The Frankfurt Marathon took place on October 28th, 2018. The clocks had changed to wintertime during the night and it felt as such had also brought cold temperatures along. It was freezing cold with icy winds throughout the event.

As I had mentioned in my previous posts, I had only gotten back into training during October, hence I did not have much time to prepare properly for the course, let alone do any speed training. While running a sub-3 hour marathon is one of my goals, I did not plan to tick this box in this race.

At 10:00 the marathon commenced. The route was pretty awesome with a great majority of the course passing through the city, where thousands of spectators were cheering us on from the sides of the streets.

I kicked off the race with a good pace, passing the 5-kilometer mark after 21:32 minutes and completing the 10 kilometers in 43:35 minutes.  Given the lack of training I was obviously thinking whether I would be able to sustain this pace. 

After around 15 kilometers the course was leading us across the river Main and we were leaving the city. I continued to feel good and kept pushing aiming to at least come in at sub 3:10 hours. I completed the half marathon in 1:32:28, so I was on track.

My legs began to get tired forcing me to slow down a little. Still the next 5-ish kilometers felt fine until I reached the Schwanheimer Brücke (= bridge), which marked the turning point of my race. My body started to dramatically shut down. I started to feel extremely weak and a lack of energy, struggling to push myself through the Europaviertel.

At this point my average pace had also drastically decreased from an initial 4:20 min/km to almost 6:00 min/km. Eventually, I heard someone screaming “Nicki” and I saw my fellow start-up friend and ultra-runner Christian overtaking me. Aside from the first half of the race, with which I was pretty happy, this encounter certainly counts as another highlight. 

I continued jogging, instead of running, the final kilometers through the city. At kilometer 38, I eventually passed my girlfriend. Whether at Eiger Ultra-Trail or at Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc, having her by my side, cheering me on, waiting at specific points during the course, always gives me an extra boost of energy for which I am very grateful. 

With that being said, unfortunately, I was simply too tired to push harder and further. After I had run across the Zeil, passed the Opera house, I even had to walk for a few meters. I was paying my toll for a first half marathon, where I pushed too hard, based on the training I had completed prior.

After 3:37:38 hours, I eventually crossed the finish line. The final 150 meters of the course are inside a concert hall. Runners find themselves running across a red carpet, cheerleaders are dancing by the side, loud music is playing, lights and firework lighting up the hall while hundreds of families and friends are cheering their loved ones on from the stands.

At the end of the day, given the circumstances prior to the marathon, I am happy to have completed the course. It was a wonderful track and I noted that with better training I am certainly capable of breaking the sub-3 hour barrier, which I plan to do in Spring 2019.