On Sunday I ran in the Hamburg Marathon. After the heat wave in London last week, it was a huge relief to see a far more promising forecast for the weekend. However, despite feeling quite chilly as I waited to start, it heated up quickly and by halfway the temperature had reached 19C (although it felt a lot warmer in the sunshine out on the road!).
Due to enthusiastic pre-race hydration, the queues for what seemed like very few WCs and the fact that we had to be in the start pens at least 30 mins before the off, I was bursting for a wee by the time I reached kilometre one! Fortunately, there were portaloos at every kilometre around the course but it wasn’t until kilometre 19 that I spotted one that was unoccupied. Having lapped my Garmin, I was in and out in 58 seconds and soon back on target time!
Everything remained on track until after 35k when I started to struggle to hold the pace due to the heat. It wasn’t the classic running out of energy problem but just a case of feeling too hot. I was forced to slow down and resorted to pouring water over my head at all the remaining water station. Despite this, and with the possibility of a PB still on the table, I managed to push hard for the last 250m and have never been so pleased to finish a race!
As chief (and only) Harrier supporter on the ground, it was really nice to see Jillian at various points out on the course. Using the excellent transport network, she managed to pop up at multiple points and even made it back in time to see me finish. The German spectators were great too despite calling me ‘Zimo’ as I ran past.
In addition to the marathon, there was a half marathon and a ‘Staffel’ taking place at the same time. The ‘Staffel’ (a 4 person relay) seems to be a common thing at German marathons and a great way to experience the atmosphere without having to run the full distance.
== Marathon Results ==
Total finishers: 9,988 (7,636 men; 2,352 women)
Place, Name, Time
1, Solomon Deksisa, 2:06:34 (first man)
22, Shitaye Eshete, 2:24:51 (first woman)
1133, Simon Holford, 3:23:36