Location: Berlin, Germany

Distance: ~6km

Berlin Breakfast Run

I LOVE Berlin. Everything good starts with B – bread, beer and Berliners. And it’s so orderly and efficient. Everything just works like it should. It’s like a little clockwork city. And as long as I steer clear of anything
with ‘knob’ or ‘wurst’ in the name, the food is great.

We arrived here late Thursday (Friday am AEST). Spent a day in Frankfurt on the way which was beautiful. We are staying near the Brandenburg Gate and the Hautbahnhopf train station which is very convenient for (1) the marathon start and (2) getting places.

So the marathon. First of all because I am a fun run addict (blame it on all the solo training I do – show me a start line playing classic 80s rock and I’m there) and because I wanted to do something* while we were here I did the traditional Breakfast Run which is held the day before the marathon. This is possibly the funnest fun run ever. No need to enter, just rock up to Charlottenburg Palace with 10,000 other runners, tie on a helium ballon, slip on the commemorative headband and to the sounds of Europe’s The Final Countdown we’re off. Walking. No need to start too quickly. The idea is that this is a gentle run to warm up the legs for the forthcoming marathon. Once we settled into a light jog and everyone was behaving in a very orderly fashion I started to think about passing a few people, politely, because they seemed to be going so slowly. I gradually worked my way forward towards the music and suddenly there was no-one in front of me. Confused, I looked ahead and it seemed against all the laws of nature I was in the front row. Hmm. Bizarrely there are pace runners at the front who are there to SLOW PEOPLE DOWN. Knowing this was the only time I will ever see the pointy end of a race I held on to my position which wasn’t too hard as when anyone got too excited and tried to break ranks they were dealt with and an angry German is a scary thing. We jogged along to the Olympic Stadium where we had to ‘halt’ just to make sure our lines were nice and straight. We jogged in through the tunnel like champions and did a lap of the track, me grinning like a moron trying to get my head in the photos. Then the best bit – jam donuts! It was a frenzy of grabbing food, I could only manage a yoghurt, water, coffee, two donuts, a banana and a breakfast bar before I had to concede I didn’t have enough arms left. Runners smarter than me had boxes they were loading up with food. This is running.

*Jarrod kindly offered me the opinion “I’m sure you could run the marathon ok, it would just take you so long it would be boring”

Oh and the big race. Well it was bucketing down with rain, Jarrod went out hard like he planned “go hard or go home, no point doing another 2:32” and he blew up at 25km. Finished in 2:46, But he’s not disappointed, he tried, he finished and he loved the actual running. However there were no donuts at the end.

We are off to the official marathon after party tonight. More beer, bread and donuts no doubt. It’s held in a disused airport which is bizarre. The pre-race expo was there and there were planes on the tarmac with beer huts set up around them. It’s no wonder I can’t name a single German athlete given how much beer and donuts they consume. It’s the good life.

Event profile: Shelley Miller

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