As with all of our Major marathons the expectation for our trip to Berlin was very high and it definitely lived up to it!
Our trip “officially” commenced when we caught up for the first time in Berlin on the Friday as a group of 30.
The Saturday morning run / walk was a huge highlight, the sun was shining and we trotted around the Tiergarten, over to where the start line was going to be and it was “selfie” central! Running around the start & finish line gave us a sense of how big this event was going to be. A few team photos & it was time to head back for breakfast.
Saturday night was a nice low key dinner, a few quick speeches & before you knew it, it was bed time. Within 12 hrs, 8 months of training, preparing & thinking about this moment was about to become a reality.
We knew this group was ready to go, you can just tell. Marathon morning always brings out things in runners - some are up & about, bouncing with excitement, some are nervous, some or one always gets a bit teary (no names here) some enjoy some quiet time & some just love standing around telling jokes. The different dynamic amongst the group is great because it gives everyone a chance to do what suits them.
On arrival at the starting entrance we could see that in typical German fashion the entire race experience was run efficiently and allowed for the runners to take full advantage of the experience. Then, off goes the gun! The start of the race was surreal and beautiful, running through the Tiergarten. The kms that followed provided a great tour of the city (if you weren’t focusing on the puddles around your feet!). We endured a day of 100% humidity but also rain, tough conditions and something we hadn’t experienced through our training in Melbourne’s winter. The crowd is amazing, it’s intense for the whole 42.2ks. Everyone is positive & upbeat. Kids are lining the streets hoping for a high 5 from a runner. Every runner is running for a purpose, whether it be a PB, just to finish or like our only first time marathon runner in this group Grace Buchan running her first marathon.
Finishing the run under the Brandenburg Gate was something you really had to be there for to understand just how much emotion it generated. We can safely say the Berlin Marathon successfully lived up to the high expectations that come with being a Major. The course is flat and although we had tough conditions, our team of 30 all finished strongly with a few PBs made on the course.
Once finished we headed back to the hotel which was a 15 minute walk away (it felt like it was a 4 hr hike) everyone was pumped, hugs, high fives and looks of relief were electric. This continued on until everyone was accounted for. Once everyone was back, the drinks, burgers & stories were in full force.
We celebrated that night with a few drinks & pizzas at a bar along the river (thanks Jude) - everyone wore their medals like a badge of honour (so we should of, we earnt that bad boy)
The next day really hit hard. The simple things like walking, walking down stairs, sitting on the loo, putting on shoes - pretty much anything hurts. Is it worth - yes it is!
The final night we had our celebration dinner - this was honestly a brilliant night. A beautiful dinner, great speeches & then one massive night club that rounded out the trip on the highest of highs.
It was such a special group, we have loved working with every single one of you and thanks again for the experience.