Cheering. Shouting. Applause. Bands play. Cheerleaders dance. Drums roll. Sweet old ladies hold balloons. Excited children throw confetti. Names are shouted out. A fizzing excitement lies in the air. And 40.000 runners in between. 40.000 runners, who master the incredible 42km. The atmosphere is hard to put into words.
I myself have run four half marathons and have always loved being cheered at. But I’ve never stood by the roadside and cheered for other runners. And I would have never thought that that could be so exciting! Big feelings, just like when running myself!
Diana and I had the honour of being invited by the Holiday Inn Friends & Family Zone to cheer for the marathon runners. It was the perfect weekend. On Saturday evening we were warmly welcomed at the very central Alexanderplatz Holiday Inn, made ourselves comfortable and then headed to the pre-run pasta party to carb-load before the run … even though we didn’t run, oops! For the runners it was the perfect run preparation, though. But Holiday Inn is official Berlin Marathon partner for the third time already, so I was expecting as much. The breakfast next morning was just as perfect. Thank god cheering is hard as well, so we really dug in before heading off to the race… 😉
The Holiday Inn cheering zone was at kilometre 35, just where the hard part of the marathon begins. Diana and I expected the first runners to arrive at about 1,5 hours into the race. And when the first runner approached, I completely flipped out. It was Wilson Kipsang, the Kenyan marathon world record maker, whom I had met and talked to just the day before thanks to Adidas! (Fun fact: just at kilometre 35 his pacer gave up, which first made me wonder, until I realised that otherwise he would hold the world record!). My excitement went through the roof. I guess you heard me screaming on Snapchat? 😀 (ps. he turned second this time and didn’t break his own record!)
Diana and I especially had our fingers crossed for our blogger colleagues Florian, Lars and Maren. I was especially thankful for the SCC-App, which we could use to track where our runners were at the very moment. So so so exciting! The app is my number one tip for all marathon fans, because that way you definitely won’t miss your favourite runners. What summed up the atmosphere of the day perfectly, was when Flo stopped to kiss his girlfriend Carina. So passionately and completely in love. He didn’t mind about losing time. It was the perfect way to describe what one was feeling during the race.
Although, my strongest feeling is still missing. The INCREDIBLE lust to run. It was the worst! Cheering was wonderful, but I wanted to be cheered at! I wanted to be one of the crowd. Already during breakfast I wanted to be one of the people eating in their running gear. After the run I wanted to return to my comfy room and put my legs up. The day was so extremely motivating. During the next race I won’t stand by the side. I will be one of the runners! Although I have to say that it will probably be a half marathon though, not a full one. The first aid and massage station at kilometre 36 intimidated me a bit to be honest. And the extremely fast runners, who just suddenly collapsed and got crams. It hurt my heart to see it and I wish I had had water, magnesium and bananas for all of them…
But 35.827 runners made it into the goal and I was happy for each and every one of them. Especially for my three favourite runners of course. And to not only tell you how a marathon felt from the outside I snatched Lars and Flo after the run to ask them for a statement.
Lars from runwithlars.de: Worst thing about a marathon? “The Wall”. It hit me quite badly at kilometre 27. First my head told me to give up, then my legs. But that’s when a marathon actually just begins. Overcoming boundaries when it gets hard. And all the familiar and even more nameless faces made me feel like party, goose bumps and crying again. Then having the medal put around my neck and knowing that I had mastered the damn 42195 meters made it all worth it!
Florian from flooorrriii.de: At 32 it got extreme. My muscle got hard and startet twitching – I wasn’t sure if I could make it without getting injured. And there were also my stomach problems. But giving my best, not only today but during the last months too, was all was awarded at the finish line. The feeling, when complete strangers cheer for you is a crazy feeling! I would always do it again!
In cooperation with Holiday Inn