Posted: 26/09/2016 at 20:26
Back home. so race report time.
First off Berlin is well worth a visit without a run spoiling it, so I'm going back soon.
Also its billed as fluke flat, it is close but there are a number of long slow inclines which caught quite a few runners around me out later on. You knew you were on one when the wheelchair racers become obstacles as they struggled.
Had a nice relaxing time landing Thursday Midday so was well prepared come race day, just a bit concerned about the heat. The organisation wasn't as good as London, toilets too few amongst other things.
Met up with BR at the start, for a quick hello and then pretty soon we are off. The rascal did sprint up and ask me if I was Westy within the first half mile with a cheeky grin on his face, which really made me chuckle.
As ever I ran the first 3 k slower than pace by a few seconds to get into it, this was the first time I was running a race longer than 10k using KMs as pace and distance, which turned out to be a really good thing.
I settled to run every Km at 3.53, that was it, no other plan other than knowing that 4.00 would be a sub 2.50 as BR had mentioned it as his target. I found it quite hard to get on a steady pace and was constantly up and down for trying to get into a rhythm which was regularly smashed by the chaotic drink stations being cups and people stone dead stopping to drink and the like. I quite quickly got elbows out and in front of the group to combat this, not nice but needs must I suppose. Found drinking from cups really difficult, but I don't think it affected me adversely,
Picked out what looked like a strong runner with a pony tail and distinctive hat 30m down the road and resolved to not let him get any further away. He didn't, and I uneventfully got to half in 1.22 .18 which was pretty much bang on what I was aiming for. I just ran each KM to the watch, slowing and speeding as necessary to maintain my average pace, I had already worked out by the pace band that from halfway 3.53/km would get me home fine.
Pony Tail guy dropped off after 25km which for some reason felt like a real kick in the teeth but then a chap effortlessly bounded past me looking serious, so I ran after him for a bit, and then with him, sharing drinks and ticking the 3,53s off together, guessing he was gunning for 2.44 too. It wasn't comfortable at all, but it was manageable in sub 4.00min/k chunks. I was expecting him to tun round and ask me 'are you Westy?' but alas it never happened. We managed 13 or 14 k together and he started to drop, I tried to rally him but realised his mind had faded and then got back to my own race, this was around mile 24(one of those inclines) I ran a 6.16 mile but it was a GAP of 5.58. Like the others it was a hard shift for the last 10k or so and It started to heat up abit, but I just kept saying, its only a 10k at training pace, 1k at a time... and when it got down to a 20 min 5k would get me home I wasnt going to let all that training and this opportunity go to waste.
A small neg split and safely home in 2.44.29. Happy Days.
I wont run Berlin again, but would encourage anyone who hasn't to, it was a great experience.
Got to figure out what the hell I do next now as Ive hit the target that I told the missus I would stop at.....