Monday, October 11, 2010

Munich Two Chapter Two

A few random thoughts about yesterday's race in Munich...

The weather was perfect for a long race. It started off a bit cold (4 C or about 39 F) and sunny, which made me debate whether to wear a short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirt with shorts. I opted for the short sleeves. It was a good call because it warmed up enough that I would have baked in the long-sleeved shirt. The breeze was chilly, but felt refreshing in the later part of the race. 

According to the marathon website, there were over 18,000 runners in the four races: marathon, half-marathon, 10K, and  6 km Trachtenlauf (race where the runners wear traditional Bavarian clothing). I met people from different parts of Germany who came to Munich for the race. 

I ended up running into someone that I knew from my Hohenfels days. He was the principal of the base elementary school when I first moved to Germany. He was also here in Garmisch during my first year here. When I last saw him he wasn't running, so it was a big surprise to see him at the race. We ran part of the first kilometer together and then I took off ahead. He commented on my photo of Bill that I had pinned to my shirt above my number. When I told him who Bill was, he thought that it was a fitting tribute to have Bill with me during the race. 

When I looked at the results, I saw the last place men and women and their times. The last place woman finished in about 3.5 hours. The amazing thing was that she had Down syndrome. She belonged to an athletic club for people with Down syndrome. What a wonderful accomplishment for her to have finished a half-marathon. I'm sure there have been many times in that woman's life where she was told that she couldn't do things because of her limitations. But yesterday she did something that very few "normal" people can do--finish a 21.1 km (13.1 mile) race. 

The finishers medals for the half-marathon and 10 km runs were heart-shaped. They were decorated to look like the big gingerbread hearts that are sold at fests all over Bavaria. Because it was the 25th running of the marathon, the finishers of every race got a medal. The marathon medals were round and look like the one I got when I ran it three years ago. 

My right knee is still a bit sore today, but it will be fine in a few days with some rest, ice, and massage. I can tell that it's an IT band problem because of it being on the outside of the knee. Also, when I use my massage stick on my IT band, the knee pain goes away. It also seems to loosen up when I walk around. Whew! I've had knee injuries where I was out of commission for a couple of months. Suffice it to say that was no fun. 

All in all, the Munich half-marathon was a good experience. I hope that the organizers decide to make the half-marathon part of the marathon festivities. I'd like to go up and run it again. 

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