|One of the best words in|
the German language.
My training was non-existent. My farthest distance in the run up to Berlin was a 16 miler I did before leaving for the States. Sure we did some hiking and some kayaking-- but not sure I consider that training. I rolled into Berlin with a sense of apprehension that I would not do well at all.
Luckily there were quite a few people in Berlin for the same purpose (to run) - so it was great to catch up and chat to quiet the pre-marathon nerves. Also-- carb loading is better with friends :D
Did you know the day before the race they have a roller-blading/inline skating race that also follows the marathon route? I didn't. It's pretty interesting to watch so I recommend if you happen to be around.
Like Honolulu- I went sans headphones. I have really gotten used to longer distances without them and I find it much better for dialing in and not letting my pace be dictated by BPM (which can be good and bad). However, I did bring a pair in case I needed something to 'take my mind off the pain'.
I also decided to try and go for 10 minute mile pacing. It seemed like a good number to shoot for based on previous runs and would still put me in for sub 5 hr marathon time. I wanted to manage my expectations. Going into a marathon with not a lot of training can be... soul and body crushing.
The race support was awesome. The dreaded aid stations that I have heard so much about seemed to go very smoothly with no queueing. The efficiency you would come to expect from Germany.
|This guy was a pro with |
his Schwamm (sponge)
Does anyone else get choked up when they are running on a road that has so much history? I do. All. The. Time. I should start carrying tissues running in London. Turning onto Unter den Linden and seeing the Brandenburg Gate did it for me. It was built between 1788 and 1791 (that's pretty old). Napoleon took the Quadriga from the Tor after he rode into Berlin in 1806. The Tor survived (mostly) the WWII bombings and was one of the few structures to survive in Pariser Platz. It became a symbol of the oppression in Communist East Berlin and ultimately reunification when the Berlin Wall fell.
|One happy, hungry finisher!|
I finished in 4hrs30minutes38seconds.
Do I wish I went faster? Sure who doesn't? But for me it was still a PB and given my terrible training I was very happy.
I passed on the poncho-- it looked not very stylish and anyways I had no room in my luggage for it. I quickly found Mr. Moose and I donned a sweatshirt which did the trick.
Do I recommend Berlin Marathon? Absolutely. I recommend Berlin in general though, it is such a cool city, constantly reinventing itself while still keeping true to its (sometimes sordid) history.
Area Where I Stayed: Moabit. Very easy to get to from TXL on the bus route and near S-Bahn. Also we walked to/from the race (~20-30 minute stroll along the Spree)
Where We Carb-Loaded: 12 Apostles. A damn good pizza/pasta place with two locations in town.
Best Thing About the Expo: Getting your bib/chip. Again, ruthlessly efficient.
Worst Thing About the Expo: Merchandise. We got there on Saturday morning and a lot of stuff was gone.
Loo Waiting Time: About 25 minutes. And there was no toilet paper left by the time I got there :(
Where We Went Post-Race: Zollpackhof. Huge beer hall with tons of outdoor seating along the Spree. The beer is Augustiner. Traditional German food. Great alternative to the Augustiner Bier Halle (which is smaller and farther from the finish)
What We Did When Not Running: Stasi Museum. Bit of debby-downer but golly I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. If Cold War History interests you highly recommend.
Shoes Worn: Hoka One One Gaviota's
|The Spree on the hobble back to Moabit-ausgezeichnet ^_^|