Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chennai Runners @ Berlin Marathon

A small gang of Chennai Runners is all set to run the Berlin Marathon tomorrow.  Hari, Harish, Niranjan, Shahid & Anand will be running through this historic city.  A city that was the epicenter of all major realignments in Europe for centuries.

Ramesh & I ran this Berlin Marathon in 2009.  That was my marathon # 11 and first of the world majors.  Here is a short illustrated reminiscing post.. dedicated to the Chennai Runners running Berlin tomorrow..
The entry was rather easy when we ran this marathon.  It did get full and was closed early but was open long enough for us to get thru the general registration comfortably.  Over the years, the window for registration has shrunk considerably and I hear it is going to be 'lottery system' from next year.



Sea of runners at the start.  It was perhaps 30 - 35K, all full marathoners.  We started in what was earlier, East Berlin and ran through East & West Berlin to finish near the famous Brandenburg Gate.  This is one one of the 'flattest' courses in the World Majors and Haile created his world record here.  My dream for Chennai is to have a world class marathon that attracts over 35,000 runners from across the world and becomes a celebration of sorts.
The icing on the cake was last 100 meters, we get to run through the historic Brandenburg Gate to the finish.  To be able to run through a place where a wall stood for over 30 years dividing the city, country and the world was simply emotionally overwhelming for many runners.
Runners spread around the huge open space near Brandenburg after the run and chilled out.  Surprisingly, the weather turned warmer and sunny.  I stayed back for few more days in the city to do some sight seeing.  But..

Ramesh had to rush back.  He had a flight to catch flight soon after the race for some business meetings back in Delhi the very next day morning....

Good Luck Chennai Runners.. Hari, Harish, Niranjan, Anand & Shahid (last two not in the picture..).  May the force be with you..

More Berlin Marathon Photos here..