BMW Berlin Marathon – September 2017

Report by Angela Parker

I woke up on the morning of the marathon before 6am and it was pouring with rain. The Friday and Saturday in Berlin had been lovely and warm days, not fair. By the time I had left the Hotel at 8am to make my way to the start at Tiergarten, it had eased to drizzle.

The start area was very well set up. I cannot fault it. There were three waves and I was in the third wave. Each wave was set by the expected time of finish and the third wave was for those finishing in 4:15 or later and all first time marathoners, regardless of time. So it was the largest wave. Third wave set off at 10am and it took me 6:47 minutes to cross the start line. The rain had stopped by now and it stayed dry for the whole of the marathon. By the way, a German TV cameraman was mingling amongst us to which I started waving and showing off the Union Jack on my shirt, so maybe I got on TV!

We headed West and the first monument was the Victory Column which we ran round making our way to Ernst-Reuterplatz. Here we turned North and curved round making our way to the East. We crossed over the River Spree twice in the space of half a kilometre. The bridges were the only inclines on this very flat course. We were in the borough of Mitte and headed South West to the half way mark in the borough of Kreuzenburg.

I had planned to run with the 4:30 pacer as I wanted this time. But at the start I could not get anywhere near her. So I did my own thing for the first 10K, when I saw her up front and caught up. From here I ran with her to the 30k mark. This is the last known point because somewhere between 18 and 23 miles I stopped at a water station and she disappeared up the road and I could not catch her again. The refreshment stations were water (in cups, yippee) and Multipower Iso drinks and gels.

I continued running and passed the 36k mark onto Kleiststrabe where I saw my parents and Elaine, near Nollendorfplatz. I was very happy, but starting to feel it. I kept going and went back over the River at 38k onto Leizigerstrabe near Potsdamerplatz. This was a long road and we were getting towards the end. Soon we were taking left turns, right turns – I longed to see the Gate, but it was not there. Finally took the last left turn and I could see the famous Brandenburger Tor (Gate). It was magnificent! I ran through the Erdinger sponsor and then through the gate, posing for the photographer on the other side. Another 400 meters and I was crossing the finish line in a time of 4:37:57, my fastest 26.2 to date!

39,109 runners from 137 nations finished and I came 6,523 overall (unbelievable, but that is what it says) and 1,040 in my age group (don’t know the overall total). My first half took 2:15:19 and the second half 2:22:39. I had consistent 31 – 33 minute 5k splits (with the exception of one of them at 36 mins) and an average pace of 10:37. The last 16 weeks of hard training had paid off.

This was the third of the Abbott World Marathon Majors done. One day I may do the others.