Hamburg Marathon 2012 race report
I ran in the Hamburg Marathon yesterday. This was a really great well organised event.
I wanted to have another go at a marathon after last year's Virgin London Marathon. I didn't get into the ballot for this year's VLM, so decided to look for another event. Decided on the Hamburg Marathon because it looked like a good event and we have some friends in Hamburg that we could visit as well.
We flew out to Hamburg on BA from Heathrow on Friday. On Saturday we checked out the start and then we met some more friends at the Marathon Expo, one of whom was running. Fairly big expo where we got our numbers and chips fairly quickly.
On Sunday I arranged to meet up at 8AM with my friend who was also running, at the Reeperbahn Sbahn station. We then strolled up the Reeperbahn to the start. It was quite surreal to walk past the sights of the Reeperbahn and to see some of the people who were just going home after a night out in Hamburg.
It was fairly easy dropping off our kit bags and getting to the loo and then we got into our pen with about 5 minutes to go and then we were off to Jump by Van Halen.
I was aiming for under 4 1/2 hours and set off at 10 min / mile pace. We then ran back down the Reeperbahn and around Altona and then back along the Elba and the harbour. It was great to be running past the huge ships in the river. Great support along the way. At 6 miles I was desperate for the loo and had to stop for about 2 minutes. I then picked up the pace a bit and we were then in the centre of Hamburg running past the Alster which was lovely. The route then continued to the north of Hamburg before looping back into the city to finish back near the start. It was a great scenic well supported route and didn't loop back on itself hardly at all and there weren't any parts where there were runners going in the opposite direction.
There were plenty of drinks and food stations around the route, wiith cups of water and isotonic drinks, gels and bananas. Everyone was also given a sponge which you could dip into tubs of water at every station, which were about every 3 km. I kept hold of my sponge all the way round and found this really great for keeping the temperature down.
The course was also great for spectators. My supporters managed to see me 4 times without too much trouble.
I managed to keep up my 10 min mile pace, slowing a bit in the last 4 miles. I had eaten jelly babies and an energy bar on the way round. The last 4 miles were really hard, but I managed to keep running all the way round, finishing in 4:22, a personal best.
A great, well managed event, which I would run again and recommend to anybody wanting a fast time. There weren't many slow runners, unlike London, where you often have to weave around the slower runners.
Garmin connect of the race here :
Here's a picture of me (in yellow) in the race.
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