10 Things I Think About The Berlin 25k
I think that I have always wanted to run the Big Berlin 25k race. It’s probably because of the history of the event, it’s slightly older than the marathon and it’s a rare distance. I also wanted to run a 25k race because Peter Maher was always talking about his 25k world record, I wanted to see how close I could get.
I think that the key to my performance was my pre race meal, I always have pizza, this was special pizza though, Sardinian pizza. It was my favorite pizza ever, I think I liked it so much because according to the 23andMe gene test I’m 0.2% Sardinian. That must be where my skin comes from too.
3. S Bahn
I think it’s good that my favorite train in the world sponsors one of my favorite races. The trains in Berlin are one of my favorite things, they’re excellent, I like everything about them, the names, the sounds, the noises, the seats, everything. We even got to get the S9 to the start at the Olympiastadion.
I think that the Olympiastadion is my favorite stadium in the world. It’s perfect, it’s definitely the best athletics stadium, the European championships there last year were perfect. The race starts right outside the stadium on a big plaza. The only problem was that they only opened some of the toilets in the stadium. The toilets in the Olympiastadion are the best stadium toilets ever but the queue for the grosse toilets was far too long, I could only do a mile of a warm up because of it. It was essential though. Warm up ranks lower than than comfort on the pre race necessity scale.
I think that I was right to dispense with my plan at the startline. I could see at the start that there weren’t exactly a lot of Vapourflies being worn which was puzzling as it is a pretty massive race and had previously been won in a world record time by Denis Kimetto. It was sort of like going into the A pen at the start of the Berlin Marathon looking around and seeing not a single Nike Vapourfly 4%. The original plan was six minute miles, the new plan was all out and see how far I get following the leaders.
I think that running the Big Berlin 25k is like having a practice run at the marathon course with less runners around annoying you and far less crowds. It’s kind of surreal running up towards the victory tower and through the Brandenburg gate all on your own like you own the place and can just call the police and tell them you want to do a 25k practice run.
I think that it was a mistake not to check my windy app before the race. I normally check it before every run so that I know which way the wind will be coming from. I took no notice at the start when we tore off down the hill and kept going at what seemed like 10k pace, when we got to the turn off for the 10k racers it made sense as most of the guys ahead took a right, I went straight on, I could see two guys ups ahead so I knew I wasn’t winning but I presumed there were even more further ahead.
8. The Catch
I think that the half marathon and 10k guys helped me catch the guy ahead, he had a good 20 seconds on me going through the Brandenburg gate as we turned back for home. Then we started to meet the people in the Half marathon who turned right before the gate. Normally this would be very annoying but in Berlin the streets are so wide it was fine. I like passing people so I used the other runners to jump up to the second place guy. When I got up to him I went straight by him imagining that he was Vivian Foley. Just like as if it was Viv he gave up when I passed him and I never saw him again. Then I heard people saying zwei so I started to get worried. Fortunately unlike the rest of life worrying makes you better at running so it was easy to stay motivated.
I think my favorite part of the race was the entry into the stadium, the climb up to the stadium was my least favorite part. The stadium is up on for Berlin what is probably classified as a mountain. When you first see the stadium you think it’s nearly over, then you have to climb this big mountain and do a big long loop around the stadium. It’s almost worth it when you get to run under the dark belly of the stadium out onto the blue track. They have loud drums and lights in the tunnel to make you run faster which is great. I like drums and lights.
10. Worst Second Placer Ever
I think that I am definitely the worst runner ever to finish second in the Big Berlin 25k. If you look on Wikipedia the list of past winners is ridiculous, it’s a pity they don’t have the second placers as I’d like to be on Wikipedia too. The podium was amazing as it was in the Olympic Stadium, I kind of felt like I was a real athlete, I got to fist bump the mascot and got a bag of what I assumed was money and some flowers. When I opened the bag I understood why Denis Kimetto wasn’t back today. The bag contained a 12 pack of Cliff Bars. Well at least I got a nice trophy. Second is second and I prefer trophies anyway.