Relay Marathon 2013 Hamburg

Finisher!

It’s done. Today I participated in the relay marathon 2013 in Hamburg and we all saw the finishing line. We took a total time of 3:30 hours as a target (a quite ambitious goal) and needed 3:32 hours. So there’s still a bit of  room to do better, but each of us is happy about his time.

I ran together with Nick Prühs, Nils Neubauer and Florian Brezinski and we agreed to take the whole event mostly for fun. But of course we are all ambitious, everyone of us really pushed himself. The distances were split as follows:

  • 16.3 km Christian Oeing
  • 11.4 km Nick Prühs
  • 5.0 km Florian Brezinski
  • 9.5 km Nils Neubauer

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My relay marathon background

To run this relay marathon wasn’t a difficult decision because I still had to settle a score with this kind of event. In September of the last year I already participated in a relay marathon with my friends Frank Upgang, Alexander Benölken and Matthias Nieratschker from my home town.

The event took place in Münster, NRW. We planned that race several months ago and according to this each one of us trained quite a lot. Our goal was to reach a total time of 3:00 hours which would mean a good chance to get into the top 10 of all relay groups (in the end it would have been the 10th place). It was very ambitious, yes, but since we trained a lot it could have been worked out.

The race day came and it was a great day for a day on the beach. Remember I said the event day was in september? Well, Petrus decided to give the summer a last shot: We had a temperature of 30 degree celcius!

I was the 3rd runner. When Frank arrived we were already behind our goal time, of course you can’t run at your normal speed with that kind of weather (at least now I know that). I tried it anyway and it was really a pain. Nonetheless I was just a bit behind the time I took up, so I went on: My spirit was willing, but my flesh was weak. I held on till 1 kilometer to the transition zone, after thinking a hundred times: This has to be the last turn, this has to be the last turn… Then I woke up very comfortable bedded in an ambulance for some seconds and then in a first aid station. It took just some minutes for me to realize that I didn’t made it and the frustration came quick. I had to stay in the hospital for a few days, but just for observation.

Later I was told that I lurched on the track and was (fortunately) pulled out of the track by a medic before I fell down. My chip was given to our 4th runner by another runner, so at least he could finish the race. And we all got finisher shirts, mine was brought to me by my friends in the hospital. Of course I can’t call it finisher shirt as I never saw the transition zone.

So, that’s my background, now back to the race today. The motto was: New game, new luck!

The race

Nick, Florian and I met at the start at the Messehallen at 8:30 to exchange the stuff each one needs after he arrives at the transition zone. We all had to get up very early considering that it was Sunday, but we were in a good mood. The weather was really fine (sunny, but not too warm) and everybody had a good feeling about the upcoming event.

I  said goodbye to Florian and Nick and warmed up a bit before I set out for my starting group. It was a really nice atmosphere and there were just as many people participating that it didn’t get too crowded at the start. So my compliments to the organization, good job! 🙂

The race began and due to my experiences in the past I decided to start slow. My personal goal time was 1:30 h, but I just wanted to use my pulse as an indicator how fast to run instead of the clock. That was a very good decision. The weather was great, the audience created a great atmosphere all along the track and my timings for the kilometers were lower than I expected. I was a bit above 5:00 min per kilometer. I expected that the timings got worse the longer the distance, but my pulse stayed at 150 bpm and I could keep up my speed. I even had some reserves for the last 300 meters till the transition zone and so I finished with a great time of 1:22:47!

Learning from failure

Finally I am allowed to call my finisher shirt a finisher shirt, of course I wore it during the race 🙂 There were multiple factors which allowed the success today: The weather, the atmosphere, the decision to run by pulse instead by time, no too high pressure and of course the experience from the failed relay marathon in Münster.

Today I am sure that although I didn’t finish the race in September, I learned something which prepared me very well for the races to come.

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  1. […] track. I came across the village where I broke down a year before during the relay marathon (See My relay marathon background). This time though I already did more than 30 kilometers and didn’t see a reason to stop. […]

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