First We Take Manhattan ...

Posted on: 23 Sep 2016

It's a long time since I blogged. Now as I embark on perhaps the maddest ten days of my life to date, maybe we should make a bit more of an effort – ten days in which I hope to run two marathons and complete some serious (and very special) sightseeing. But more of that later. The first task is the 43rd Berlin Marathon. Stuff London - we all know how difficult it is to get a ballot place. But I just stuck my name into the hat for Berlin and out it came :-)

Cornwall Coast Path

And of course I've trained properly for this haven't I? - not a bit of it. Maybe this was the year I discovered the lure of heading out into the country – two White Star trail marathons – Beaminster to Lyme Regis – Durdle Door and back – a trip around Portland – Abbotsbury and Hardy's Monument– two chunks of the Cornwall Coast Path – various runs from West Bexington – and of course Tuesday evening Egdon Heath Harriers pub runs. Plenty of miles and hills but not much speed (relative term).

Giant's Head With Kim And Blogger Liz

As I get older I'm sure I find things more stressful. Like Sat Nav that can't keep track of satellites – that was last night – the hotel had almost given up hope of me arriving. And anyone anywhere near my car when it was parked up with me trying forlornly to reconnect, would have been hit with a wall of audible profanities. And airports – do it yourself check-in and baggage labelling – people on phones – people who walk too slow – people who walk too fast – people with children – people with strange accents – people with English accents – LOUD VOICES - I had my fill of them all today. Eventually we landed at Berlin Tegel, no bus to take us to the terminal!

Germanwings (well wing maybe)

But that is not the only journey I've been on. There is also the one I've made from non-runner to marathon finisher. And one of the joys has been the inspirational people I've met along the way. People like Gail. But more of that later. And Mr HollywoodDave. Today at Heathrow an (impersonal) machine spewed this out as part of my change.

I heard we were being encouraged to donate our first one to charity. Normally I would throw it into the pot for next year's London marathon. But this one will go to you instead Mr HD in recognition of Mrs HD's cancer battle.

And now I've settled down for the evening in my home for the next four nights – an AirBnB apartment in Kreuzberg. According to Wikipedia "one of the trendiest districts of Berlin". I've got my start number – and (curiously) my finisher's shirt (yay – JOB DONE – might just stay in bed Sunday). And worked out the best route to the start, by the Brandenberg Gate.

I loved the bit in Phil Hewitt's Marathon Addict book when he's just about fit to drop, towards the end of his first trip around the streets of London, and a young lad shouts to him "Go on Phil – you can still win this!". We can all dream :-)


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