Berlin was Pete and Richard's first marathon ten years ago so this is an anniversary trip for them.

It is a huge event with tightly controlled entry gates into the various timing pens along the start on one of the wide roads through the Tiergarten, the big inner city park in Berlin. Richard & I set off together and I don't know if we are in a particularly busy start zone but it is really crowded and the pace most people are running at is just a tad slower than we want. You waste so much energy weaving around people and it is dangerous when it is this busy so we have decided not to do it. I get my heels clipped by someone speeding through & nearly fall.

We get to 10K two or three minutes outside PB pace but realistically I know I'm not in that sort of shape anyway, I concentrate on trying to relax and be in the moment. Shortly before halfway Richard is off up the road and I make the decision not to try and go with him. My rear end is starting to hurt a bit - I had a minor operation there 10 days ago so I have to be circumspect. I could kid myself and use this as a reason for a slow race but you usually get the result you deserve and I am making no excuses.

I get to halfway in 1.49.51 and then set myself the task of trying to keep a steady pace, not walk apart from to collect drinks at the very busy aid stations and maybe even enjoy myself a bit ha ha. I just about manage this although I am gradually slowing down.

The bands all along the course are fantastic and lots of people are out supporting. It is getting hotter and I am pouring water over myself to try and counteract this. I take the sports drink etc. and I never want to eat a grain of sugar again. The slowdown becomes more drastic from 35K onwards. I know I don't have anything left in the tank as I can't raise any kind of a finishing sprint after coming through the Brandenburg Gate.

I am done in 3.50.12, about 20 minutes outside my PB shape from couple of years back.

I'm glad I've done this race, a brilliantly organised and atmospheric event. It is a privilege to run these destination marathons although I prefer smaller events really. Richard has run a great race with a negative split but still a fair bit slower than his usual time.
Next up I have the Enigma Fireworks in November - back to back marathons Sat and Sun which will be interesting. Berlin is of course an amazing city and it is lovely sitting in the Tiergarten in the sunshine after the race, apart from the slight difficulty of standing up again.