Berlin Marathon 2010admin | Monday, April 11th, 2011 | No Comments »
I arrived in Berlin in the afternoon on Thursday 23rd September at Tegel airport. It was warm and sunny a real Indian Summer had taken hold of the city. I had never been to Berlin before and always had this idea that it would be Eastern Block gray and dismal, but I was very pleasently surprised, waht a wonderfull city. Started of by having an ice cold weis beer with my Berlin friends in a typical Berlin Beer Garden.
The next day is spend walking round this historic place with my good friend and Berlinerin Svitlana. The temperature was now in the 20-24 Celsius, absolutely fantastic. seeing Berlin for the first time was for me a very big experience and also very different. I have been to many different places in Germany before, in the north, south and west, but it was nothing like what met me in Berlin. To me the city has a grandeur comparable to cities like Rome, Madrid and Paris. Well after a couple of hours taking in the sights it was time to go get my race number at the Expo at the old Tempelhof airport, now a convention center. Expos are Expos, but this one is by far the biggest I have seen so far, even bigger than the one in New York.
Hung out on the old runway in the sun for a while and had a Erdinger alcohol free beer, it actually tasted really good …. something I would experience again later on. Saturday came and with it a major change in the weather, the temperature dropped to 10 C and i started to rain. Unfortunately the weather would stay like this all through Sunday to. Saturday evening i loaded up with a pizza and a couple of beers a the local pizza restaurant and went to bed early. Race day, I got up really early at around 5 and started have break fast, muesli and bananas and some energy drinks, plus a couple of big buckets of coffee ….. I have to admit that i haven’t really nailed this part of a marathon yet; the pre race eating and drinking part, but I guess I will get better at it along the way. Left the Berlin suburb Westend to go by S-bahn to the Main train station. It was a 800m walk from Svitlanas place, where i stayed, to the station, while waiting for the train I was checking all my gear in my race bag and to my horror I had forgotten the timing chip. I handed my bag to Svitlana grabbed the keys for the apartment and raced the 2 x 800 meters at a brisk pace to retrieve the chip, and I made it in time to catch the train we planned to take. Great warm up.
The next part you might wanna skip if you are soft skinned. I will try to keep i short. All I can tell you is that 2 big cups of coffee in combination with a 1600m semi sprint does something to your system. So when we got to the bran new main train station there were certain needs that i REALLY needed to see to. I can tell you that this station only has on centrally located toilet and it is not really capable of handling 30,000 + people’s needs all at once …… At this point my desperation had turned in to sheer panic. Normally I respect ques and never cut in front, but this time I did not care. I stared straight ahead of me and just walked past the 200 people standing in line …… well it all turned out great
15 min to race start and the temperature was about 8 C and now it started to rain. It was pretty cold waiting for the start, and actually getting in to the starting area turned out to be rather difficult, people everywhere. Finally the gun went of and we were of. I decided to take it easy for the first 5K to warm up and then settle in at my avg. speed from 5K. It worked well and there was plenty of space to set you own speed. After a while I didn’t even notice the rain anymore and I just settled in my own groove and rhythm just above 5:00 per km. The only thing that turned out to be an issue was the puddles forming in the road, I did all I could to avoid these cos I didn’t wanna soak my Vibrams to early in the race.
My race strategy was to run what some people call a “10-10-10″ strategy. This stands for 10 miles, 10 miles and 10K which adds up to 42K. I wanted to run the first 10 miles a my avg. marathon pace, then for the next 10 miles I would try and up the pace a bit and then for the last 10K just give whatever I had left. After the first 10 miles/16K I upped the pace a bit, but ended up struggling for the next 16K to hold this increased speed and I would constantly slip down and run at a slower pace for a while until I noticed and then sped up again. This elevator running drained my energy so when I hit the 30/32 K mark I was starting to slow down, but I still had the power to push my self to hold a decent pace. When we hit Under Den Linden I was getting ready to finish the last 300 meters of the race at a sprint, so after passing the Brandenburger Tor I took of and finished the race in style. Right after the finish there where mobile bar lined up where you could get and ice cold Erdinger Alcohol Frei, some might think, who wants a beer right after a race, but between you and me this was one of the best tasting beers I have had in a long time.
Berlin was my 5th marathon and my fastest so far, my time was 03:46:50 and it was the best race I have had so far perfectly executed. I gave my self a big Indian dinner and a couple of ice cold beers to celebrate. Next race would be Calvia Marathon in Mallorca, but that is a different story.