Running log #5

Yesterday was the Grand Prix de Berne, a ten miler that weaves through the Swiss capital’s city centre. When we got there, it was really warm; the sun was shining and we started worrying about the heat during the race.

We met up with some friends, collected our goody bags and got changed. We hung around for a bit and then started to warm up. At this point, I felt my legs heavy and when my heartrate started going up, I just felt like leaning up against a tree and sleeping a nap. How on earth was I going to run 1km, let alone 16?

When we started running, there was a strong wind making the trees swish and sway and there were many tree particles flying around that got into our eyes and our throats. There were also many, many people. Because of all this, the race started off slowly, which was good for me, as it prevented me from jumping the gun and frying up long before the race was over.

We went through the historical city centre, and then there were a few km along the neighbourhoods on the riberbank. At this point, I started picking up speed. I felt good, and whenever I was feeling tired, I looked at my watch and found that I was actually going faster that usual and gave myself permission to slow down.

There were many supporters on the street, cheering, playing music on boom columns, brass bands, rock bands, capoeira musicians, you name it. This takes your mind off your thoughts, gives you rhythm and energy.

After a few miles, we started running up into the zoo forest, which was lovely and refreshing and took my mind off the climb. When coming out of the forest, I realised we were around 8.5km, my time was rolling well and it was downhill from there until 10km. So I started sprinting.

And then it started raining.

Actually, pouring. There was lightning, thunder, hailstone, and big, large drops of never ending rain. We started climbing back into the city and at this point I only worried about staying focused. I had random thoughts about Noah and the Ark. The only time I started getting discouraged (because my feet were wet and my trainers wheighed a ton), one of my friends took over and gave me a squeeze on the shoulder.

At this point, my timing was so good I knew I could aim for 1h30 if I didn’t die down on the climb in the last 2km. So I took an energy gel from a volunteer, ran as fast as I could down to the bridge, and got ready for the climb.

Because I knew I only had under 2km till the end, the climb was bearable, albeit long. I still had some fight left in me, so I managed to overtake quite a few people. The last km started downhill and then was flat, so I started speeding up again.

I turned a corner and saw a banner named “Ziel”. It took me fraction of a seconds to realise that actually meant finish line, and then I sprinted off until I was under it.

What a lovely race! The storm was a little too much and in the end of the race I was really cold so we had to run back to the hotel as fast as we could to hit the warm shower. However, the beauty of the race and the liveliness of the Bernese made up for all that, and it is now up in the top of my favourite races ever!

  • Pleasure: 9
  • Pain: 2
  • Number of times I thought “is this over yet?”: 0
  • Motivation: 7
  • Ambiance: 10
  • Scenery: 9

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