Marathon #6 : Berlin Marathon 2010
26th September 2010, Berlin, Germany
Finish Time = 4:09:30
My friend Sandra wanted to run her first marathon in her home city of Berlin and asked me if I’d like to run it too. Of course! We had run together a lot in other events (10K & half-marathons) and we always had fun running together, even though Sandra would always try to out-sprint me at the end after we’d run a whole race together. She would usually succeed too. You can’t beat German competitiveness 🙂
What I hadn’t anticipated was that by the time the Berlin Marathon came around I would be working on a project in the US. I flew back to the UK on an overnight flight landing on the Friday, went home to throw a bag together and then we flew out to Germany the same day. My sleep patterns were a mess and I was exhausted! Not the best way to start a marathon weekend. When we arrived in Berlin we were met by Sandra’s friend Lars, who we were staying with along with his wife Christiana, they had a house just outside of Berlin. On Saturday we went to the expo to pick up our packets and did some sightseeing including visiting the Berlin wall.
In the afternoon is started raining heavily, which cut our sightseeing short and we took refuge inside the nearest cafe. In the evening we had a dinner party at Lars and Christiana’s with some others too. They prepared a huge amount of food, which was cooked with hot plates. It was a kind of grill device where you make up little trays of food and then put them into the hot plate area to cook. You could then also fry meats on the top of it. It was very tasty.
When we woke up in the morning it was still raining. We made our way to the start by train and unfortunately the weather wasn’t getting much better. Most people seemed to just be using bushes for their pre-run toilet break so I also obliged. No sooner had I started when a female came right up next to me, pulled her shorts down and squatted next to me for a wee too. Everyone was doing it. The Germans definitely weren’t shy.
We started the race and it was still raining, in fact it never really stopped and rained the entire time for 26.2 miles. Still, we were determined not to let it ruin our fun and we ran through it laughing and joking.
Sandra and I ran together up to around 20 miles, then I started to fall off the pace. I desperately wanted to keep up with her as we were on target for a sub 4, which I really wanted to try to achieve again, but I just couldn’t. Gradually she got further ahead and I lost sight of her.
I pushed on and eventually crossed the line in 4:09 (clock time was 4:22 due to our start zone taking 13 mins to cross the start after the race began):
I met up with Sandra who had finished in 3:57. I was really happy for her and wished I could have kept up. Her determination through the last 6 miles not to stop to walk and to just push on was fantastic. It would have been nice to have had better weather but I still had a great time and was glad I ran the event, completing another World Marathon Major. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity of doing a marathon in a foreign country with a friend who spoke the native language and could work out all the logistics too. That evening we went to dinner with a big group of Sandra’s friends and enjoyed some good German food (and drink!).
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