I can picture it now… I’m dashing through the streets of Berlin. The Brandenburg Gate is looming in the distance. Sweat is dripping from my brow. My legs are heavy and my lungs are ready to burst. The clock is ticking. The crowds are going wild. Someone hands me a Berliner Pfannkuchen which I promptly devour. I get a sudden burst of energy. I charge across the finish line and throw my arms up in jubilation. The sports commentators are beside themselves! She did it! On this most monumental day, Liz Anjos ran the race of her life!
Or I mean, you know, whatever. Maybe something like that! However it goes, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be running the 2015 Berlin Marathon! It has a legendarily fast course and a fascinating history. Fun facts:
1.) Nine world records have been set along its notoriously flat route, including Dennis Kimetto’s current record of 2:02:57 set in 2014. And remember when Haile Gebrselassie dipped under 2:04 for the first time in history in 2008? Yep, that was in Berlin.
2.) When the city was still divided, the marathon was limited to West Berlin. It was only in 1990 that the course was altered so athletes were able to run through the Brandenburg Gate and both halves of the unified city. Many runners had tears in their eyes as they ran through the gate. Remind me to pack tissues.
3.) The aid stations set up throughout the course offer water, sports drink, fresh fruit, and… tea? I mean, I dig that. I just hope it’s not too hot, in case someone mistakes it for water and dumps it on their head! Ouch.
So far training has been going swimmingly. Coach and I aren’t changing too much about our approach from when I ran the Philadelphia Marathon last year, with the exception of delving into slightly higher mileage. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve been hovering around 65-70 miles per week for the past month. It was a pretty tough adjustment at first, especially since I just happened to be on the road and at high altitude for the first two weeks, but I feel like I’ve finally found my daily double-digit groove. If you’d like, follow along with my training on Strava.
I’m targeting 2:55 as my time goal, though I’d be happy with anything under my current PR, 2:59. Another goal I have is to place as one of the top Americans. There are no elite American entries this year as of yet, and the top finishing times for non-elite American women have been hovering around 2:55-3:00 for the past four years- right in my territory.
Until next time, here are my questions for you:
I’m arriving in Berlin five whole days before the race. What must I absolutely see and do?
This will be my first time racing the marathon internationally. Any words of wisdom?
If you could run any marathon in the world, which would it be and why?