Berlin 2017 – The graft, elation and leaving thoughts of where is the End Game! …by Donal Dowling
As I sat last Saturday morning in the hotel lobby waiting for fellow Eagle Ronan Boland to go for a jog, I opened a magazine which was lying on the table and as I flicked through it I came across a nice quote from a famous Surfer Maya Gabeira who set the world record in 2009 for surfing the biggest ever wave by a female athletic. It went “Not cracking under pressure is the most essential thing in Sport. When the time comes, pressure can’t stop you; instead it makes you rise above what you thought possible”.
Well done to club member Alan O’Brien who broke 2h 30m for the first time in the Berlin Marathon last Sunday! His time of 2h 28m 46s was the 5th fastest Irish performance in the German capital on the day.
Alan’s previous best was 2h 33m 31s in Dublin in 2016 so his Berlin time is almost a 5-minute improvement!
Alan was just part of a strong Eagle AC team that traveled to Berlin for the race with no fewer than 5 going sub 2h 50m.
Place number Name ac club Finish
100 33296 O’Brien, Alan (IRL) M35 Eagle AC 02:28:46
299 19439 Foley, Vivien (IRL) M45 Eagle AC 02:39:03
426 13920 Boland, Ronan (IRL) M50 Eagle AC 02:42:47
511 33469 O’Keefe, Sean (IRL) M40 Eagle AC 02:45:12
683 23274 Hill, Frank (IRL) M50 Eagle AC 02:48:55
2449 17655 Dowling, Donal (IRL) M40 Eagle AC 03:07:57
3841 37233 Ryan, Michael (IRL) M50 Eagle AC 03:17:55
As can be seen from the photo below, quite a number of runners from Cork were in Berlin for this marathon.
The day before the big race. Photo credit : Lisa Boland
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.