Düsseldorf Marathon, GER, 27th April, 2014, New PB in spite of heavy rain and hernia

Meliá Hotel Düsseldorf, Elite Athlete Hotel, meeting with Cosmas Kigen; one of the pacemakers of the winner Gilbert Yegon
There I was, back to the place where I last set my PB. I was quite excited as I was much better prepared than prior to the Dubai and the Cyprus Marathon. In spite of running the third Marathon within 93 days I felt confident of being in a position to delete my old PB. However, everything seemed quite promising ignoring the fact that I was diagnosed with hernia at the end of March I was ready to kill the roads. To my surprise, when I woke up on Sunday I had to face the fact that it was raining nonstop. Damn, I said to myself deep inside, now having had to face the challenge of my first complete 42k race in pouring rain. Yet I had no other choice but to face this very tough challenge well knowing that it might be the last chance in 2014 to improve my PB as New York will be quite a tough course. 

It was also quite cold the minutes before the start so I would've preferred hiding somewhere in a tent still not willing to accept the circumstances. Nevertheless, when the gun went off I suddenly switched my mood from a wining pussy to a Tony Montana killer totally energized as if everything was perfect. To my satisfaction I got localized by Thomas Sambale, who escorted me last year until 30k after which he left me behind and also set a PB. The pace, the mood as well as the other runners turned out to be just fine. After 10k I upped my gear clearly sub PB pace. No group was running my pace, but Thomas who once again joined me for a new adventure. At 15k I felt I could consistently keep my pace and even prevented Thomas from taking the wrong way on 2 occasions. Unfortunately I had to realize that Thomas was not having a perfect day as he had planned to go a pace of 3:48 min/k but he was struggling staying focused at our 3:50 min/k pace. Yet, I tried to push him a bit when we were approaching a group of 5 runners and I told him to overtake them. We reached the 20k mark in a promising 1:16:26 h right before we crossed the halfway point in 1:20:33 h in 35th position. It was exactly then that I felt that he can no longer keep my pace while I was actually even accelerating a bit to a 3:47 min/k pace. I was truly sad at 22k as I knew then that I'd be alone for the rest of the race but on the other hand it was right then that I was convinced this time I could break my best. I flew towards the 25k covering my fastest 5k segment in 18:56 min. Now I was having a 60 second edge in comparison to last year's race keeping that strong pace in another 18:59 min by the 30k mark in 1:54:21 h. The 33rd position and a 90 second advantage encouraged me to keep going like that until I reached 35k in 2:13:37 h which meant a plus of 2 minutes. After the race I heard the bad news that Thomas had to quit the race at 32k due to charleyhorse. Me on the other hand, well knowing I would run a PB, was now even attempting to attack Dr. Derek Li's PB of  2:42:01 h, which he ran in Boston only 6 days earlier. At about 38k I was right on a 2:42 h pace and was looking forward to a thrilling finish. At 2:33:01 h, 40 kilometers passed and 2 more runners left behind I had a final boost as I was clearly heading sub 2:42 h. I kept pushing the 41st kilometer in 3:48 minutes, yet a bit cautious as I was also beginning to have cramps in my calves after kilometer 39. The 42nd kilometer only lasted 3:44 minutes heading down to the bank of the rhine with only 200 meters left I saw one last runner ahead of me who only had about 120 meters to go. Right after I saw him I was sure that I was going to catch him right before the finish. I succeeded in doing so by screaming like a lunatic crossing the finish among the top 30 in 2:41:19 h leaving the great Torsten Trems behind who has a 2:38 PB and who finished only 5 seconds behind me. With only 18 white runners, 11 German runners and no Romanian runner faster than myself I was having the greatest day of my life by that moment. I had once again defeated myself in the 5th consecutive season so now I will of course fight 100% in order to keep that nice streak going.

  5k - 19:21 min (15.5 km/h)
10k - 19:01 min (15.8 km/h) 38:22 min
15k - 19:04 min (15.7 km/h) 57:26 min
20k - 19:00 min (15.8 km/h) 1:16:26 h
25k - 18:56 min (15.8 km/h) 1:35:22 h
30k - 18:59 min (15.8 km/h) 1:54:21 h
35k - 19:15 min (15.6 km/h) 2:13:37 h
40k - 19:25 min (15.5 km/h) 2:33:01 h
Finish - 8:17 min (15.9 km/h) 2:41:19 h (15.7 km/h)
1st Half - 1:20:33 h (15.7 km/h)
2nd Half - 1:20:45 h (15.7 km/h)

New York Marathon