Austria's biggest sporting event took place over the weekend of 12 and 13 April, with over 40,000 runners from 110 nations contesting the Vienna City Marathon. Helping athletes from all over the world enjoy VCM 2014 was a fleet of 10 BMW C evolution e-scooters, used in a variety of roles by the organisers.
The 42.195 kilometre race through the picturesque Austrian capital attracts many of the world's elite runners who compete alongside thousands of amateur 'fun-runners' who are raising money for chosen charities or attempting to challenge themselves to go the race distance. With so many entrants, the starting field is comparable to the great marathons of New York and London, and needs careful marshalling by the race organisers.
For this year's race, a fleet of 10 C evolution e-scooters was provided by BMW Motorrad Austria to help the race director and his colleagues provide a safe, entertaining event for all competitors, a quarter of a million spectators lining the course and the many millions watching the action unfold on TV and online.
Six of the 10 all-electric maxi-scooters were used to ride several hundred metres in front of the elite athletes leading the field, in order to make sure the course is clear of spectators. A further two C evolutions were used to ride right beside the leading runners – one with a camera operator on the back filming the action, and the other carrying the race director.
In addition, a static display C evolution was on show in the exhibition tent used as a registration area for all 40,000 participants, and another was displayed after the finishing line. For BMW Motorrad Austria's Christoph Slawik, the Vienna City Marathon was the perfect opportunity to put this innovative e-scooter in the perfect urban environment in front of millions of active, sporting-minded people.
“The VCM has been held annually since 1984 and gets bigger every year,” he said. “With the imminent customer launch of this sustainable, zero-emissions electric scooter, we did not want to miss the opportunity to show it in its natural setting, gliding through the city centre with ease, carrying passengers comfortably and pollution free. As well as the e-scooters being the perfect machines for the race director and colleagues to control the race, close road junctions and manage spectators ahead on the course, our car colleagues also provided an electric BMW i3 as a lead pace car showing the marathon timing.”