On Sunday 29th September I ran my first, and potentially only, marathon. It was a fantastic and gruelling experience all in one go. Running through the start line with music pumping, I’ve never felt anything like it. Cruising along the streets and high-fiving the crowd you feel really empowered by the training you’ve put in to get there.
I was sailing until around 30km when it really became hard work. Then it begins to dawn on you the feat of your challenge when the crowd start clapping you as you run past, because, and I can say this now with absolute certainty, it really is a very long way.
Eventually the Brandenburg Gate appeared, and still plodding along, I sped up towards the gate with the finish line in sight. Crossing the line I couldn’t quite believe what I’d done. I hobbled up to get my medal and my foils and continued to wobble my way to meet my parents. It was a completely surreal experience that was over as quickly as it began.
I finished and said that was it. When you look back, however, the temptation is there. Could I do it again and faster? What about a different city?
It’s that need for a challenge, so I’m on the look out! This was a great marathon to do as the 40th anniversary of the Berlin marathon, which originally couldn’t be run from East to West. Crossing into the East to finish at the gate would have been impossible 20 years ago, and the history behind the race is quite incredible. Especially as I was there with my Mum and Dad, as my Mum had crossed Checkpoint Charlie back as a translator for an English company in the 80s. The history is still close.
Here’s my top ten things to do in Berlin if you’re heading over that way: