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Kath takes on the Berlin Marathon 2018

Walk the Walk is a fantastic charity, I've seen the work they've done in Edinburgh and happy to be able to raise money whilst taking on a personal challenge and making friends for life along the way.

Having taken on The New York City Marathon in 2015 the next challenge to do had to be Berlin, we decided that at the time. We had managed just under 6 hours in New York so felt quite happy signing up, that the 6 hours 15 mins time limit would be within our grasp provided we trained hard.

Met up with the team on Friday afternoon and Guy from Walk the Walk led us to the Expo to sign in and pick up race numbers and timing chips. Excitement was starting to build and it was all beginning to feel real, everyone was lovely and friendly and we were all set! Quick dinner then home to pack our bags for next day – a fun 6km walk from Charlottenburg to the Olympic Stadium.

Saturday morning 

Think everyone in the hotel was doing the marathon but the hotel's on the case and there was plenty of food and once fueled we were off on the U-Bahn to the starting point.

First public airing of our bras and we caused a stir with so many people photo-bombing us and wanting to be in our photos!! This must be what it's like to be a celebrity!!! Walk sets off and it was a glorious sunny day.

We stopped for various photos along the way, with an unsuspecting policeman, a van with a bottle of prosecco on it and posing with others who have unusual outfits on too.

Walking into the Olympic Stadium down the tunnel was amazing, a once in a lifetime opportunity to be on the track and atmosphere was incredible.

Relaxed afternoon and then meeting in the hotel bar in the evening for team talk and tactics before pasta party dinner! The task was made slightly easier for Guy as we had all done a marathon before with Walk the Walk but the next day was due to be very hot and this was definitely going to present challenges for all of us. The plan was to stick together as long as possible so that we could hopefully all pass the finishing post together, or at least within sight of each other.

Day of the marathon

Ok the nerves are kicking in a bit but also really excited to get going. Breakfast done and we're all on our way to walk to the start. Numbers on, timing chips and nervous excitement.

There were 43,000+ competitors and our wave was by far the largest so when we set off we kept to the side to avoid being tripped or getting in runner’s way. The course was lined with people until we got quite far out of the City, lots of kids high-fiving, bands playing on street corners and people offering words of encouragement and I can assure you it all helps! Halfway point marked with a wee round of Bon Jovi – no-one else seemed keen to join in with us but it kept our spirits up.

Day started to get hot from this point on and very much a roller coaster, feeling great one minute then struggling the next but plenty of gels, jelly babies and half bananas on route to re-energize the legs and the remembering the reason for doing this in the first place all keeps you going, especially in the last few exceptionally long km’s, but we did manage a jog over the Finish Line and the relief and sense of achievement kicks setting a new PB time of 5hours 54 mins, along with the weighty medal you get presented with.

The whole team finished within 30 minutes of each other and it was left to Guy to lead us to the pub for a well-deserved pint and a burger!! Back to the hotel for a quick bath and change then we're off for dinner – fortunately just a short walk and delicious traditional German food and more beer.

What an amazing event, done with an inspirational team who I'd be delighted to enter another event with. We're planning a reunion already, but it's going to be in a spa, not a marathon this time!!

Walk the Walk is a fantastic charity, I've seen the work they've done in Edinburgh and happy to be able to raise money whilst taking on a personal challenge and making friends for life along the way. Walking is such a good way of keeping fit and healthy.

If you're feeling inspired and would like to join Walk the Walk for the Berlin Marathon in 2019, Register your Interest now! 

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