26 September 2006

The Berlin Marathon

I’ve got some posts coming up (as soon as I get the op to write them) that will make MamaDuck and Jin green with envy over the gardens and the historic buildings!

In the meantime, I’m going to share with you some images of the Berlin Marathon which was run last weekend.

With J’s house being so central, the marathon course runs within 2 minutes’ walk of her home, so it would have been silly not to take the opportunity to see some world class athletes in action.

The marathon proper is run on Sunday morning. On Saturday afternoon, the course gets its first taste of competition with 6,000 inline skaters racing over it.

Click on the images to enlarge them

On Sunday morning, the first to get off the starting line are the wheelchair racers, followed about 10 minutes later by the handbikes.

Shortly after, the runners are sent on their way.

We watched the start on TV and then walked up the road to watch the first runners approaching the 31km mark. A few of the handbikers were still going past, and then we could tell that the runners were nearing us by watching the helicopters which came ever closer, with TV crews hanging out of the open doors to record the action below them.

Here’s the eventual winner, Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie powering down the road. This man is a legend. Already with numerous 10,000m records and wins under his belt, he has recently switched to marathon running, and the Berlin Marathon was his 4th event. He eventually won in a very comfortable time. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to break the world record time due to a strong wind which put a dampener on his efforts, but he wasn’t far off – 1 min and 1 sec away from breaking it! He’ll do it the next time for sure.

After the first 10 runners passed by, we went back home to watch TV and saw Haile cross the finish line. Later, we went back to cheer some of the other 40,000 participants and immerse ourselves in the cheering and supportive crowds who were lining the street and making as much noise as possible in any which way that they could!

It was fun to watch some history being made.


trailingspouse said...

The only time I watched a marathon was when a friend decided to run the Toronto marathon just before he turned 40. Following him around (in the car) I was struck by just how long a marathon is. It's an amazing distance for anyone to run!

Wearing another hat (and pls excuse the plug), I help organize the Terry Fox Run in Dubai (definitely NOT a marathon). Terry Fox himself ran a marathon A DAY for 143 days straight - and this with an artificial leg! He was 21 years old at the time and, apart from having played sports at school, was not a serious athlete. An amazing story . . . I will post more about it on my blog nearer the time (January).

Jin said...

I'm gonna go stock up on the Prozac now, seeing as you intend torturing me with promised pics of lovely gardens............sniff................sob...............

Lovely post btw & as always, your photography captures the moment :-)

The Lady said...

Love the second picture of the runners in action!

Hope all's well.

Pandabonium said...

Nice shots as always. I like the first one of the inline skaters. The one of Haile Gebrselassie is interesting. In the USA a running black man followed by two cops on a motorcycle conjures up a who different meaning.

On Maui they hold a "Run to the Sun" marathon, which is a run from sea level to the top of Mt. Haleakala, 10,023 feet high. It is said to be the steepest road in the world as it reaches that altitude in just 36 miles.

I'll stick to walks and leisurely bicycling, thank you. %^)