This past Sunday I ran my first half marathon in Germany (automatic country PR – I am loving it!). It was the Cologne Half Marathon (RheinEnergie Marathon Köln) and my brother ran with me. Well, in fact, he left me behind at around KM 6.
Cologne, of course, is a very pretty city. It was a great choice for a first German race.
The race day started with some confusion. Where is the start line? You’d think German efficiency would prevail, right?
To make sure that I do find the finish line, I decided right here and then that I would make sure I follow the runners in front.
Instead of mile-markers, there were kilometer-markers. Other than on a 10K run I have never had kilometer-markers. And I wasn’t sure if I would really like it. But it turned out those kilometer-markers come around rather quickly and I embraced them. Very early on I found a runner who was running a very steady pace, so I decided to follow him. I am very bad with keeping a steady pace…
Unfortunately, this runner decided not to stop at the aid stations for water, so I ended up losing him around KM 12. Luckily, there was another runner who took his place for the next 3km. After that I was on my own for pacing.
With my lack of training due to the Olympics, injuries and sickness, I was a little worried about not making it, but I did. And I did well! The course is flat, probably an ideal course for a PR (as my brother showed me). I didn’t quite PR, but it was second fastest race ever (2:21:35) and I finished with a big smile.
I also followed a clown runner for most of the race, so that made me smile, too. I didn’t have a phone on me during the run, I would have loved to get a photo of him.
Most importantly, I got my medal:
Our parents and brother congratulated us at the finish line. It was great to run with my brother again and then have the rest of the family around to celebrate. I guess, all that speaks for running more races in Germany.
Since I was doing so well in Cologne, I need to pick a new city though, so I at least can have another PR, a new city PR. 🙂