10 Things I Think About The Bremen Brückenlauf Halbmarathon
I think that Germany is my favourite country after Spain and Ireland and maybe Iceland. I really like being sent to Germany for work, it’s even better when you find a race that’s on at the weekend. I thought I was going to be able to run a race where I was staying in Münster which would have been perfect, but it started at 7pm on Sunday was too late so Google took me to Bremen on Saturday instead.
I think that the reason everyone is so healthy looking in Germany is that the food is so terrible that it is impossible to eat too much. It really is bad, very grey and salty food. I ate mainly bread, croissants, jam and tomato soup for the week.
I think that the trains in Germany are almost as good as the trains in Spain. To get to the race I took the train from Münster to Bremen on Saturday morning after running a final lap of the perfect Lake Aasee. The train was 10 minutes late but they send you an email to apologize. It’s faster than driving on the Autobahn and way easier.
4. Taxi or Tram
I think that Germany is the only place where public transport is better than cars and taxis. Because it was raining I thought about getting a taxi to the race which was about 6km from the city centre. I found a cab and got in but the taxi driver was very angry and told me to get out when I asked if I could pay with card. Then I clipped a cyclist with door when getting out of the taxi which made him even angrier. Then I got the tram.
I think that I knew that I wouldn’t win the race at the start line. Initially when I looked around I thought that I had a chance mainly based on the shoes people were wearing. I knew from the previous years results that a fast Seb would win if he turned up but everyone seemed to have Seb on their number so that didn’t help. Then a Seb with the new expensive Nike runners that Michael Herlihy has arrived. He looked very fast. He was.
I think that I did very well in sticking to the plan. My plan was to run somewhere around Marathon pace to practice for Berlin. It is always dangerous to plan Marathon pace in a race because it is very easy to get carried away if there is a chance of a podium. I felt terrible from the lack of food all week so it was easy to run marathon pace as it felt like half marathon pace.
I think that the course was perfect. It was on those hard straight bike paths that I love to run on. It started at the Paulaner pub and ran up along the river past the Werder Bremen stadium crisscrossing all the bridges. It was a little twisty turny but there were lots of nice buildings to look at so the 13 miles flew by. It was sort of like the route along the river in Seville but without the sun.
I think that I was glad to have company for the race. After the start it was clear that the Seb in the Nike Next%s was way better than the rest of us and completely unfollowable. I ended up in second with another Seb. It was perfect because he seemed to want to run the same pace as me so we ran along together. It was very handy because I didn’t understand what the people who were telling us where to go were saying so anytime I was confused I waited for him to run the right way.
9. German Viv
I think that the race was very good practice for beating Viv in Berlin. After about 16k I tried to run a bit faster because the wind was behind me and I like finishing second. I felt bad running away from Seb who had helped me follow the course. When we talked at the finish he said that he had run 2:29 when he was younger but that at 43 he was too old. I told him about Viv being way older and still beating me, he was very impressed.
10. Podium Beer
I think that this podium was my favourite ever. Because the race started outside the Paulaner pub they had big huge jugs of beer for us on the podium. It wasn’t even alcohol free beer, it was proper beer. Then like in Formula 1 they got the German Viv who came third to do interviews in English. I like interviews, I think I said good things, I don’t think any one noticed my awful t-shirt and burgundy pants ensemble.