Eliška Fürst

Running together — training together

Eliska Fürst organizes the running teams representing the Max Delbrück Center in the 5 x 5 km TEAM relay in the Tiergarten in mid-May. The biologist loves running and, as she reveals in our “We at the MDC” series, wants to establish a running culture at the center.

It's five degrees Celsius outside, bitterly cold for the end of April. Nevertheless, Eliska Fürst wears a sleeveless summer top for the video call. “I get warm when I'm working, and I'm sure all the running plays a role in that,” says the young scientist. Since 2020, she has been researching the molecular interactions between small molecules and proteins in Dr. Ilaria Piazza's Allosteric Proteomics group at the Max Delbrück Center. She aims to find new interactions between the body’s own metabolic products and proteins in our cell nuclei that directly contribute to the regulation of gene expression.

Eliška Fürst

Eliska has recently taken on another task: she organizes Max Delbrück Center’s entries in the 5 x 5 km TEAM relay along with Dr Sandra Raimundo, a scientist at the Technology Platform “Advanced Light Microscopy” Last year's organizers Tanja Butzek and Dr Min-Chi Ku launched an appeal looking for people interested in stepping up as organizers. Eliska got in touch: “I like the idea of running together, and I had just attended a workshop on community building. The two ideas came together,” she says.

A successful sprinter as a role model

In the team relay, which takes place every spring over three consecutive days in Berlin's Tiergarten, ten teams of five people each compete for the Max Delbrück Center. Eliska says creating a sense of community is her focus, but she would still like to run her five kilometers “in under 21 minutes.” She got into the sport through her mother, a successful sprinter and her role model. Eliska was a track and field athlete as a child and returned to running in 2016, taking up longer-distance running. She has already run two marathons, and this year she has plans to run the Berlin Marathon and two half marathons. Two years ago, she took part in the relay race in Tiergarten for the first time. “I like community events like this. It was fun meeting new people,” says Eliska.

This year's MDC team relay participants

This year, participation fees for the relay race will once again be covered by the Friends of the Max Delbrück Center. T-shirts are also sponsored by the Max Delbrück Center and can be kept by participants afterward. Eliska wants to capture the momentum from the relay and channel it into setting up a running group at the Max Delbrück Center after the event. The idea is to train together before or after work. “In Prague, where I come from, we had a great running group,” she says. Eliska would like to establish two groups at the center, one for inexperienced runners who begin with shorter distances and one for more advanced runners and longer distances. “I live in Karow, and I know the most beautiful routes around Buch,” says Eliska. She herself runs six times a week. Perhaps soon, more often in company.

Text: Wiebke Peters

Further information

Max keeps on running

Berlin Team Relay