Saturday, September 26, 2009

Berlin Marathon - Race Report

Sorry it has taken a while to get the race report posted.  Here it is. 

PreRace: In the early morning I got in a good breakfast and then relaxed in the hotel lobby until I was ready to hop onto the shuttle bus to the start. I watched runners as they all walked by excited to hit the streets of Berlin.  The bus took us on a 20 minute ride from the hotel to the runners drop-off point.  Once out of the bus, I followed the herd of runners to the baggage drop-off tents, which seemed like a mile away.  I found a spot near my baggage tent, where I relaxed, stretched, and pondered at the task ahead.  About 40 minutes till the start of the race I made my way to Coral B, which was designated for 2:20-2:50 marathoners.  It was a good thing I went to my coral early because there were a ton of runners within the range of 2:20-2:50.  (According to the results, there were 502 runners that finished under 2:51 - unbelievable)

Race: When the gun went off I was cautious not to start too fast due to the excitement. I ran comfortably and reached the 1K mark in 3:36 (5:48 pace), a second or two/km faster than my planned goal pace. So, what was goal pace? Well, I decided a few months ago, based on training, that marathon goal pace would be 3:37-38/km or 5:49-51/mile.  The plan all along was to give it my all.  Run a gutsy race with even or negative splits.  Reaching the halfway mark in 1:17 plus, like I did in my last two marathons, was out of the question and never crossed my mind.  With the exception of the 2nd km (3:36), I ran the next 3ks right at goal pace and crossed the 5K timing mat in 18:00 flat.  My 5K split was about 12 seconds too fast, but I was okay with it because I was now running goal pace.  However, that didn't last long because I only slowed 2 seconds over the next 5 kilometers.  10K split was 36:02 (sub-2:32 marathon pace). 

From 11 - 20K I ran tactically.  The pace during this 10km segment was a little inconsistent because I was surging in some areas to catch runners up ahead when others couldn't hold the pace.  At one point, around 12K, one runner who was drafting off of me for a good period of time decided to come to the front to do some of the pacing.  I was fine and happy with that; however, he ended up setting a slower pace.  He knew it when we reached one of the markers and apologized to me.  I told him it was okay and then took off to make up some of the lost time.  My 3rd 5K split (11-15K) was in 18:07 (3:37, 7:26 (12-13K), 3:26, 3:38) and the 4th (16-20K) in 18:16 (3:40, 7:18 (17-18K), 3:39, 3:39).  I crossed the half-marathon mark in 1:16:20 (3:37/km or 5:49 pace). 

After the halfway mark, I was still running strong at goal pace.  I went through the 25K mark in 1:30:34 (18:09 5k split - 5:51 pace) and the 30K in 1:48:40 (18:06 5k split - 5:50 pace).  Following the 30K, I still felt good and was working with another runner.  We clicked off splits of 3:37, 3:35, & 3:38 for the next 3ks (31-33K).  I then began to slow a little over the next couple kilometers with splits of 3:43 & 3:44, which brought me to an 18:17 5k split (5:53 pace) at 35K.  The runner I was working with for most of the 2nd half now had about a 10 meter gap on me.  I told myself that if I can just catch up to him, then he'll pull me at least through the next couple kilometers.  I fought hard and was able to catch up to him with a 3:38 split (36K).  My time at 36K was 2:10:35, which was still sub-2:33 pace. Unfortunately, that last push was all I could manage and my goal of a 2:32-2:33 marathon was about to slip away.

Splits 37-40K were 3:49, 3:43, 3:49 & 3:47. The last 5k segment (36-40K) was 18:46 (3:45/km or 6:02 pace).  When I reached the 40K mark in 2:25:43, I knew I had to dig deep if I wanted to lower my PR.  At 42K, I crossed the Brandenburg Gate, which was an electrifying feeling, and could see the finish line just 200 meters ahead.  With about 100-150 meters to go I saw the clock ticking at 2:33.4x.  I then gave all the remaining effort I had left, but sadly watched the clock roll over to 2:34.  Official net time was 2:34:06. You can view my splits here or below, official results here and video clips here

Also, here is a news article that was published in one of the papers in Guam. 
Here are my 5K splits:

5 km 00:18:00
10 km 00:36:02
15 km 00:54:09
20 km 01:12:25
Half 01:16:20
25 km 01:30:34
30 km 01:48:40
35 km 02:06:57
40 km 02:25:43

Overall: 98
Gender Place: 91
Age Group: 25
Gun Time: 02:34:08
Net Tiime: 02:34:06

Thanks to all who were following my race and cheering me on.  You all rock!


Mark said...

nice report, worth the wait and awesome job at the Berlin Marathon.

Love2Run said...

Great effort Wayne on a less than ideal day. Haile lost his 2 minutes in the last 5k when the heat got to him so I can imagine what it did to the rest of the field. Strong race!

Thomas said...

That's a gutsy race, and the slow-down over the last few km was minor - I would blame the temperatures for that, look what they did to Haile. Well done.

Wayne said...

Thanks guys. I appreciate the comments.

GUAMtastic said...

Congratulations on a PR!! Fantastic! Safe travels to DC -- see you at MCM!!

spyder said...

Great PR!!! This is a good run update. Thanks for the reference.