We left for Berlin on Thursday, Sept 13th – giving us a couple of days in the city before the race. In a world with no responsibilities, I might have left earlier. This was the closest I could cut it to get acclimated to the time zone and not take too many days off work.
We flew through Istanbul on the way there.
I did manage to pack everything I needed in a carry on + a back pack. I used the Cotopaxi Alpa 35L.
As soon as we touched down Friday night, we walked from our hotel to the Brandenburg gate, which had a finisher’s village set up around it. We got back to the hotel and had a big water, potatoes from the lobby bar, and I had a small glass of wine too! It helped me go to sleep – that’s my rationalization and I’m sticking to it.
The next morning we walked past the holocaust memorial en route to get coffee and food. It is beautiful. The city enforces a lot of rules of respect around it, which I thought was cool.
We did the “Breakfast Run” for my shake out. I waffled quite a bit on whether to do this because it was kind of far from both the hotel and the expo. Ultimately, we decided to do it & took an Uber there.
It was SO packed that you could barely run (foreshadowing). I had a great time running it with my dad though, and it was cool to run inside the Olympic Stadium.
And I saw some friends!
Outside the new Olympiastadion is the old one where Jesse Owens won gold in front of Hitler.
Next we went to the expo for bib pick up. Shoutout to Marathon Dad for this picture! He was truly a champ on this trip. The expo was beyond packed and so busy. I snagged 2 Berlin Marathon jackets and we were out of there pretty quickly.
After the expo, we met up with the rest of our travel group – my boyfriend, John, his best friend, Ryan & his girlfriend, Morgan. We all went to see the Inline Skating Marathon – which was nuts!
The skaters do the marathon course in a little under an hour, and they are hauling. They hang onto each other while skating too. It also appeared to be a lot teams. It was a great activity to do while sitting.
We got a pasta dinner at a really cute spot on the River Spree before bed. Traveling to a major city for a marathon can be really challenging, because there are so many sites to see. For this race we did a great job of keeping Saturday low key.