Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Berliner Halbmarathon

I did it! On March 29th, 2015, I ran the Berliner Halbmarathon and I have to say, this is one of the coolest things I have ever done! I can't explain what it was like to run among 30,000 people through my favourite city in the world.

For big marathons, they host "expos," which are basically like a big convention where you go pick up your bib number and race kit, where you can buy your shirt and also where tons of sports equipment stores and brands, like Adidas (the event sponsor), come and sell their gear. (I definitely spent way too much money that day...). This expo was held in the old airport in Berlin called Templehof. Instead of tearing it down, they kept it and transformed it into a public space/convention centre. All the signs are still there, so it's a really interesting place to hang out in.

The morning of the half-marathon, my mom and I got ready and headed out. It was easy to find our way to the event area, since there were people in tights and bright running gear everywhere! The entire street was closed for the event: there were TONS of moving trucks where we could store our clothes, there was even a beer vendor and pretzel stands near the start line.

At the starting area, my mom and I were in Startblock F, the last one. Usually the runners in A are the ones trying to break records, and the slower in the back. Since we weren't trying to break the speed of light, we registered for the back. The craziest part is that after the first gunshot, it took is 45 minutes to reach the actual start line. It takes time to get that many people through the start line, but I definitely did not think it would take that long!

Finally, we started. I lost my mom right away and continued on ahead with a smile on my face the entire time. There's even a picture of me somewhere on the internet (which I can't afford to buy) of me looking up at a building mid-stride. That was the entire race; running, weaving in and out of this traffic of people and sight-seeing. A lot of runners, like myself, would take pictures as we ran!

In the end, I had to walk most of the last 5 or 6 kilometres, because my legs were just so exhausted. Granted, I had been walking more than ever because I was being a tourist for the week before, so I had every excuse to be exhausted. I finished the race with the craziest sprint I've ever done: I felt like I was flying, and crossed the finish line! I got my medal, a banana and a beer (non-alcoholic, but still a beer) at the finish line, which I thought was hilarious.

My time was 2 hours 19 minutes and 25 seconds, which is 11 minutes better than my goal, so I am really proud of myself! It makes me want to run a million more half-marathons. I am so thankful for this amazing experience!

I wanna do it again!

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