OMY! Sports News

Inside the Berlin Half Marathon 2021

Berlin Half Marathon is my home race. It’s literally 800 m from my home to the starting point. No time consuming preparations, no additional expenses. Just put on sneakers, pick up starting number and jog to the starting line!

Ideal for the race, where world best runners from Kenya start, world records are set and 20 thousand people run. In the current realities, such starts are worth the gold!

My training plan is smashed by COVID, that I lived through about a month ago. What I had is 2–3 weeks of recovery without any serious exercises. Everything I have in my pockets are 2 short and slow runs, lots’s of antibodies, returned smell and descent sleep without nightmares. That’s all you need for a good run, isn’t it? ))

Get used to slow running and be mentally ready to get dropped. That’s the whole strategy.

With all this I stand in starting pack with the Kenyans 🙈 waiting for start signal. The brain starts to say «Hey! Get ready for the rumble!» and HR jumps to 120 )) What’s next?

The starting gun shots and we start running. A wave of people picks me up way faster then needed. I have to make an effort to “emerge” from this habitual flow and return to the planned 4:30 min/km.

The first 3 km I suffer mentally — everyone overtakes me. Then I find my group — it feels better. Suddenly I catch myself thinking that I am running and getting high: I study the people around me, gaze at the sights, communicate with neighbors and spectators. Is this an option? I didn’t know before ))

By the 11th kilometer I still feel good and decide to run faster.

Up to 18 km I’m running 4:10–4:15 min/km, drink water, eat Maurten gels (great stuff!). At the same time, I observe the growing number of those who get dropped. They ran 3–4 minutes ahead of me another 5 km back, and now they are dead. Wow!

It’s so easy to start slower and run faster during the race! Why do many run the opposite «plan»?

Around 18 km my inner voice starts telling me: “Let’s run faster! You can do it! It’s only 3 kms to the finish line?» It’s something quite new as usually at 18th km I hear only SOS ))

I run 3 km at 3:50 min / km. When you make such a leap from the depths of the running “peloton”, everyone around seems to be standing. I am flying through Unter den Linden, the Brandenburg Gate Arch and sprint to the finish. 2 years and finishing medal is mine again 🥇
My heart is pounding, my legs are in shock, I’m full of adrenaline and smile ))

No PBs, just “negative splits” (the first half in 45 min 20 sec, the second in 42 min 50 sec). But I’m super happy to run in 1H 28 min and become 438th

By my finish three young winners from Kenya are probably already frozen. They ran Berlin Half Marathon in ~ 59 minutes)) What a performance 🎉