From Newcastle to Berlin. 2 races each with great outcomes and both in warm weather. If you ever want to do a race and guarantee the weather ask me along as I always seem to be able to get a marathon sun tan and both of these races were no exception. Also in both cases I was able to get close to the front to start and that made all the difference when trying to get through the crowds of runners which had hampered me in previous years.
The GNR was looking for its millionth finisher which is incredible when you think about it. The start was quite hectic even though I was near the front. It's all the luvvy celebs - none of which I recognised. Even dodging all over the place I managed 6.40 for mile 1 and 6.20 for mile 2 which on the face of it was good but I knew that if I kept it up I'd pay for it later. I was aiming for around 6.50 pace which would get me under 90 minutes. The early miles did have an impact and I ended up with just under 7 min mile pace at 91.37. With 57,000 starters I was pleased to be in the top 2%
Berlin is my 4th out of the 5 majors I want to run. I don't count Tokyo as it was added later and I have no interest in running it. Weather and crowds were great, the course is flat and the sights are amazing. Plan was to try and beat 3.20 with an average of 7.30. Bad start as I got knocked over at the first drink stop. Confidence also took a bit of a hit. Worked towards 7.30 at half way but the miles took their toll and I ended up with 7.36 which translates to 3.22.11. A new pb by 1.5 minutes. Would do it again if the travelling was easier but that's another story.
The photo is a selfie at the start in front of the Brandenburg Gate which I ran through in the last 400m. Although you can't see it I am sporting my Moorfoots top.