It’s been 2 weeks since I ran the Berlin Marathon, which was followed by me being a tourist in Europe that led to this review taking a back seat.
On the 20th of September, I boarded the Emirates flight to Munich with a 3-hour layover in Dubai. I think that the running Gods were on my side as I had all the 3 seats to myself so I could actually sleep (yay) on the flight. I arrived in Munich at 08:30 and had to chill at the airport for 6-hours before boarding Air Berlin to Berlin Airport. I safely arrived at my Berlin Hotel around 5pm. I checked in, messaged my family and friends that I was safe, showered and passed out.
The morning of 21st, I toured the city of Berlin and taking in beautiful architecture and feeling of the mixed cultures that now make the beautiful city what it is. In the afternoon, I went to the Berlin Vital Expo to collect my race number, tracker and wristband for access on race day. The Expo was filled with different brands showcasing their products from running accessories to running fuel. Races from other countries were also there to convince runners to travel to their races, there was an opportunity to purchase Berlin Marathon memorabilia because that is important. I spent Saturday in bed and off my feet, the breakfast run took place but I was too tired and decided to listen to my body and rest.
I was filled with excitement and nervous on race day. The day I have been training for months was suddenly here. It was raining which meant it was the nice and cool weather but I chafe easily when wet so I was not happy. Hopped on a train to the start area, arrived 3 hours early, I walked around and started to warm up. Met and had a chat with some of the wonderful international runners and took some pictures. When the gun went off, singling the start of my block, I started off slowly, the first 10km was relaxed and slow. I picked up my pace slightly for the next 11km but still within race pace. Reached the halfway mark at 2h44, kept the same pace till the 30th km. I felt the wall and just focused on every 2km, fuelling with half a banana and energy drink every 5km, at 34km, I could feel my quads getting tight and sore, the hard thing about a flat course is that you use the same muscles throughout the 42km. The last 8km is where I lost most of my time, I had changed muscles by walking it out. The last 2 km was the hardest as per every marathon or race, I just left everything on the floor.
Finished the race 05h48, the overwhelming feeling of crossing the finish line while flying my country’s flag brought me to tears. Even more special was that the Berlin Marathon chose to honour marathoner Josia Thongwane by placing him on the medal, he won Gold at the 1996 Olympics.
One of the most important things after running a marathon is to reflect on how you performed and see where you need to improve for the next marathon. After this race, I need to work on:
- Speed when on tired legs to assist with pushing in the last 6 – 8 km
- Continue with strength training, focus slightly more on the core
The Berlin Marathon experience is everything and more, amazing athletes, great organisation and great supporters on race day. Thank you to everyone that supported me through the months of training and on the day via technology.
The next step is to get into another Abbotts World Marathon Major. Will keep you posted.
Time to slowly get back into running and go to the gym, it’s been a nice chilled 3 weeks.
See you on the road!!!!!