Saturday before the Sunday marathon we met up at Charlottenburg Palace to do a four mile fun run organized by the marathon planners and open to registered marathon runners and their friends and family.  Jim was very reticent about participating but ended up loving it.  It was wonderful and fun being among a sea of international participants.  The costumes were hilarious and we finished by running into the Olympic Stadium and doing one lap on the track.

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Marjy, Gayle and Deb at the start line in front of Charlottenburg Palace.
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A sea of international runners trotting along at a very slow pace.  They have to run 26.2 miles tomorrow.
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Jim and Marjy brought up the rear.  Jim was the slow one.  Olympic stadium in the background.
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Entering the stadium, there was no more running with everyone taking pictures.
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Some of the costumes, wait until you see the others.

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Jim and Marjy still have to complete their lap.
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Deb, Sandy and Gayle at the finish line waiting for the stragglers.
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Another volunteer jacket from Boston 2019, like ours.
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Jim and Marjy finally made it to the finish line.
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Just before it came crashing down.
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A little Viagra and it came back up again.

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Speaking of Viagra
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These guys could use a bit of the wonder drug.
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Very thrilling to be in this stadium and run on the same track where the American track and field athlete Jessie Owens won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games.  He was recognized during his lifetime as perhaps the greatest and most famous track and field athlete of the time.
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Sole sisters minus two.
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What an exhilarating experience.

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It is ironic that Hitler planned on showcasing the dominance of the Aryan people to the world at this 1936 Olympics and Jessie Owens ended up proving him so very wrong.
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Deb and Gayle are in pursuit of the six major marathon medals.  After Berlin they only have two remaining.
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Republic of South Africa runners.

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After the fun run we had a nice breakfast at Noah’s Restaurant and Cafe which we liked so much that we booked the pre-marathon pasta/carbo loading dinner there for later that same day at which time we planned strategies for seeing Gayle and Deb along the course the following day.  Sandy, The Race Director, came up with a good spectator support plan.  Gayle’s family will see her off at the start and then proceed to the halfway point to see her again.  Sandy, Jim and Marjy head to the 10K mark to cheer them on from there and then will see them again at the 40K mark which is near the end while Gayle’s family will see them again at the finish line.  After breakfast the marathoners went home to rest up for the big run tomorrow.  We hung out at Dick and Andrew’s home.  Jim watched the rollerblade marathon which went right by the house.

Marathon day turned out rainy and cold but Deb and Gayle had trained very hard and really aced this course despite the rain.  We could not believe how consistent their times were from the 1st mile until the last.

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Selfie at the start.
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Deb at the 40K mark looking strong.
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Didn’t get a picture of Gayle at the 40K as she flew by so fast.
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We cheered on all runners here at the 40K mark for about 30 minutes.
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While waiting on the runners to finish and return to their hotel we took Marjy to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which was bombed during the war.  This new church stands next to the ruins of the original.
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We also went to an 11th floor bar for a drink and a rainy view of Berlin.
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They look really good for having run 26.2 miles in the rain and probably walking another five miles to the start line and back.
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Gayle ran a personal best time beating her old record by 10 minutes.  This is her 10th and fastest marathon at age 61.
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Jack, 2nd from the right has had no prior mention.  He is Gayle’s brother-in-law married to her sister Karen.
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Sandy and five of her running mates ranging in age from 30’s to 70’s call themselves the “Sole Sisters”.  Gayle, Deb, Marjy and Sandy are in Berlin for the marathon while another member Dana Weigel is running a road race in Bellingham, WA.  Dana is far right above.

After the marathon we had a final dinner together near their hotel.  Monday morning Sandy met Marjy, Debbie, Melanie, Mike and Gayle at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum.  Jim then met Marjy and Sandy for lunch before touring the Neues Museum.

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An escape kayak at Checkpoint Charlie museum.
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Another method of attempting escape from East Berlin.
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The River Spree.
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Berlin Cathedral – We did not go in and did not climb the bell tower.

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Marjy and Jim exploring the Neues Museum.
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Berlin Golden Hat is a late Bronze Age artifact made of thin gold leaf whose significance is unknown.
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Grand staircase in the Neues Museum.

Marjy flew back to Boston with us while the rest of the crew continued on to Amsterdam, Munich for Octoberfest and Bavaria to see the castles.  We did run into Karen and Jack at Tegel Airport Monday morning as we were all headed to our gates.

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Goodby Berlin and goodby Europe for now.  On to Boston, LA and Melbourne.

5 Replies to “BMW Berlin Marathon”

    1. We should try and hook up sometime. We will be in Melbourne till December 18 and then in Seville January 10-March 10 and Madrid March 10-April 15. Let us know if we overlap in any of those places. Will probably also visit our daughter in Portland sometime next year, will let you know.

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