|After the Pretzel Run!|
The start saw the usual melee of people sprinting off excessively fast, and it was all I could do to stay on my feet and run at my own pace. Some people can be unlucky (such as Ross on this occasion) and take a tumble, but although I was elbowed and had my heels clipped, I was able to find my own space and run (noticing after about a km that I was quite close behind Gemma). I wasn't running to my watch, but just seeing how I felt for the first few km, and it felt really comfortable. I know that Gemma usually runs a fast first half, and so I was surprised to overtake her after only a couple of kilometres. This might not have been so wise, as then I was out in front heading into the wind as it swirled round the tall buildings.
Unfortunately, however, the heavens opened at about the 17k mark! The rain did have a few benefits as the guys in front slowed down slightly so that I suddenly found myself running in a bit of a group for a km or two, and it seemed so much easier. I was then back on my own heading towards the halfway timing mat - impressively enough, there were still people scattered along the road cheering us on, even if they could hardly be seen underneath their big umbrellas. I was surprised to be a minute quicker at the halfway point than I had been at Barcelona, and was still feeling pretty comfortable.
Not long after that we wound round up an access ramp and onto one of the bridges over the river. The weather did cause a few problems here, as I couldn't take my preferred line (the inside of the bend as we circled up) due to a "river" running down it in the opposite direction. I realise that might sound odd as my shoes were already soaked through, but it's natural to try to avoid huge streams and puddles. There was a small loop on the far side of the river, but though I scanned runners coming the other way ahead of me, I couldn't see anyone I recognised.
We returned to the city centre at about the 36k mark and I spotted Doug, who encouraged me to keep working saying that I was "on target", and then he headed off to the finish. About this point I passed a lady who had a number on her back (the rest of us all had numbers on our fronts), which confused me slightly. She was the first lady I'd overtaken since Gemma way back in the early part of the race, and suddenly I realised the significance of the number on her back. She had her name on her chest and hence I knew she was one of the elite runners (from Ethiopia).
|The "garage door" finish|
The Frankfurt marathon finish is widely known as a unique indoor finish, but it seems very odd as a runner. You cross several chip mats in the pedestrian area and then turn in through what appears to be a garage door, duck under a low ceiling boom and then
|The "indoor" finish|