21 September 2009

Running the Berlin Marathon

Seeing the Berlin Marathon being run yesterday for 2009 reminded me of last year's event which I never did get around to blogging about.

When J sets her mind to do something, it's often with a single-minded focus that's to be admired. A few years ago, she had run the Berlin Marathon for the first time, and decided that the 35th event in 2008 was time to do it again.

She and her business partner J-T trained for months before the actual day.  Following a rigid training program given to them by a mutual friend who was into training sportspeople, they set out to complete their daily schedule.  It was great to see them compare notes and times and encouraging each other as the weeks and months went by, and the marathon date drew closer.

In August 2008, J's training received a setback.  Playing in a women's football tournament, she dived onto the deck to head a ball into the goal, and landed on her left hand - breaking the little finger in 2 places.  When she does something, she does it well!

The cast was on for a month

Undeterred, she kept up with the training as best as she could, and in September last year, it was time to put it to the test.

The first thing we had to do was go and pick up their race numbers.   On the Friday evening, we piled into the car and headed out to the Berlin Expo grounds.  I have never seen so many people try to get into one pavilion!  It was a bit shambolic, as there was only one door through which to enter and exit, and we all felt like salmon trying to head upstream!

Trying to get into the hall to collect race numbers and info packs

Once inside, it was a bit more organised.  Sports companies had displays on the ground floor, and on the mezzanine, once up the stairs, it was turn left to collect your number if you were female, and to the right if you were male.

Numbers and info packs collected, we beat a hasty retreat to the car.

On Sunday morning, we were up before the sun and on the metro to the Brandenburg Gate where the marathon was to begin and end.  Meeting J-T and his cousin K, there were small signs of nervousness as strategies were discussed before walking to the start line.

I was to meet J at 2 locations to give her food and drink.  At the first, I missed her, but luckily saw J-T who told me that she was ahead of him.  Diving back onto the train, I headed to our next rendezvous at the 32km mark, where luckily I managed to see her this time.  She was not very amused that we had missed the first stop, but recovered quickly as the food and coca cola quickly brought up her energy levels.

Back at the Brandenburg gate, I first met J who finished ahead of the 2 guys and was feeling pretty pleased with herself - as she should!

Rightly happy, tired and with finisher medals around their necks!

J-T and K came in about 20 mins and 45 mins behind her, and there was time for a quick victory photo and to pick up the time printouts before heading home to hot baths and pasta carbo-loading!

The official paper showing position in the field as well as split distance times


Diligent Candy said...

Wow. Really - I read your blog and feel like doing such fascinating things. Love you guys.

Jayne said...

Woohoooo you go Jen!! Bloody well done darlin' :-)

*seriously thinks to self: time I took that walk to the shops instead of driving*
(hangs head in shame!)

nzm said...

DC - we love you guys too!

Jayne - yes, well - I was content to watch from the sidelines as J ran!

Pandabonium said...

Fantastic J. I have aches just thinking of running like that. Good on you.