Thursday, September 29, 2011

So how was it really? Berlin Marathon

4 days after the marathon, you properly have already known:
1) Paula Radcliffe has her qualified time for the London Olympic 2012 by 2 hours and 23 minutes
2) World record has broken by Patrick Makau, the fastest man in the world (the news said)
3) MaySze has done hers just ok. 

But how was it really running 42.195km (26. 2 miles)? 
The weather on the D-day was beautiful.  Sunny and actually slightly warmer for a runner like me.  There were over 34,000 people running the race.  It is one of the largest marathons in the world.  Berliners were excited about the race.  Families and friends of the runners were along the course and cheering their loved ones.  Kids were giving you their little hands for the 'high 5' (how can you resist them?). There were a lot of hugs, kisses and photo taking along the course.  Therefore, as you can imagine, there were crowds and music almost in the whole entire course, the whole 42 km. Atmosphere was truly great.  

Berlin marathon is one of the world marathons, ie an international marathon.  There were different people from different countries.  During the race, I have met 7 Aussie.  It was so good to see some runners from Down Under, we did cheer each other on during the race (it helped, for me). Japanese and Korean also had their representatives as well.  There were some small Japanese and Korean women running the race... they were so cute.  For some reasons, there were many Danish there; so as their followers. (Do you know why, Alice?)  Of course, at the end, Germans were just filling up the course.
Running to the finishing line.
 Brandenburger Tor is behind us!

As you also know that by now, Berlin race is the fastest course for the marathon as it is very flat. It is not only flat but actually quite a wide course as well.  We have not encountered any situation that we need to slow down the pace or even stop during to narrow paths or roads.  Even though there were many people walking towards the end of the course, you still can found some rooms to run!

The organisation looked after the runners quite good.  Water stations almost in every 2-3 miles; special refreshment station almost in every 5 miles, where you actually can put your very own special hydration drinks at those refreshment station (It was my first time to know about that too).  In those stations, you also found iced tea (yes! iced tea) and bananas in some stations. Basically, if you are not a fussy eater, you really don't need to carry anything for the race.

As for me, after 4 days of the race, I have finally accepted my gutted result.  On the positive note, the race actually helps to plan better for my final marathon training. (yeah.. one more to go!).  I did learn what work for me, what not.  The most important thing is that, my fire and enjoyment of running has re-flamed and probably burnt even brighter.  Even though the time was not what I hoped for, but I know that I will come back and do better.  So, I'm back to running (I did a 5 mile run this morning). I will start to re-plan my training schedule for my last marathon in 2 months time.    

Apart from marathon, there was also inline skating and power wall in this marathon.  These were my first time to learn about these two events in marathon length.  But in my hostel, I was actually sharing a room with a German family, which Dad did marathon, son mini-marathon (shorter run for kids under 10), and the daughter did the marathon length of inline skating.  She told me that it's very common in Germany.  She finished in 2 hour and 30 hours, but experts, like the winner of the game, finished the course in 1 hour 14 mins.  Pretty fast! That got me wanting to try skating as well. 

Anyway... this marathon is in my history book.  Must to better for my next and last race.
The medal and the finisher t-shirt (costs me 25 euro dollars!)

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