Berlin Marathon 2018 Trip Report by Derek O’Keeffe

After Gate

Getting to the start line of a marathon is always risky. It’s usually some sort of injury or illness that stops people getting there. But for some of us, it was so much bad luck it was almost like a sign telling us not to go. Mairead Lonergan’s flight was overbooked, leaving her stranded in Amsterdam. There were rumours of sabotage by fellow passengers Ian Roche and Derek Costello but these were later proven to be false. Luckily Mairead was allowed to board literally seconds before they shut the door. For me, my flight was cancelled, and I needed to stay in Paris for one night. By the way, if anyone needs to stay in the Novotel hotel in CDG airport, do not get the shuttle-bus! Turns out it’s a totally different hotel, with the same name, literally miles from the airport. Google Maps is useful for discovering these mistakes after you have made them. Derek Costello also had some bad luck, suffering 2 hamstring tears just a week earlier. After arriving in Berlin he also discovered that when a menu says Jam-Pizza It really is jam, and not ham. Strawberry jam on an authentic thin crust base with cheese, anchovies and olives is risky business the day before a marathon.


Ian and Derek eventually arrive in Berlin!

Eventually, after making it to Berlin on Saturday, it was straight to the expo for me to get my number. In and out job, no messing about. I didn’t stay there long as I was in search of coffee and chocolate cake. A bunch of us met for a carb loaded pasta lunch and then went to a cafe owned by Karen Bevan’s mother’s cousin. It’s a kind of 70’s retro style cafe, undiscovered by hipsters. The kind of place where you can have an excellent coffee and cake without the bearded men in skinny jeans. I highly recommend the Russian chocolate and pear cake.


Schnittichen on Grobeerenstrabe, Karen’s relative’s cafe

I read somewhere that Berliners don’t eat bratwurst, It’s just the tourists and marathon runners that eat them. But if Berliners don’t support the bratwurst industry, they sure make up for it in support for their home marathon. The crowds along the course were something else. There is nowhere along the course that is not packed with supporters. Things that stand out in my memory of the race was an old lady with a clacker about mile 23 shouting ‘new world record’ causing a standing-wave of cheering by all the passing runners. Another memory I have is a group of locals in an apartment balcony over the course with a massive sound system so loud, their neighbour’s ears must still be ringing.

There were some impressive runs by Eagle AC and other Cork runners on the day. Mark Smith running a PB of 2:32, not far behind Mike Morgan (St Finbarrs) who knocked out a 2:30PB. Vivian Foley ran an incredible time of 2:41 after coming back only recently from injury. Vivian did get beaten very badly by his rival Donal Coakley (Leevale) though, who ran a PB of 2:38. This rivalry goes back to 12 months ago from when Donal got badly beaten by Vivian.

Karen Bevan and Lisa Boland ran a close race, just 12 seconds apart, both finishing in 3:31. Derek Costello, coming into the race with 2 hamstring tears and a stomach full of the jam-pizza, amazingly finishing in 3:57. Mairead Lonergan, who I believe also ate the performance enabling jam-pizza ran a great 3:47.


Derek, Lisa and Mairead resting their legs at the finish line.

Another couple of heroes I have the pleasure to train with, Sean O Keeffe and David Craig (Bandon AC) knocked out solid PBs of 2:42 each.

Ian Roche ran a strong time of 3:37, a good way off his PB but will remain fresh for Dublin in a few weeks.  A couple of us had not such good races. Ronan Boland who was in fantastic shape, unfortunately had to pull out due to a hamstring injury. My own race didn’t go according to plan with me bailing out at 32K with another sore hamstring. I chatted with Alan O’Brien for a bit and he convinced me to get going again and finished what felt like my toughest marathon. Eluid Kipchoge (not Cork) ran a solid 2:01, breaking the world record. It looks like this record may stand for some time so it was a privilege to take part in this historic race.


Eliud Kipchoge (Not Cork) on his way to setting a new world record of 2.01.39.

After the race we gathered by the Brandenburg Gate near the finish line. Drinking Erdinger and eating bratwurst in the sun like real marathon runners, we swapped stories of the race and swore never-again.


Eagles in official marathon jackets. Sales of these from the merchandise shop were directly correlated to sales from the Erdinger truck.


Trampolines – An excellent way to recover tired legs

From here a few of us went to Brlo Brewhouse. Made from old shipping containers with an outdoor deck-chair seating area it’s the perfect place to chill out over a beer with some food. There is even a kids play-sand-pit which would have been perfect for Olympic style long-jump attempts, if we could just get our turn. As I sat in the deck-chair in the last of the evening sun, I thought to myself, we did it, we made it. It felt great. The day reminded me of a quote by Hunter S Thompson – [It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country-but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.]




Derek trying his best to recruit Eliud to Eagle AC  just before the flight home.

Results from the 2018 Berlin Marathon

Well done to all the Eagle AC members who posted some fine times in this years Berlin Marathon.


Smith, Mark (GBR) M40 Eagle AC 02:32:49
Foley, Vivian (IRL) M45 Eagle Athletics Club 02:41:25
O’Keeffe, Sean (IRL) M40 Eagle Ac 02:42:30
Okeeffe, Derek (IRL) M40 Eagle Ac 02:59:12
Boland, Lisa (IRL) W50 Eagle Ac 03:31:17
Bevan, Karen (IRL) W40 Eagle Ac 03:31:29
Roche, Ian (IRL) M40 Eagle A C 03:37:30
Lonergan, Mairead (IRL) W30 Eagle AC 03:47:20
Costello, Derek (IRL) M50 Eagle Ac 03:57:52

They were part of a large contingent of runners from Cork who made the journey to the German capital.

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Get ready for winter

As the weather starts to change, why not take a fresh look at our club gear
web-store where some new items have been added this week –

Ron Hill jackets:


Track tops:


As well as the existing variety of long sleeve tops and hoodies:


And as always, our members 10% discount code remains ‘EAGLE10’. I will have some samples of the new items at next week’s track session, 25/09.

Club Notes… Fri 14th Sept 2018

200-pix-news-resultsClub Notes… by Elaine Guinane & team

Hi Everyone,
Stepping in for Karen this week who, like many others, is getting the game face on for Berlin Marathon on Sunday. The very best of luck to all our members travelling at the weekend; at the risk of leaving someone out (and apologies for this), the gang heading over include Karen Bevan, Derek Costello, Mairead Lonergan, Ian Roche, Mark Smith, Derek O Keeffe, Lisa Boland, Ronan Boland, Vivian Foley and Sean O Keeffe.. Have a great run, everyone.

Special Mention to Richard Piotrowski this week: As reported on last week’s mail Richard, one of our outstanding masters athletes, gave a terrific performance in the Cross Country world Championship event in Malaga, finishing in 9th place and leading his National team to a silver medal. Unfortunately, luck was not Richard’s side as he tackled the 10km event this week. A runner went down ahead of Richard, which led to a bit of pushing from behind and Richard unfortunately took a tumble. Down but not out, Richard still managed to pick up again and finish the race in 8th place in an excellent time of 44.25. The incident did, however, end Richard’s involvement in the championships and rule him out of the 5km track race. Congratulations to Richard on his achievements prior to this and we wish him a speedy recovery!

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Club Notes… Thurs 6th Sept 2018

200-pix-news-resultsClub Notes… by Karen Bevan & Team

We will have to start by congratulating club member Richard Piotrowski who was representing Britain and Northern Ireland in the World Masters Championships in Malaga yesterday, a great run by Richard lead his team to a Silver medal, more on this below.

I guess the countdown is on to the two upcoming Marathon events that we have several Club members involved in, with 10 days to left to the Berlin Marathon – hope you are all tapering well; and 50 Days to Dublin and hopefully the training is going well! Best wishes to all, hope things are going to plan, and sometimes these things do not go to plan but these are the highs and lows of marathon training- The fun is in the challenge!

Long Runs for the weekend ahead: Thanks to all who have sent in this weeks long runs. (Full details to members)

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Richard Piotrowski medals at World Masters Championships

Richard_Piotrowski_aThe World Masters Championships Malaga Spain, Cross country event. 05.09.2018

Huge congratulations to Eagle AC runner Richard Piotrowski who represented Britain and Northern Ireland on the M70 team for the 6 mile cross country event in the World Masters Championships in Malaga yesterday . Richard finished in 9th place overall and 1st in his team, leading them to a Silver medal for the team overall. Fantastic running as always from Richard.

9 3271 34 Richard Piotrowski Great Britain and Northern Ireland 26.41