Claus Schulke: Man who Helps Kipchoge During Races

  • Claus-Henning Schulke hands over a bottle to double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge during the Berlin marathon race held in Germany.
    Claus-Henning Schulke hands over a bottle to double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge during the Berlin marathon race held in Germany.
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  • Double Olympic champion, Eliud Kipchoge electrified the sports industry after he smashed his world record at the Berlin Marathon by clocking in at 2:01.09

    The athlete was celebrated across the globe for his stunning performance- with the majority of people placing the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) tag on him. 

    Unknown to many, Kipchoge's success is also dependent on a volunteer who is tasked with passing the bottle to him at specific points during the race. 

    Claus-Henning Schulke holds a bottle for double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge during the Berlin marathon race held in Germany on Sunday, September 25, 2022.
    Claus-Henning Schulke holds a bottle for double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge during the Berlin marathon race held in Germany on Sunday, September 25, 2022.
    File

    Claus-Henning Schulke's role is vital considering the toll it takes on an athlete's body when participating in a long-distance race.  

    To avoid dehydration, the drink is critical to an athlete's ability to refuel and perform at maximum level. The race fluids mainly consist of a blend of water, carbohydrates, and energy bars. 

    Before the race begins, Schulke usually strides along the starting lineup with his bicycle. As soon as the race starts, he takes off, all geared up and in with a backpack of bottles. 

    His technique is to wear a Kipchoge nameplate on his forearm, informing the athlete that he has his bottle. This allows Kipchoge not to break his stride or lose focus. 

    The 56-year-old is an amateur triathlete who works as a project manager for a Berlin-based construction company.

    He’s been volunteering at the Berlin Marathon since 1998 and is now the senior member of the 30-person crew in charge of getting the elite athletes their drinks during the race.

    Due to his vast experience in handing out bottles to Kipchoge, he is nicknamed Der Flaschenbro which means "The Bottle Bro."

    Eliud Kipchoge celebrating winning the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon title on September 16, in Germany.
    Eliud Kipchoge celebrating winning the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon title on September 16, in Germany.
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    Eliud Kipchoge