Wednesday, April 4, 2012
32nd Berlin Half Marathon, 1st of April 2012
It was just hours ahead that I knew that I would run at the 32nd Berlin Half Marathon, Germany's biggest half marathon and my very first race!
The weather offered brilliant conditions: sunny and cloudy, not windy and not rainy, not to warm and not to cold.
And boy, was it exciting. In the morning I picked up a Danish friend and her colleagues at the Park Inn Hotel at Alexanderplatz. Turned out that the place was full of other runners from around the globe, speaking numerous languages and getting prepared - an amusing scene to watch.
After two hours or so waiting in the area between Alexanderplatz and Café Moskau next to around 30,000 participants, our slot was ready to go.
And once you were on the road, you got the impression that the whole city was running next to you or at least was watching from the roadside or from the countless balconies. Among the participants there was a couple running with a stroller and a world champion; besides, there were very old people, serious athletes, colleagues and friends. And among the viewers there were the average walkers, tourists, children, musicians and fans.
The all-flat course involves Alexanderplatz, Brandenburg Gate, Tiergarten, Charlottenburg, Kurfürstendamm, Leipziger Straße, Karl-Marx-Allee.
I finished in approximately 2:10 - having no athlete ambitions I took pictures, spotted new neighborhoods and partly walked along the road :).
Altogether it was a well organized and friendly event to start with races and a wonderful chance to see the city, its people and visitors at once!
Berlin Half Marathon: Takes place end of March or beginning or April. Capacity: 30,000 participants. To be booked a couple of months in advance with registration starting in May. Fees: 30-45 €.
Berlin Marathon: Takes place last weekend of September. Capacity: 40,000 participants. To be booked right after registration starts with registration starting in October. Fees: 60-100 €.