No, this isn't a typo. Samsun is a city in Turkey that will host the 2017 Summer Deaflympics. Analogous to the Olympics and Paralympics, the Deaflympics are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter games. The location and time of the Deaflympics is however independent of its better-known siblings.

I hope to participate in the Marathon event at the 2017 games. Now, with only a few competitors in most events, the Deaflympics aren't a terribly huge event, so the qualifying standards are comparatively low and can be achieved by hobby athletes. That being said, the standards are still high enough to require serious dedication and persistence. The official Deaflympics website currently lists the qualifying time for the Men's Marathon at 3:15:00, to be achieved from 1 January 2015 till closing date. National bodies may however have their own standards to join their team. For example, for the 2013 summer games, USA Deaf Track & Field set their A and B Standards to 2:43:28 and 3:04:25, respectively. My current Marathon PR is 3:10:11 and I do not seem to have peaked yet, so I'm fairly optimistic that I can qualify for Samsun during the next two years. Below is a diagram of all my Marathon race times versus the official Deaflympics 2017 qualifying standard (DLQ) and the Boston Marathon 2015 qualifying time (BQ) for my age group. For comparison, the current Men's world record (WR) is also displayed.

This leaves the organizational aspects. Obtaining an audiogram as proof of my hearing impairment will be easy enough. A bigger question is how to qualify for my national team, considering that I'm not a member of any track & field club. My first port of call will be the DGS, the Deutscher Gehörlosen-Sportverband (German sports organization for the deaf), who should at the very least be able to give me some pointers. Curiously enough, according to the official Deaflympics website, there hasn't been a single German participant in the marathon event for the past few games. Hopefully, this is simply due to a lack of interest, and not because of some formal requirements. Either way, I'll probably have to register with a local sports club for the deaf, in order to become eligible for the national team. This is going to be an exciting journey!

Personal Records