Date: 29.08.2021 Time: 1:23:01 Distance: 21.1km

The Müggelturm and Müggelsee half marathons are becoming something of a staple for me at this point. I first raced the Müggelturm Half Marathon last year, and for winning the age group you are awarded a free entry into the next event, so here I am.

Waking up on race day to the pattering against the window was a nice feeling; I knew my preparations hadn’t been very good* so the extra challenge of rain on an off road course made me feel a bit better. I enjoy running in the rain and I know that challenging condition play into my hands compared to most other runners, so the idea of some mud and rain on a off road course was a nice thought.

*to be fair my prep was not nearly as bad as it could have been, but I did run 28k the day before, including a hard parkrun, had a few drinks at a Birthday party and didn’t eat very much the day before.

Arriving at the race HQ it was clear that there were fewer runners that last year, which made for a much less stressful pre-race feeling. After picking up my number I met Matthias, who came third in the race last year, and after a bit of chat it was clear we’d probably be running together again.

The race is a lovely two lap course, lap one goes up the Müggelturm hill, and lap two is flatter, but a little longer. There are some fairly long parts which are on road though the forest, but most of the race is on off road tracks / trails. It’s a challenging start, after just 1km the race goes up the hill, so smart pacing is really important if you want to enjoy the rest of the race.

Unfortunately I didn’t pace cleverly.

As expected Matthias and I ran together from the start. We went a little too fast up the hill and I certainly paid for that later in the race. It’s an interesting dynamic in this race where the 10k runners start with the half marathon runners, on the same route. So we were joined by another runner who we ran with for 5km before he shot off ahead of us.

The first 17km was just Matthias and I pushing hard. The route is beautiful, all through forest with lovely fresh air. Although it had been raining in the morning the weather held off and we didn’t actually get wet at all while running.

I was actually looking forward to some rain and mud, but in the end we had a muggy and overcast day.

Just around the 17km point I tried to pull ahead a little, but found I’d overcooked it. I built up just a small gap which I held onto for a few Km, but was promptly overtaken by Matthias who finished super strongly. It was a well deserved win for him. He raced a clever race and left enough in the tank to finish with an impressive last few km.

After the race the sun even came out for us, so we stuck around for a drink and some food at race HQ.

As usual the age group prize was an entry into the Müggelsee half marathon, so I’ll be racing that in October. It’s a flatter and faster course, so I’m hoping for an improved result.