Club member Derek Costello travelled to Germany last month to take part in the 2014 Berlin Marathon. This is his report…
This time last year, the lottery for the Berlin marathon opened and I entered it .I had also entered the lottery for the New York and London marathons hoping to get at least one of them. In the end, I ended up getting all three of them and Cork thrown in for good measure as well! Berlin has become one of the most popular marathons in the world and is usually hard to get into. I was just one of the lucky ones to get it along with the other 40000.
A big draw back this year was the fact that Cork airport now has cancelled all its flights to Berlin. So it was a case of taking the bus to Dublin on Friday evening, staying in a hotel in Dublin Airport overnight. I then caught the early flight on Saturday morning to Schönefeld Airport in Berlin and then from there, a train to the Expo. I was lucky enough to meet up with a few Dublin lads who knew the way. If anyone reading this is ever thinking of going then go on a Friday as it is a lot of travelling for one day . The Expo itself was very good and it took me about 3 hours to get around it .
There was a great buzz on morning of Marathon. It was ideal weather in the shade but it got very hot as the race went on. As this was my 4th Marathon in 11 months, I was hoping the heat would not affect me like it did for the London Marathon back in April. The start went really well and it went off about 10 mins after the first wave . The first 8 miles just flew past. It really is a very flat course with only a small few pulls but nothing worth talking about. The water stops were a pain as it was only plastic cups which were tricky to drink from and under foot were very slippery as the cups were everywhere. The spectators were brilliant with a lot of bands playing around the route. From around mile 10, the weather started to get very hot so I started walking at the water stops to make sure I got enough liquid on board.
The course was very congested but I was able can still run ok at my own pace . I was still with the 4hr pacer up to mile 22 until my thigh muscle tightened up which was then followed by the calf locking up . I was hoping for a personal best but alas, it was not to be. In the end, I finished in 4hrs 21 mins. Not exactly what I was hoping for but I still got there in the end. Coming under the Brandenburg Gate at 42 kms, there was a big screen on my left showing the runners finishing. There were thousands cheering the runners on and calling out come on “Eagle“ made it all worth the pain :o)
Overall it was a very enjoyable race, very flat and it was great to be in a marathon where the world record was set. The shower straight after the race was handy as I stayed around for awhile and enjoyed the food, craic and a well deserved drink. I am hoping to do it again next year all going well. The lottery for 2015 has now opened.