Some of you noticed my interest in jogging. The reason for that were my preparations for my first half-marathon. On June 23 at 10:00 I started with other 6321 runners from the Hamburg Reeperbahn towards the harbour, along the Elbe, through the Wallring tunnel, over the Kennedy Bridge towards the Outer Alster from the east shore to the north to finally finish on Rothenbaum Chaussee near the tennis courts. This is the track of the 18. Hella Halbmarathon in Hamburg. My aim was to finish below two hours and I got it in the end in 1:53.12, which makes me the 258. in my age.group and 1367. in gender group.

Since it was my first half-marathon, I was very excited and could not sleep well (ok, it was because I’ve been invited to celebrate the wedding). Since it was raining cats and dogs, a usual Hamburg weather, I had no problems with overheating. Still it was a new experience, since I never practiced in the rain. The temperature is a natural self-regulation mechanism which was just not there in the race. Another novelty was the ability to drink on the way, but I’m not sure if it helps more or hurts more, since I was out of the rhythms and breath after each water supply station I used. I’m sure it is essential during the marathon, but for the half distance I could have left it out.

Running with a GPS watch gives a lot confidence. After the beginning euphoria, I forced myself to run two kilometers in 11 minutes to stabilize the breath and warm up the mussels and then stabilized myself on 5:20 for a kilometer. Sometimes it was difficult to resist and continue to run with constant speed, since the dynamics of the group is influencing one a lot. I tried to find a person running the same pace. After you find one it is very disappoining if the person falls back. In contrast to that the samba drummers are really motivating and provides a real push. I was wondering how many people were supporting us in the rain.

Once you spot the finish line, you forget anything about the previous 20km and step on it last time. After I finally crossed the imaginary finish line I had a feeling that I can just continue running for another 6-8km, most runners know what happens after it. The
endrophine after the finish line is astonishing. For all who does not understand this nonsense running thing, try it and you will get paid on the finish.

After the finish, still in the rain, but really happy I was received by the photographs. I promised myself to buy a picture, but paying €11,36 for one image is really too expencive for me. So no happy picture, but the certificate of participation. After a small nap for a week, I continue the practice for the next 10 miles run, Airport Race on September the 2nd. A nice track around Hamburg airport. Join me!

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