KION Group Auditor Julian Fluegel

Beyond limits

Julian Fluegel is both a professional and a sports athlete of the highest order. The fastest German in the Hamburg Marathon works as an auditor for the KION Group.

Julian Fluegel reaches the finishing line, surrounded by motorbikes. Wherever you look, cameras are at hand to broadcast the successful debut of this 28-year-old marathon runner who was the first German to complete the course in Hamburg in just 2:15:39. But anyone who's as quick off the mark as him will take little time to move on to new challenges. Julian Fluegel is now setting his sights on the Olympic Games in 2016. "I'm still going to have to speed up a bit in order to qualify," he said. "But if I can avoid getting injured I'll always have a small chance which I want to make the most of."

This means plenty of intensive training: each week his total distance comfortably adds up to 150 kilometres. Between races, he has completed his studies, finished his internship at the KION Group in the Internal Audit department and in 2012 he wrote his master's dissertation, also at KION in Wiesbaden.

Julian Fluegel agreed on a 30-hour week

Since 2013, he has worked as an Auditor, "a predominantly sedentary role," Fluegel points out. He agreed on a 30-hour week and benefits from the KION Group's flexitime regulations. Of course, he carries his running shoes everywhere with him, along with his laptop. "I am very happy to be able to combine my career and my sport so well at KION," he said happily. Julian Fluegel very much enjoys getting to know different processes and people in different countries and at all the brands. "We don't just inspect and analyse, we also make proposals for improvements and give useful tips and suggestions,“ explains the Auditor.

First appearance in national colours

Julian Fluegel has been active for as long as he can remember. He played football, tennis and table tennis. At age 16, he discovered his passion for pure running. After just one year, he took part in the Hesse state youth championships, after three years he was among the best in his age group.

Four years ago, he joined LG Telis Finanz Regensburg, the most successful German athletics club. Here, he receives individual training plans, which differ from day to day and week to week, spiced up with interval running and hard speed sessions. Approximately every other day, he discusses his form and progress with his coach. Several times a year, he travels to training camps in Portugal, Italy or the Netherlands with his team-mates from Regensburg.

This training pays off. In 2011, he appeared on the podium three times at the German National Championships, finishing second and third over different distances. "I represented the national team at the European cross-country championships in Slovenia in 2011 and in Serbia in 2013,“ says Fluegel proudly: "Just to take part was a great success for me." He last came 44th in this race out of over 100 runners from around 30 different countries. Despite not being happy with this result, he notes that it was partly due to the fact he had been ill and unable to train properly.

Focus on longer distances

At the 2013 German Athletics Championships in Ulm Julian Fluegel would have loved to claim a podium finish in the 5000 metres, but he narrowly missed out on third spot with a fifth-place finish. For him, such events almost feel like training exercises. “For the short distance I am lacking a bit of basic speed." He therefore focuses on longer distances and shows off his strengths there. One example was the half marathon in 2014 which was held around four weeks before the Hamburg Marathon and which he completed in 1:05:48, a time that earned him second place.

Over the next few weeks Julian Fluegel will be taking a break from races. But this won't be a holiday break; in fact, he wants to prepare for his next big objective – the Frankfurt Marathon in October 2014. Since this course has fewer climbs than the one in Hamburg, he is expecting to improve his time somewhat. Perhaps the motorbike-mounted cameramen will then get to film him qualifying for the Olympic Marathon.