Date: 20.06.2020 Time: 33:37 (2:41 team) Distance: 8.44km (marathon)

In lieu of any real races this spring & summer the local running group in Berlin set up a ‘Marathon as a Team Relay’ race. The idea was that in terms of 3, 4 or 5 you’d run a marathon distance between you over the weekend. 

The team was composed of Andy, Dan, Dan, Thomas and myself. Dan #2 wasn’t actually back in Berlin at the time, so he did his leg earlier in the morning elsewhere. But the four of us who were present decided Tempelhof Airport was the best place to get a flat, uninterrupted course. I have always loved running at Tempelhof (an old airport that has been repurposed as a park), since you can still run along the runways and airplane taxi areas. 

Of course we still found a way for Dan #2 to join us…

We had found a neat course that went along the north runway and around the top half of the park, which was almost exactly 4.22km. Thomas started, running a solo lap. I then joined in for his second lap, and when Thomas was done, Andy joined for my second lap. I then finished and Dan joined Andy for his final lap. Dan finished with a solo lap, but all of us ran together for the final 200m. 

The only major problem we faced was the wind. There was a fairly strong wind giving a lovely boost when running along the runway, but resulting in a strong headwind when coming back along the edge of the park. 

Thomas’ first lap was a great start, hitting 16:15 for 4.22k. I then joined him and we managed a 16:20 lap. The Andy & I did our lap in 15:15, then Andy & Dan hit 15:20. Dan managed 16:00 on his solo lap. Overall it was a really strong performance from everyone.

The tactic of these ‘overlapped’ loops worked well because we were able to get the most out of each runner. I was able to push Thomas when I felt fresh & he was digging deep, then Andy did the same for me when he was fresh and I was tired.

Great to see Dan giving it his all!

In terms of my own running I am a lot less fit than I was a few months ago. When the spring race season got wiped out I decided to reset and aim for something in the autumn. On top of that I am still trying to regain the fitness I lost during my two weeks of quarantine. I was amazed at how much fitness I lost when I couldn’t leave the flat for two weeks.

My own performance aside, it was great to see the progress Dan has made in the last few months. Dan was entered into the London Marathon, and has deferred his entry to 2021. He was aiming for sub3 in London this year, but after an impressive training block recently he’s already in 2:50 shape. If he can keep building over the next 9 months he’s got a good shot at 2:45.

Will he do it?