Wed, 01 Oct 2008

Berlin Marathon 2008

Last Sunday was the 35th Berlin Marathon. I had flown over to Berlin on Thursday after work, and had Friday and Saturday to 'chill'. The weather was already pretty nice before the race, and truly gorgeous on Sunday: sunny yet not too warm, blue skies, no wind. As has been widely reported, Haile Gebrselassie set a new world record breaking his own mark set the year before and becoming the first man to finish under two hours and four minutes. Truly impressive.

My race was pretty good too. I shaved over four and a half minutes off my own personal record (which was set in early 2006 at Sunburst) and finished in 3:13:09. That's a pace of 7:22 min/mile (or 4:35 min/km) which I am rather happy with. I held a fairly steady pace of under 7:30 almost all the way but but had to fight off the onset of cramps with some short walks about less than two miles to go.

Coming back in Berlin after all those years is always a charm. The city has obviously changed a lot in some very visible areas. Yet it still recalls the Berlin of those years. The course was really nice, covering numerous neighbourhoods and starting and ending in Tiergarten.

Lastly, it was also good to see old friends who have now been there since the mid- to late 1980s. And I managed to pack a quick visit to my parents in as they are just a good 80 minute ICE train ride away. All in all a very nice trip even though the travel from Chicago (without a direct flight!) is a bit of a hike.

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