The Berlin Greatness

Running through the Brandenburger Tor for the finish is something you can’t get enough of. So I did Berlin the second time (after I had my first go in 2015). And worth mentioning: it was the 44th Berlin Marathon and also the 44th I was running. A sign? Coincidence? More likely the later, nevertheless, it’s a nice one. Something that couldn’t be said of the weather.

You felt eerily reminded of Peking Marathon events (I can only judge by pictures I have seen), but instead of smog it was only legit mucky weather. Unfortunately it was warmer than my preference, which made the whole thing more challenging than expected. Rain can have the welcomed side effect to cool you down, put this felt more muggy. At kilometre 30 my legs had enough of the sub 4:50 min/km pace. There was a lesson to learn from previous races where I forced them a few kilometres more, only to be defeated on the last stretch and being paid back so that I had to walk or hobble the last bits with the most spectator, missing out on the biggest fun. So I tried to be nice to my legs and negotiated a slower but not sluggish pace (to date I have not managed to produce any of these mind-over-matter superhuman stories, where I push through the pain and defeat my body). In return my legs where nice to me, did not cramp and even recovered towards the end and I had a blast running the last km, passing the Tor, stretching out my arms and doing a plane thingy, high-fiving many hands. It was again a moment of goosebumps and greatness. Thanks Berlin, all the spectators and helpers who showed up despite the moody skies. Again, you made the event very special. And inviting all runners, their friends and organisers to a great after party to celebrate the big and little stories was really nice. I am sure I will be back, if I am lucky enough to be drawn again.

10 thoughts on “The Berlin Greatness

  1. Herr Bruhn,

    Great effort yet again and glückwünsche. Indeed, the majesty and greatness of Berlin. I was there too. What a spectacle. What a weekend. Hopefully, I will return again.

    Keep going for Bruhn50.


    • Hey Vik! Did you run the marathon, too? Yes, Berlin is great. I will definitely return. Good to hear from you! Maybe i‘ll reach the 50 this year!! Still some races coming: Venice, Frankfurt, Athens, Dorset, …

      • Yes. Magnificent Berlin. An awe-inspiring event. Not the time I had hoped for but in the end, that does not matter.


        • Agree, I have an adversity against focussing too much on time and numbers. It’s the experience that counts. Have you planned to do another one yet?

          • Unbelievably, I won a place again for Berlin 2018 – so hopefully, I will be returning back there. Wow.

            In November, I drove to Florence and did the marathon there. Not a great time as I capitulated badly but I met some great people there willing us on – including running with an Italian towards the finishing line. My faith in humanity is restored 🙂

            In addition to Berlin Part II, I have a few more marathons in the pipeline for 2018. I will see how it goes in 2018 in terms of sensibility.

            Now with some experience of seventeen 10ks, six half marathons and two marathons in 2017 (three marathons altogether), I am going to slowly chip away at my personal best like a rusty tractor.

            Keep going !

          • Wow, that’s great! Did not sign-up for 2018. You “drove” to Florence?? Like driving by car? That sounds more challenging to me like running a marathon… I loved the Florence marathon, back in 2013 and I agree, the little stories of meeting great other runners on the way can be more memorable than doing good times. Which other marathons have you planned in 2018?

  2. Yes, it was a very very long car ride – but a nice one. On the way back, I stayed in the car near Mont Blanc. A most stunning view to behold. The Florence Marathon was truly beautiful – especially at the starting line and the finishing line. Fantastic support all round.

    I have Liverpool (May) and Berlin (September) lined up. I am thinking of doing Barcelona, Paris, Vienna, Hamburg and Amsterdam as well. Also, I am awaiting news on the Chicago ballot. I will apply New York but I think their timing qualifications are rather strict – like the Boston Marathon.

    Not a natural runner but I want to chip away slowing on improvement.

    • Chicago!? Really need to get this one going. Next ballot. Did New York have qualification time now? Booh! Wasn’t the case when I got a place in 2015… Might do Amsterdam again… Vienna is also on my list, but don’t think I can make it work this year. Have not really decided for this year, but got a place for Snowdonia in October, will do Helsinki in May and maybe a small Irish one in September…

  3. At some point, you might as well to aim to complete the Abbot Six World Marathon Majors. There is a special special ‘Six-Star’ Finishers medal as well. I saw one person wearing that medal before he went off for the Berlin Marathon After-Party.

    The ballot for New York opens next week so I will see if they can select snail runners.

    The iconic Great North Run is a lot of fun – but the most steep roads ever. 13.1 miles though but well worth it for the Red Arrows at the start of the race.

    Keep going.

    • Well, I am trying. Have not tried Chicago yet, but already have a failed attempt for Tokio and need to get faster for Boston. Noticed the Six-Star medal at the marathon expo last time I did London and thought it’s very worth trying…

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