“Stay on these roads
We shall meet, I know
You feel so weak, be strong
Stay on, stay on…”
– a-ha (the band, not the light bulb moment)
4:27. That’s the time it took for Odd to finish the 42nd BMW Berlin Marathon. It has been 9 years since his last full marathon and he can’t believe he made it to the end. It’s not as fast as he had done in years past but as he begins to creep closer to 50, he was just happy to finish – along with over 40,000 runners from around the world.
Often times Odd wasn’t sure if he was going to make it. Somehow seeing banners of encouragement helped him through.
“Pain is just French for bread!”
“This seems like a lot of work for a free banana!”
“Never stop chafing your dreams!”
Laughter through pain always helps, he assures us.
Neighbors across the street enjoy a peek from their windows.
At mile 27, we saw Forrest Gump.
A bottle of Erdinger beer, anyone?
As Karina and I anticipated Odd’s approach, I was distracted by an old man and his dog. I watched them shimmy their way across the road, dodging runners. The poor dog yelped, probably fearing he would get trampled. I was in awe. They made it to the other side unscathed. Thank goodness.
I continued to squint, trying to find Odd, with camera ready in hand. Soon a young couple with bicycles stood next to us, blocking our view. This time I couldn’t quite figure out how they would cross the street with the stream of marathoners coming our way. I got lost in thought. At that exact moment, Odd surprised us from behind and jogged on the spot long enough to say a few words. Karina and I laughed the whole time and completely missed the photo op. Anticlimactic really. As he continued to run, Karina and I realized the couple with the bikes made it to the other side of the street. We both continued to laugh at Odd’s unexpected arrival, but more importantly, wondered how those two cyclists got across? We’ll never know.
Karina and I then got on the Bahn and headed to Brandenburg Gate. We arrived with thousands of cheering spectators and loud speaker blaring music. The announcer gave the runners their final “500 meters” and the runners were ecstatic, feeling an inevitable sense of relief. The energy was overwhelming.
Odd texted “40” meaning he was at mile forty. Two more miles to go. He had waited almost a decade for this moment and I was determined to capture it on camera. This time I was ready. Suddenly, Karina quickly became irritable and hungry. Seriously!?! Now?? So we moved away from the gate and found a bakery nearby. Karina didn’t find anything she wanted and asked for the banana I brought. She couldn’t find it in my backpack, so I turned to search for the banana. At that exact moment, Karina looked up, waved her hand and called “daaaaaaaaaad!!!” She was laughing hysterically! I was not at all amused. My hands were in my bag and my camera was not accessible. He didn’t see us. I turned and managed to snap this picture but all I got was his backside. He’s the one rockin’ the eighties headband between the third and fourth male cheerleader.
Besides, do you know how many people would respond to “dad”? Ha.
I tried to run along the side hoping to catch him. My turn to dodge spectators but I lost sight of him. The best I could do was text him, “congratulations. we saw you. smiley face.”
Today is his third day post-marathon and he is no longer waddling around like a penguin. As the pain is beginning to subside, he tells me is ready for another marathon. A runner’s high, I suppose. I will never understand. Care to join him?
What a nice souvenir especially on his birthday! A happy birthday indeed.
Since BMW sponsors the Berlin Marathon and maybe some of you like cars, I thought I’d share the BMW i3 and i8 we saw in the hangars at the old Tempelhof airport.
“Stepping” or jumping on this grid adds mileage to the BMW i3.
For the sportier type, here’s the plug in-hybrid BMW i8. For about €140,000 you can drive one home today.