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EURETINA Race Run in Prater Park

Dermot McGrath

Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018


The 7th annual Retina Race, sponsored by Novartis in aid of the sight-saving charity Orbis, has become a regular and well-supported feature of the EURETINA Congress since the first race took place in Milan in 2012.
This year’s race took place in humid running conditions over five kilometres around the picturesque Prater Park, a leafy oasis in the heart of Vienna.
Not deterred by the early start, runners of all ages took part in the race, cheered on by enthusiastic shouts of encouragement from colleagues, friends and family members. After some gentle stretching and a final swig of water, the runners were off and running from the starting gun.
Although the emphasis of the Retina Race is firmly on the fun aspect of participating and raising money for charity, the runners were still keen to improve on personal best times and perhaps earn a place on the winners’ podium.
Individual performance times for all contestants were recorded electronically, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three male and female runners divided into four age categories: under 30, 30-40, 41-50 and over 50.
The first male competitor past the winning post was Maximilian Pfau from Germany who completed the course in a blistering 16 minutes and 52 seconds, followed by Thue Bram from Denmark and the appropriately named Julien Bullet from France who both finished under 18 minutes.
The first female competitor to cross the line was Sonja Kleinlogel from Switzerland who clocked in at a very fast pace of 20 minutes and 34 seconds, followed by Chantal Dysli from Germany and Georgia Siasou from Greece.
Speaking on behalf of EURETINA, Anat Loewenstein, co-founder of the race along with Stephane Wolf, said that the participants could be proud of their achievements in running for the noble goal of saving vision.
“On behalf of the EURETINA Board I congratulate you all for not only giving great talks at the Congress but also for turning out this morning in support of vision,” she said.
Emma Hett, corporate partnerships manager at Orbis, also thanked all the participants for playing their part in raising money to go towards much-needed prevention of blindness programmes in the developing world.
“I would just echo what Anat said and thank everyone for participating despite the rain this morning. It is very important for Orbis and your efforts really do make a difference on the ground, so thanks to EURETINA and all of the runners for your support,” she said.
Stephane Wolf of Novartis thanked everyone who took part in the race and said he hoped to see even more people taking part next year when the 19th EURETINA Congress will be held in Paris, France.