|Minimarathon, Unter den Linden|
The starting area is packed. Tousands of people running around in plastic covers in a desperate effort to prevent the rain from doing harm as ment to. As I navigate through the crowd to localise my particular starting field I sense a growing excitement and I wonder how on earth all these people are going to get mowing in a way that allows all runners to have an honest possibility to perform at his/her best. Loud music alternates screaming from the loudspeakers situated on both sides of the starting area-which is huge. Tens of thousands of people lined up in a massive manifestation of hopes, dreams, fears and courrage.
Suddenly were on our way, or should be, the people in front of me are only moving sligthly, working their way towards the starting line. Right after starting I find myself navigating between slow-going runners, queing up in line whenever the course turns and experiencing irritation, disbelief and some rage on my on behalf as the race takes me through the first 5-10 km. It's impossible to establish a steady pace. I take advantage of every free pavement, street-stone and try to run continually on each of the sides of the road. Somehow I think that gives less hindrance. This isn't the way it was going to be. I was supposed to feel energetic and have a good run on a very levelled course. Funny as it may be I feel very energetic. I need on several occasions at this part of the race to tell me self to slow down. After working on my self for a while I establish a steady pace as planned and passes each 5 km within one minutes of my scheduled passing time. On 10 km I'm feeling a familiar pain in my butt. I thought I'd taken care of that last week, but it returns to accompany me in this race as well.
A though call, but in a way I manage to enter a sort of running zone, enabling myself to focus on my working tasks and slowly but decisive make my way through each km that's facing me and a steady, enduring pain.
Circus Berlin Marathon. A course crowded with spectators awaiting to se their particular woman or man or just every other runner taking part in fullfilling their own dream of some time, at some distant point of time, to run a marathon in person. The crowd cheering not the participants, but artists in a circus orchestrated by the arranger.
|Rollerbladeskaters-approaching the finish|
After just over 5 minutes I'm on my way again. Relieved-not to loose over 5 minutes, but to had it over with. I suspected that this was going to happen. That was a serious blow to my scheduled finish time, but I can consentrate on my other target, which is a new PB. It's very hard to regain pace after this incident, but I soon establish a steady pace and contiune toward the finish line.
A growing number of my fellow participants is starting to walk, stretch and show every sign of an accumulating load of strain-and giving in to the little voice in the head to back off. In moments like this it pays dividends to have a strategy for the race ready and implemented in advance-like I have. My thoughts know then is to endure the pain and keep a steady pace. In addition I can clearly see the need to supplement my energy-supplies. Taking walking breaks at a few supply stations to supply with energy drink, bananas and water, I loose some more minutes. With less than 10 km left I decide to make do with what I've stocked up with on my two stops and force myself towards the finish line. My focus now is how many km it is to the finish line and available minutes left in order to finish at a new PB. Relieved to pass Kurfurstendam I know it's just a bit over 7 km left. Potdsdamer Platz is another welcoming landmark and when I turn left to finally run on Unter den Linden towards Brandenburger Tor I try to squeese what's left of energy left in my body. My pace increase sligthly, the pain a lot. I'm not sure about my finish time before I run under the solid collumns of Brandeburger Tor. Able to se the finish line a couple of hundred metres further on I miraculosly manage to speed up slightly. Running now is very painful, but I don't seem to mind anymore. Crossing the finish line at new PB I'm done-real done-will triumphing over body. Apparently my condition is visble to others as well as a representative from the arranger approach me and wonders wether everything is in order. I confirm that it is, but he doesn't seem utterly convinced. After a few minutes catching my breath, I start to walk-or rather, try to walk. Funny, a few minutes ago I was running at fast pace and now I can barely walk. Butt and the back of my thighs are cooperating in an effort to make walking as difficult as possible. After a short while and some welcoming intake of energy, I'm done for now.
What I will remember most from this marathon-event was the pure joy exhibited by the childrens as they were about to finish their mini-marathon the day before the race, the determination of the wheel-chair competitors starting off a few minutes before the runners on race-day and the finish of the roller-blade competitors as they headed down Unter den Linden towards the finish line.
Again to establish a strategy in advance worked wonders all the way through the race when it comes to consentrating on executing the working tasks necessary to keep a steady pace. I needed to supply with energy from supply stations along the course. The reason for that was partly that what I brought along wasn't sufficient and partly that I didn't ate enough in advance. I need to improve on both points. Secondly I need a new solution when it comes to energy-intake during the race. Using supply stations is out of the question for many reasons. To time consuming, uncertainty when it comes to what kind of energy is available.
Thirdly, I clearly need to work on the strength in my core. It's preventing sufficient executing of technique-especially in the last third of the race. That's something to work serious on my strength training during the winter that lies ahead of me. Fourth I sense the benefit from working on the mental part. It kept me in the race untill I was through with it. My aim though is to keep a steady pace throughout all the race. With a positive split of 11 minutes I have something to work on. Fifth, Berlin Marathon is a circus-it's not a race in which you run to head for a PB. If you wanna have fun, go ahead and race, but don't expect anything more than that. It's unlikely that I'll participate in it again.
The GARMIN-logfile can be found here:
The results from the race can be found here:
Pictures from the race can be found here: