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Berlin Marathon - Run

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70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 45m 27s
Overall Rank = 5832/6366
Age Group = F40
Age Group Rank = 974/1058
Pre-race routine:

*Overall is female only*. The final numbers aren't out yet, but I am curious to see the number of finishers. There were 24,9xx people registered, which is almost 20,000 fewer than in 2019!
  • 5h 45m 27s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 11s  min/mile

We traveled to Germany several days before the race because I wanted time to acclimate. This wasn't worth doing, because I never really did. I would have rather saved the PTO days and stayed longer or saved them for another trip. Oh well. I went into the race feeling NOT sprightly or prepared.

As the race got closer the weather forecast became worse and worse. Normally the weather is 60s and overcast. And that was, in fact, the weather nearly every other day. Except marathon day, of course!

My race would start at 10:30 so I left the AirBnb at 8, giving myself a good hour for transit (unnecessary) and enough time before the race to use the potty and chillax. This was WAY too early and I was ready and waiting in the corral by 9:30. I connected with the 5 hour pace group and finally headed off. The pace felt a bit too hard most of the time. It should have felt too easy, so I knew I was in trouble.

The course itself was SO BORING. Just lots of wide streets between apartment buildings, shops, etc. Ok crowds most of the way and the water stops were fine. I had my own gels and just used the water to top my bottle, plus I carried baggie of a european brand of electrolyte tablets. I also had a few bananas along the way. I do not think they had any sports drinks or gels aside from one or two stops. That would have been really bad... I also put a cup of water on my head every stop. This helped a lot!

About halfway (2:30ish for my half split) I started to feel like this was going REALLY bad. I went to a potty and spent too much time in there. I did this a couple more times, even though I didn't need to go as bad as I felt. After this was a series of walks and very slow jogs. Around 20 my left toe nail started to hurt, so I tried to adjust my sock. I think it was just banging the nail and I will find out for sure later! Also several parts of my butt and legs hurt, despite TWO aleves. Oy. The whole thing dragged me down to an extremly slow second half - 3:15ish. Yikes. After I had abandoned sub-5, I thought 5:15 for sure and told this to Bob. I wish! I lost at least 10 minutes in the potties plus SO.MUCH.SLOGGING.

I did see a lot of folks getting pulled, passing out or groggy on the sidelines. Lots of incredible cramps and one woman who yelled that she couldn't feel her legs. So, obviously it was a tough day. Bob said he saw ambulances coming and going all day. He rode along to several points on the course.

Around mile 24.5 we got back to the city center and the neat buildings, plus slightly bigger crowds - although being in the back it was still sparse. After you run through the Brandenburg Gate there is another 100 yards or so (?) of running to the finish line. It seems so cruel! I felt a lot less dead compared to marathons 1 and 2, so that's good I guess. I finished around 4:00. I am not a fan of the late race.

Split Time Of Day Time Diff min/km km/h
5 km 11:13:23 00:34:50 34:50 06:58 8.61
10 km 11:48:32 01:09:59 35:09 07:02 8.53
15 km 12:25:14 01:46:42 36:43 07:21 8.17
20 km 13:00:55 02:22:23 35:41 07:09 8.41
Half 13:09:13 02:30:40 08:17 07:33 7.94
25 km 13:40:42 03:02:09 31:29 08:05 7.44
30 km 14:27:06 03:48:34 46:25 09:17 6.46
35 km 15:16:30 04:37:58 49:24 09:53 6.07
40 km 16:04:37 05:26:05 48:07 09:38 6.23
Finish 16:24:00 05:45:27 19:22 08:50 6.80
What would you do differently?:

Stop signing up for marathon lotteries. Appropriately adjust my expectations for a travel marathon.
Post race
Warm down:

I picked up my bag of food and my fancy poncho, which was totally unnecessary due to the sun and 75 degrees temp! Hello, whatever. I should have checked a bag because they had SHOWERS!!! WTF? I did change clothes in a gross porta-potty, since Bob brought a little bag for me. We then walked around looking for dinner and eventually decided to go back to our 'hood, which has a ton of places to eat. The walking and transit journey was so stupid and grueling.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I am going to focus on bright spots this time- enough negativity:

1. Saw my friend around mile 2. I knew she was there, and we would meet later, but cannot believe she found me on the course!
2. Bob is great, as always.
3. I love my new Finisher shirt - fit is perfect and I love wearing it.
4. Being able to talk to lots of folks in the days after who all confirmed my feelings on the event.
5. Excellent reason for a trip and a great story.

Event comments:

Super well organized. Not very interesting course. I wouldn't recommend it for a great time, but if you're enamored by the idea (I was) then go for it.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2020-12-28 12:00 AM
05:45:27 | 26.2 miles | 13m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 974/1058
Overall: 5832/6366
Performance: Below average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2021-10-04 1:46 PM

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, Minnesota
Subject: Berlin Marathon

2021-10-04 2:15 PM
in reply to: #5278305

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Subject: RE: Berlin Marathon

Sorry to hear the day just wasn't a good day for you - but as always, any day you finish a marathon is a good day! Definitely wear the shirt with pride! 

2021-10-05 7:02 AM
in reply to: #5278305

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Extreme Veteran
San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Berlin Marathon
Congrats on the finish. Despite not making your time goal, you finished and what a cool race to brag about. Enjoy wearing that finisher shirt!!!
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