Zugerberg, 21.12.2018

Lucerne company wants to save the "Zugerberg Classic"

Photo: A runner fights his way up the hill at the Zugerberg Classic in May 2018.


There was great disappointment when it became known at the end of November that the traditional sports event in Zug would no longer take place. The lack of helpers and members of the organisation committee led to this decision, said the organisers at that time (we reported).
 
Now, shortly before Christmas, a regional solution is emerging for this popular event. "The mountain race of the Zugerberg Classic is to be preserved as an important event in the Central Swiss Running Calendar," announced the Lucerne company Athletics Sportconsulting GmbH on Thursday. "As with our other two major running events, the Lucerne City Run and the Swiss City Marathon, we want to get the population moving and promote good health," explains Andreas Grüter, the Project Manager of Athletics Sportconsulting GmbH on request.
 
The organisers of the Lucerne City Run and the Swiss City Marathon Lucerne are currently setting up the new sponsorship for the Zug event, and are not deterred by the unsuccessful efforts of their predecessors: "Thanks to our other running events, we have a network that we can call on," says Grüter. "In addition, we hope, of course, that the previous sponsors will stay on board, even if the main sponsor has dropped out."
 
The Zugerberg Classic should remain an independent event, emphasizes Grüter. "Of course, some of the same people who are already pulling the strings at the Lucerne City Run and at the Swiss City Marathon will be working in the background." And there are synergies that one could use. "It's about know-how and experience, but the commitment to the Zugerberg Classic also makes sense in terms of communication."
 
The population of the Zug region will be encouraged to make use of their local mountain through exciting racing formats. The event concept is currently being revised, and much is still open according to Grüter. Further details will then be clarified with the authorities. "I don’t think we have to reinvent the occasion. But we can optimise it selectively. For example, do we want a sporting event geared towards more ambitious hobby athletes, or should the whole thing move towards broader-based sport, as is the case with the city run?" The Zugerberg Classic is still planned as a mountain run, with different categories, but less performance-related. "The event should be opened up and become increasingly attractive for amateur and newcomers."
 
The date of the new Zugerberg Classic still has to be determined. "So far, it’s always been on the first Sunday in May, but, in 2019, that would be the day after the Lucerne City Run and the same day as Red Bull Wings for Live, which also takes place in Zug." But it’s clear that, as previously, the event should take place in the spring.
 
Whether a bike course will to be offered is currently unclear. "Ultimately, it's about the cost-benefit ratio of the category offer," says Grüter. The outlay for the previous bike race was much greater than for the foot race, and not only because the bike track was about four times longer than the running track. "You would also need more helpers to man the checkpoints. And fewer permits would have to be obtained without the bike race.”