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Last Sunday there was the Lausanne Marathon. Despite the fact that I had only been running four times in the four weeks leading up to the event, I decided to participate. After all, I’ll only be here for a here so this was going to be my one and only chance to have the road to Vevey blocked for traffic, just for me to run on.

As (i) I wasn’t sure if I’d be in decent shape but (ii) I was still confident enough that with a decent basic level of fitness and enough experience, I decided to join the pacemaker for 4h00. “Unfortunately”, this was one of the worst pacemakers I’ve ever seen in the sense that up to (at least) kilometer 7 we were 10-20 seconds to fast on every kilometer. So eventually, as the pacemaker for 3h45 was still in sight in front of us at kilometer 8, I decided to go for a little intermediate “sprint” to catch the group in front.

This turned out to be the right decision to make.

I’ve never encountered a better pacemaker! He was an entertainer, a tourist guide and a mentor. He’d point out tourist sights along the way. He’d provide a cheerful mood (and have the whole group greet his wife as we passed). He’d help you to run up every single hill by reminding you to take small steps and then reminding you again to loosen up your arms and shoulders while running down. He’d try to keep your mind of the “suffering” and “pain” by making you appreciate the sky, the nice weather, whatever really. Especially after about 3 hours I was very glad to be in such excellent company.

I guess most people care mostly about numbers when reading reports about sports events. So here are some stats.

My pulse was at about 155 during the first hour, at about 165 during the second our, at about 175 during the third hour and about about 185 for most of the forth hour. At the end I did a small sprint and it went up to 195. My maximum heart rate (measured last year) is about 205 and my anaerobic threshold is at about 185.

I finished the race in just under 3h43. See rank 528 here. Some finisher fotos you can find here.

This was actually the fastest marathon I’ve ever done, but this is mostly because I never cared to race during the last marathons I did (when I was actually in better shape), as those were simply preparatory runs.

It was also not the marathon I enjoyed the most, as especially the last 10 km or so were generally not really enjoyable and I wasn’t even relaxed enough to wave and smile at people. At least I still had enough energy to later go for a long walk in Morges with Katja and to dance a bit of salsa (… though only at EPFL so Katja could show some things to Sarah).

The most attention I got from the crowd (and from fellow runners) was from Chinese people … as I was wearing logos of the Team Tibet on the back and the front.

Not sure what I should aim for in the next marathon. Either a better time (I guess, 3h30 would be possible with a reasonable amount of preparation), a new costume (ideally even in a costume-only marathon), helping someone else (I’m still looking for a blind running partner …), or maybe as a pacemaker for 4h00 or 4h15 myself.

Oh well, but first La Marmite as part of the Course de L’Escalade in Geneva. I already know which costume to run in …

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I’m glad. Hooray. I found a suitable costume for the Saarbrücken Marathon  (http://www.saarbruecken-marathon.com/)   🙂

Why would anyone want to run a marathon in a costume? Hmm, well, there are lots of good reasons. First, I’m not aiming for a great time anyways, as it’s just a long practice run in my triathlon preparation. Second, it makes people smile and laugh. And, third, I’ve never done it before  😉

So, if you have time this Sunday, you can see me chasing the money. I’ll be wearing a shirt and a tie and possibly a pair of decent trousers, but cut short. Most importantly I’ll be wearing a cycling helmet with a rod sticking out to the front. And from the end of this rod there’ll be dangling some (toy) money. No, not a carrot. Now I just have to find some pretty light rod for the helmet … and hope that none of my skeptical friends can talk me out of it  🙂

In as sense it’s trading a bit of comfortable cloths for motivation boosts from cheers and laughters.
Hopefully, that will be a trade worth making.

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