Some highs and some lows from the squad running Berlin Marathon. That’s marathon running for you:
John Bartlett: 2:36:05 (PB)
Enda Stankard: 2:44:11 (PB)
David Williams: 2:45:48
Chris Truscott: 2:46:26
Renaud Herington: 2:47:17 (PB)
Mark Milligan: 2:49:13 (PB?)
James Highnam (Tom’s brother): 2:49:36 (PB)
Dr Skins: 2:54:24 (PB)
Charlie Dalziell: 3:03:01 (PB)
Greta Truscott: 3:04:19 (Debut)
Timmy Lindop 3:09
Rob Costello: 3:13:29
Charlie Low: 3:53:05
Steve Bianchini: 4:53:13
Timmy Lindop – Check out Tim’s blog for Oktoberfest Diary as well.
After two weeks travelling around Europe (chest cold for the first week) and logging some great training runs in the South of France, Paris, Oxford and around London (including the 30x1km session) race day in Berlin came around all too quickly!
Arriving in Germany on Wednesday also gave me 3 days to get some runs in on the course, get use to the temperature and the food (mindful of Ruadhan’s devastating wrestle with the Germany belly beast last year).
The rest of the HuRTs lads rolled into town over the next couple of days. Some seasoned runners were amongst them and I was a little nervous to hear that none of them used (let alone had even heard of) straws at drink stations or carbo loaded with Maltodextrin and to top it off Charlie Dalziell opts for the Thai Duck Curry and beer as his pre-race dinner of choice! Lots a sledding generally about race plans and time predictions and then Jonathan Fenton tells us that Wilson Kipsang announced he was going for the world record at the morning’s press conference! Doesn’t get any better than that to get geared up for race day!
After a good night’s sleep and getting through my (tried and tested) 700g of carb powder, I woke up ready to roll. The crew headed (3 km walk) to the starting line. 40,000+ runners for a marathon is an impressive line up. With starting blocks A through H I scored a C entry with my predicted time, along with about 1000 other people… This was going to be an interesting crowd when the gun went off.
There are three guys with balloons to pace 3 hours, so it looks like the odds are going to be better then Gold Coast as there will be a consistent marker to track off throughout the race. I have a quick chat to the first guy “hey buddy what’s the plan for today?” he responds with a heavy accent “I run the marathon in 3 hours”… Ok well looks like those lads are going to be a wild card so I’m thinking I’ll start with them and try and keep them at my back.
Some last minute stretches, the guns goes off and we are away! Plan for first the 1-3 km is to run smooth and easy, let the nutters go and just enjoy. I stay to the right of the first roundabout, get a good position for the bunch up at the first corner, good times. The 4 km mark comes around all too quickly, the 3 hour pace runners are on the other side of the road (all 3 of them were running together) I slowly drift in front of them and never looked back. The other trick was to turn the Garmin upside down, I’m not going to look at that either, just going to run like I’ve trained!
The plan for 4-10 km was to run at a pace that is uncomfortable however any faster and it would be hurting (learnt afterward this is about 4:07 min/km… glad I didn’t look at my watch as I probably would have slowed down). At the 10km mark I caught up with Rob Costello. Awesome, Rob was hoping to do sub 3 hours as well so I would have someone I knew to hang out with for awhile instead of the huge bunch of unknowns doing crazy paces. I kept up my form and started to drift away, a little nervous I might be clocking too fast but then I’m still feeling good.
The plan for 10-30km was all about holding form, tall, relaxed, smooth. I hit the gue every 30 min (SIS brand this race, with a little extra liquid not dependant on water, they go down a treat). At about the 18km mark I see another Sydney Striders singlet, it’s Timmy Lindop! Wow didn’t expect to see him, he started in A group, I slide up be side him with a “nice hat” 🙂 We both are donning the HuRTS signature white headsweats hats. Timmy’s running well and says “how are you feeling?” I respond “good but let’s see what happens at 30km, I’m currently aiming for that guy in the green singlet… Rob’s not too far behind us.” Timmy nods and I keep tracking, once again I pull away holding the same pace. 20km comes around pretty quickly, into a slight up hill and then the 21km. I look at my watch for the first time and it’s 86 min! BINGO I could be in with a shot, legs are feeling good, a couple of niggles but nothing to distract me. Ok time for some caffeine and some fun, I tell myself hold this until 30 then I’ll have a crack!
The next aid station comes around and like the previous 5 before it, out comes the straw. I wore them this year pointing upwards out the back of my hat… I figure it can’t hurt to channel the odd Navaho warrior on race day and, if nothing else, will freak out the odd guy trying to pass me. Anyway it was now turning into an art form – the straw (21.5 cm bendy with yellow and white stripes) comes seamlessly out of the hat, squeeze cup and drink for the next 100m. Couldn’t help overhearing two English runners behind me “did you see that chap with the straw?”… “I did indeed, isn’t that a simply splendid idea!” … damn right bitches!
30km rolls by! Without looking at my watch my only thought is, “hold this pace!” Every time I felt a slight drop I just pushed it straight back up! The event had timing mats and clocks every 5km so this was a great way to keep track, and Boom another 20min 5km. I do a check in, stomach is good, breathing calm, hip is behaving, calves… calves… Ok calves are getting tight. I tell myself, it’s in my head, my calves can just “f#%k off” and keep rolling! This is what we came for! Having just read “Eat and Run”, I’m thinking lots of great quotes like:
“The only way out is through”
“If you’re not living on the edge your taking up too much room” and “You don’t know how strong you are until the only choice you have is to be strong”
Get to 37km and there is Jenny with the bottle of flat coke, was a bit scary as hadn’t trained for this and wasn’t sure what 300 mL of coke was going to do to my stomach BUT Renaud “dog” Herington was talking it up more than my straw technique at dinner last night so it must be the goods. I grab the bottle, perfect transit, Jenny yells some words of encouragement, I salute with my newly acquired bottle and drink! Dam that’s good, not too much, roll the bottle into the crowd and keep going, didn’t miss a step.
The crowd is just massive at this stage, got to give it to the Germans for completely losing their shit when it comes to supporting a race. We have 20 piece brass bands, African street drumming, solos with drum kits, full cheer leader routines and then at the 39km corner Gangma Style blasting from a massive speaker stack! I pop a pony as I around the corner and there is the green singlet guy from 18km, shit that guy’s gunning it and I’ve actually caught him! He must have recognised me because he takes off as soon as he sees me! Ok it’s on! This shit is about to get heavy, and the game face is on!! The pair of us are dropping people left right and centre! We hit 40km, man I have to look at my watch, 3:45min/km for the 39-40km ahhhhhhh!
I’m thinking things could go either one of two ways at this point! I do a quick check in (feeling pretty much the same as I did at 30km… This is so different to Gold Coast… I have a brief Dave goes to the Dentist “is it going to be like this forever” moment but brought very quickly back to my senses by the green singlet making another surge), but after 2 months of interval back end speed training, I just give him a smile and kick it! We round the corner and see the Arches!! I kick it again, look at the watch it’s 2:53:55! Damn! Can I break 2:55? The crowd has swelled to about 10 times the size, a big grandstand built on either side of the course, I let out a scream, crowd goes nuts so I kick it in AGAIN, (Garmin showed later I was clocking 3:20min/km at this point and holding) collect at least 10 scalps on the way and I’m over on 2:54:25.
Damn I feel great! I kiss the ground! 8 minute PB! Green singlet comes across the line about 30sec later, big high five and man love hug. More guys cross the line, shake hands with 2-3 other guys that I was running at least the last 2 hours with at various points, everyone can barley speak but it doesn’t matter, we all know what it’s about.
I hang at the finishing line waiting for Timmy and Rob, but who crosses first, Charlie in a blitzing 3:03 – that’s an 11 minute PB! Boom! We pose for a girl who insists on taking our photo (still got it Charlie) then head to the recovery area!
What a day! Pretty stoked!! From running 3:02 in July at Gold Coast and feeling like my legs were toasted, to 2 months of Brad Pamp training (the plan for race day was 4:12 min/km and 2:57 finish) … Took a lot of belief to ditch the watch and just trust the training. I ran the race purely on feeling, but glad I did, BP was right, the watch just slows you down!!
One Team, One ich bin ein Berliner!
Split time time diff min/km km/h
5 km 00:20:35 20:35 04:07 14.58
10 km 00:41:10 20:35 04:07 14.58
15 km 01:01:51 20:41 04:09 14.51
20 km 01:22:35 20:44 04:09 14.47
Half 01:27:07 04:32 04:08 14.52
25 km 01:43:28 16:21 04:12 14.32
30 km 02:04:18 20:50 04:11 14.40
35 km 02:25:07 20:49 04:10 14.41
40 km 02:45:51 20:44 04:09 14.47
Finish 02:54:25 08:34 03:55 15.36