A (race) weekend in Berlin

This weekend past, I was again due to be racing, and again, couldn’t take to the line with the same knee injury as in Bath. Rather than waste the flights and hotel, I decided to go and support my club mates in the race.

From this I came up with several observations:

Berlin’s airport system is uncharacteristically disorganised

Currently in operation is Berlin-Tegel and Berlin-Schönefeld, however both of these were due to shut in 2012 to pave the way for the new Berlin-Brandenburg airport. However, this airport was announced as delayed a mere 4 weeks before the first flight was due to leave. And now isn’t expected to open until 2016!

I actually already knew this, but what the race taught me was that there was a fourth airport, Berlin-Tempelhof, already closed to make way for Berlin-Brandenburg. (People with better history knowledge than me will, of course, know it as the receiving airport for the Berlin Airlift.)  This airport closed in 2008, but the building has been kept and it was the site of the pre-race Expo this weekend. This gave me the change to take some photos, having never been in a disused airport before, and it’s pretty cool.

The outside was pretty cool too, especially with an old American plane on the apron.

Germans don’t really run in fancy dress

Or for charity.

When spectating the race, I was struck by how few people there were in fancy dress. Instead, it all seemed rather serious, in contrast to the Bath Half a few weeks ago, where a sizeable number of the field were running with giant backpack ‘boobs’ for the charity “Coppafeel”. I queried this with some friends and it seems the Golden Bond charity place idea hasn’t really taken route in Germany.

Or club kit

Hardly any of the runners were wearing club kit. I don’t know if this has any significance. In the UK, between the charity kit, club kit and fancy dress, you’d probably capture most of the field.

Roller-skating is serious

I’ve never seen competitive speed roller skating before. There were skinsuits, special skates and helmets. In this sport, there was certainly a lot of team kit in action. Mostly lycra suits. And I’m not surprised – the winner crossed the line in 31mins. Quicker than I can ride my bike.

Hopefully my next race report will involve actually competing in the race. Off to the physio tomorrow…

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