The 8th one was ... magic (Read 925 times)

    Hanover Marathon (Germany): 6th May 2012


    Since my first one, I've never anticipated a Marathon as much as I have this one. Hanover is the perfect place to run one, very flat, perfect weather (8°C and cloudy) and perfect pacemakers.

    Still I managed to do the only thing you are not supposed to do on the Marathon week, namely, to run a 5K two days before the race, and even worse, I didn't run them, I race them, that is, I did my very best to win ...and I did (5,1km in 19:43)  :-)  So, I'm now officially the fastest 5k runner in my company (out of a few hundred runners). Anyway I should have known before, that running for second place is not really my thing, but still, it was FUN.

    So, on Sunday I got up at 5 AM, just to get the biorhythms on the right page, breakfast and walk to the appointment with my own little running history. My best time was run here 2 years ago (3h 18 min), and I'm not getting any younger, so I just had one goal in mind, stick to the 3h15min guys for as long as I could and then .. keep sticking to them a bit further and a then bit further ...

    The first km's were fine, no wind, cloudy, cool and the pacemakers running 4'30s per km (that is, pretty much constant pace to reach the 3h15min goal) and a bunch of people (close to 30) following them. Up to km 20 everything OK, we did the Half Marathon  in 1h36, perfectly on schedule I just had water here and there, and by then I was wondering where would The Wall wait for me (I had to pay sooner or later for Friday's race) but I was still feeling fine.

    By km 25 something strange happened: one of the two pacemakers, suddenly vanished, probably having a bad day, so it was just  the second pacemaker and around 10 guys following him.

    At km 28 I thought it was about time to get some energy shot so I tried (and failed) to grab one of the "energy gels" they were giving. At km 30 I succeeded to grab one Smile By km 32 I was still feeling a human being (what hasn't always been the case in previous races). At km 35 I failed again to grab one of those bloody energy gels. By then my battery was running almost on empty, so I focused on one simple thing; the 3:15 written on the back of the pacemaker's shirt, no legs, no pain, no lungs, just those 3:15, step after step, minute after minute, km after km.

     By then it was just the pacemaker and 4 guys. At km 37 I managed to get one of those gels Smile and I realized that the only guy following the 3:15 guy was ... me, so basically I had my private pacemaker, who started encouraging me  "come on, just 6 km", "come on, just 5 km", "come on just 4  km", "come on just 3 km", and by then I realized that, for the first time in my life, I had "broken The Wall", I was still running 4'30" km's when I was assumed to be a dead guy.

    Still, there wasn't much of Rafa remaining, but once we went through the Herrenhäuser Gärten (an area in Hanover where NOBODY is there to see you die) I saw the light when the pacemaker told me "come on we have 12 min to run the last 2,5km and massive public will be there soon", and I knew this time, was THE time.

     Moreover the last couple of km's are downhill, so I tried to stick to the pacemaker (by then my friend for life), took energies from where there were none, took oxygen from where there wasn't, kept running and running, took a turn to the right and saw the "ZIEL" banner, closed my mouth, smiled,  then the speaker said "Rafael Sales Segarra aus Spanien",
     I smiled, raised my arms to the air, enjoyed the cheering of the people and experienced the kind of happiness that just people that have finished a Marathon can understand, when you basically  see Heaven, Nirvana & Valhalla opening at once.
    Then I crossed the line closed my eyes and I knew I had done something to be proud of,  for the rest of my life, I've ran a Marathon in 3h 13' 45"
    .. then waited for the pacemaker who perfectly finished at 3h15', gave him a big hug, and I  would have given him a kiss if it wouldn't have felt a bit weird Wink

    ... and then I went to eat currywust mit pommes (one of the most unhealthiest things you can get in this part of the planet) and plenty of beers (with alcohol!) with a couple of good friends !!!!

    Targets 1) No injuries 2) Keep having fun 3) Some kind of PR

      Nice job!

      And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx



        Nice Job.


        Excellent read and very timely. I needed that inspiration...11 days out from my # 8. And mine finishes with Brauts and Beer!

          Congrats, Rafael, great race and great report!  The other day I watched my pacemaker fade into the distance from mile 22 on.  Do I really have to run five more to experience the magic?

          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.

          Consistently Slow

            Congrats. Great report.


            " I smiled, raised my arms to the air, enjoyed the cheering of the people and experienced the kind of happiness that just people that have finished a Marathon can understand, when you basically  see Heaven, Nirvana & Valhalla opening at once."


            So True!


            BQ 3:15 WTG!

            Payment for the 5k. Boston cut off last year 1:16--3:13:44 or will you go into the 45-49 group?

             Belgium is a long road trip to Boston but well worth it. Boston 2012 was my 1st. Hot as H...LL but  still worth it.

            Run until the trail runs out.

             SCHEDULE 2016--

             The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

            unsolicited chatter



              Excellent!  I can see your smile from way over here!  Smile


              Running is stupid

                Fantastic report and inspirational - can't believe you omitted the mayo from the pommes Smile



                2012 Targets:

                1:30hrs Continuous running

                17.5km in 1:30hr

                Half Marathon < 1:50 (PB 1:50:35 - 26/08/12 Pewsey)

                10k < 50mins (PB 45:09 - 15/07/12 West Tytherley 10k)

                5k < 24mins (PB 22:08 - 16/06/12 Andover Park Run 5km)

                Average Weekly Pace < 8min/mile (Current Best 8:02)

                  Nice race, nice report - thanks for sharing.