Three German championships in just 7 weeks! It is challenging especially at the beginning of the year. The first of them, the 50km, was in Berlin. Friday after work my wife picked up Georg our team colleague and then they drove towards Berlin. I met and joined them in Bamberg. It was much easier for me than going from my work in Nuremberg back to Würzburg and then towards Berlin. We had about 500km to drive. So it was evening when we arrived at the hotel. The Hotel was located near Wannsee. So it was close to the start at the Olympic park. But it did not work out as we thought.
Friday morning I received an email from the organisation, that the event was relocated. It was because of some soccer games which are set up by the DFB just a few weeks ago. Therefore we had to drive to the other side of Berlin to Treptow-Köpenick in the morning. The race was now located at a wood area called the Pläterwald. It was quite annoying to take part at championships. It started last year at the Ultra-Trail championship at the P-Weg. A few months before the race it was not possible to sign in anymore, since they had limited starting places. In the end they agreed to give the runners on the waiting list a start place. This year already two championships are fully booked out. The only hope is that the DUV will plan better in future. Or will be, as my team colleague Georg is saying: “a pre challenge for the championship is the fastest internet user”?
Anyway, now we are in Berlin to take part at the 50km. At about 7pm we arrived in Berlin. After we had checked in, we went to Potsdam to have dinner. It was only a few minutes from the train station Wannsee and much shorter than to go to Berlin. After we had a rich and good dinner we went back to the hotel. Basically we could have gone directly to the race because I could not really fall asleep. I was awake most of the night.
In the morning at 7am we drove to the start area. It took us a while until we found it. Finally we found it and picked up our start bids. The remaining time before the start we used to have some small talk. Most of the time it did not take long until the same topic came up – the short term change of the location of this event and the problems with the signing in for the Ultra-Trail and the 6-hour championships. The event was now placed in middle of a small wooden area. There were multiple tents and a take away. But basically everything was outdoor. Not really nice with this kind of weather. It was dry, but still chilly 5-8°C.
The start was in time at 10am. Instead of a 4km loop we had a 5km loop. It was completely flat and was on forest tracks and asphalt paths. At the start and finish area there was the only long straight way. Otherwise there was no chance to see runners far in front. Because of the little curves, the forest and the part besides the river Spree it was a diversified course. So it was nice to run. The final time of the winner also shows that it was a fast runnable course. He ran a new German 50km record. He broke the 2:52h of Peter Seifert with a 2:49h. I had planned to start the race to reach a final time of 3:30h. For me it was still very early for this season and besides it was much to cold for me. Because of that I did not see much of the leading runners. Only, if the lapped me. There was only one aid station which was located at the start and finish area and basically it was enough with that kind of weather.
During my first loops everything was fine. Only the last 15km I had to slow down a bit. But I was still satisfied with my final time of 3:37h. After I had finished I went to shower. Luckily there were showers with warm water. When I had finished showering Georg had finished his race. We waited until he had taken a shower and had eaten something, then we drove home. We had about 5h to drive and we did not want to get home to late. Georg wanted to go to the DUV meeting in the beginning, but after all the location changes he did not want to go anymore. Besides I wanted to go running on an IVV track on Sunday. That is why I did not want to stay longer as necessary in Berlin.