Yesterday I finished my third race, the Munich Airport 10k. You may or may not remember that I ran the 5k distance of that race last year, as my very first race ever. But you have to know that this year’s race was totally different! They changed the location of the start and finish, which meant we ran a totally different course.
Yes, we ran right through the entire Munich Airport! Unfortunately, this course map does not tell you that we had to run through several tunnels, over bridges, and up and down a few stairways! In short, this course was a beast, and I had no idea.
At exactly 2:15 pm our pack of 10k runners started the race. I had found a former co-worker (he transferred to a different department), who offered to stay with me for a while. So I had somebody to talk to. Yay!
Right after we started I realized that this race was much tougher than I had expected. It began with several long climbs that took us straight to a stairway that we had to run down. Are you kidding me?! A freaking stairway?! And that was just the first mile. I tried my best to ignore the thought that I had to get back up that stairway at the very end of the race, but I was getting a little worried.
After a little more than a mile, my running buddy left me to find his own stride, and as I was going quite slowly, I was practically alone at mile 2. There were very few distance markers on the course, but as I knew the area I had a rough idea where I was.
At about mile 2.5 I saw a very fast guy running towards me. He was already on his way to the finish! In my opinion, that’s the not-so-fun part of an out-and-back course.
The sun had come out a few minutes before our start, and it was getting quite hot. I was really looking forward to the water station, that should have been at mile 3.5, shortly after the turning point.
When I finally reached the turning point, I looked down at my watch and saw a time that was much slower than what I had expected. I was going at a moderately challenging pace, so I was a little bummed, but blamed it on the hilly start.
And then I finally reached the water station. I was handed a cold (!) cup of water and quickly realized that I simply can’t run and drink at the same time, so I walked for a few seconds. Those few sips of cold water were exactly what I needed at the moment, and gave me a little boost to keep going.
At around mile 4 I heard someone huffing and puffing behind me. I was one of the half marathoners, that had started 15 minutes before us. He literally flew by and left me in the dust. Wow!
A little later I saw two women in the distance in front of me. I was determined to catch them! I didn’t want to go all out as I still had more than one mile to go, but I tried to run just a little bit faster. And I did get closer to them! After the dreaded bridges, tunnels, and stairways (grr!), I had almost caught up, and I knew that we had less than half a mile to go.
I stayed right behind the two ladies, and shortly before the finish line I tried to pass them. But they wouldn’t let me! So I crossed the finish line right behind them. I was done!
Official time: 1:14:20 minutes
My #1 goal for this race was to finish strong and not come in last, and that’s what I did. But to be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with my time. It was a very, very tough course, I know, but still!
After the race, I heard some rumours going around that the course was actually longer than a 10k, and I somehow felt the same during the race. So when I got home I mapped out the race course with a handy little tool, and it ended up being around 11 kilometers! That’s almost 7 miles! I’m not entirely sure what the exact distance was, but I’d like to believe that I’m not that slow.
Anyway, despite my lousy time I’m quite proud of myself. I kept going even when my legs were screaming at me to stop, and I finished strong and left a few people behind me. And I even had fun! I will surely race again.