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Silke Loehndorf's Report

This was my 4th marathon in Berlin. Over the years I have gradually improved my time for the 26.2 mile course from over 2 hours to 1 hour 41 minutes. The last attempt three years ago in perfect weather. So this year I was hoping to get at a good time under 1 hour 40 minutes. I joined the Marathon Guides (called the Experts) again. They provide a paceline service for competitors. You set a target time and join one of the appropriate groups. Slowest, 2 hours 15 minutes, to fastest 1 hour 15 minutes, for this latter group you have to be a very fit fast skater.  For this year's marathon I bought new long frame skates, K2 Radical's, wheel size, 4 x 100mm.                                                                                              

 

Berlin 2012
                     Concentration, concentration

So the big day came, it was dry and a bit sunny, perfect conditions. There were 12 skaters in my paceline group. We set off and the first half went well in 48 minutes, two minutes within my target time. I had to concentrate hard to keep the fast pace but was doing okay up to about 21 miles. Then I noticed that my skates started to wobble a lot and initially I thought there was a problem with my wheels. But in fact it was my ankles that wobbled and struggled to keep my feet and skates straight. Shortly after I fell! Got up straight away but by this time had lost my group. So I skated the last few miles on my own. With one kilometre to go I turned into the avenue, Unter den Linden, with the Brandenburgh Gate in view. Not far to go now. I rolled through the middle of the gate and saw the finishing line. The crowd were cheering the atmosphere electric. I finished happy with a time of 1hour 38minutes 32seconds.

 

On Reflection

Berlin 2012
             Roll for fun

I think the reason for my wobbly ankles was the lack of training to build up muscle strength in my ankles. I had only switched back to skating six weeks before the marathon after running being the main focus for the year. With only one 18 mile skate under my belt, my ankles hadn't been able to keep up with my general fitness and endurance. My back was okay as I had used the rowing machine a few times. So I think next time I will need to do more longer skate distances.

How about a Scotia Skater's group next year with our very own paceline full of fun and savouring the wide roads and smooth tarmac of Berlin?

Berlin
               Don, Silke, Marcelo, Berlin marathon 2009