within the organisation. She won 3 world titles triathlon as a junior and became European champion Olympic-distance triathlon in 1992 and 1994. After her second European title, she decided to focus on marathon running. Oberem won the Hamburg and Athens marathons twice (Hamburg 2001 with a personal best of 2:26:13) and participated in the Olympic Games in Atlanta. In the last few years, Sonja was Event Manager at the Düsseldorf Triathlon, another experience she can draw on in her new position at Rhein-marathon Düsseldorf.

Sonja Oberem will be the new Race Director of the METRO GROUP Marathon Düsseldorf as well and will succeed Jan Winschermann who has been Race Director for 15 years. Winschermann will stay on board as a special consultant to the organisation.

Bob Verbeeck, CEO of Golazo Group, says: “I’m very excited to have Sonja on board as the new Managing Director and Race Director. At Golazo, we have a tradition of hiring former elite athletes to run some of our events and to help spread our mission of getting more people moving. We have the ambitious plan to develop the METRO GROUP Marathon Düsseldorf into one of Europe’s leading city marathons. I’m confident Sonja will lead us towards that goal. I also want to thank Jan for his years as Race Director and his dedication to the event.”

From next year on, METRO GROUP Marathon Düsseldorf will not only offer the full marathon distance and the relay event; a Half Marathon will be added to the program. The event will grow from the current number of 16,000 participants to approximately 20,000 in 2019. In addition to the marathon, Rhein-marathon Düsseldorf organises the STADTWERKE DÜSSELDORF Kö-Lauf, and the Düsseldorf Urban Trail (1st edition on 30 September this year).

Golazo Group is a European sports movement which engages in active lifestyle and wants everyone to move for at least 30 minutes a day. Its German branch Golazo sports Germany (founded in 2015) operates from offices in Berlin and Düsseldorf and attracts more than 80,000 participants to its events every year.

Picture info: Sonja Oberem comes in on the third place in the women’s marathon race at the European Athletics Championships in Munich, 10 August 2002.