One of the most beautiful places in the world…

I’m not just saying this to give the overused statment another whirl. The Fischland Darß, found in the north east of Germany, is really one of the most beautiful places in the world. Give me the Darß, 15 degrees, and a lot of sun, and I’m soooo happy. It helps that I like running marathons and managed to do that too.

On my running blog site, I’ve been posting about marathon training for the past 16 weeks. I figured I would spare non-runner folks the details*, but I don’t want to deny you the grand finale: I ran the Darß Marathon 2018 (and I have the t-shirt, too!).

Darß as a part of the larger map

I must have mentioned the Darß on this blog before, because since I was about 7 years old, my family would take bike tours around the Bodden (the body of water between mainland and peninsula) and break up the long 100+ km with lunches, coffee and ice cream. We’ve had a lot of good rides and some not so good rides. Sometimes it’s broken out into storm halfway through, causing us to ride home shivering and wrapped in beach towels on the bus. I even rode it by myself once, just to enjoy a late summer jaunt and see the leaves changed in the heart-memorized northern German coast and landscape.

I’ve always thought it would be amazing to go through the landscape a little more slowly and combine two things I love.

In 2016, I was hunting around for a marathon to run in the Spring and found the Darß Marathon. The Darß was a place I knew well, I’d have logistics taken care of easily, and I would have something to train for (always nice to have as a runner). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to run the race in 2017 due to other responsibilities, but it was always at the back of my mind to try again.

This year, the opportunity arose; I paid my entry fee, even rented a car to drive up north from Berlin, and started training. Things were good until about a week ago when I started having a pain in my foot that my doctor and I both feared could be a stress fracture, and so I waffled back and forth for a week trying to decide if I should even start the race.

I ultimately decided with the support of family and friends to just go to the race, start it, and see how far I could go.

I set goals for myself: first 5km, then 7km, then 10km… keeping a check on my foot and updating my plans on what I’d do if the pain in the foot sparked at any given moment. I ran without music to stay in tune with my body, and I was therefore able to have an open ear for fellow runners along the way. I found out what is meant by the sportsmanship drug Runner’s World talked about the other day in reference to Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden, using energy I would have used otherwise for a PR to ecourage other runners and gaining some enery and distraction in return. The miles kept ticking by, no real change in the pain in my foot.

I didn’t plan on running a marathon anymore when I prepared for the trip, so I only had one sport gel on me, but the coke, water, and sport’s drink offered along the course, along with bananas and apples, kept me going all the way through 42 kilometers.

I also walked all the water stops and took a lot of photos, prompting a few runners to ask me if this was my first marathon. “Nah,” I’d always answer, “I’ve done four already. But this run is about getting to the end and enjoying myself along the way.” It’s not often one can say that about a marathon, but I really did enjoy myself.

Darß Marathon Küste Ahrenshoop

This is the face of a happy person; water behind me, miles ahead of me.

So, details? I finished. I actually had several goals for the race: place top-three women, PR, sub-3:30… all those I threw out the window with the foot injury. Still, despite all the dilly-dallying and worrying, I finished 3:55:49, which, as runners will know, is not too shabby for an injury. It also manages to land smack in the middle of my race results, so I know I’ve done better, but I’ve also done worse!

And now, for some photo evidence of the beauty:

There you have it, tourist advertising and marathon recap in one. If you are a runner and think about doing this race, let me know… because I wouldn’t mind doing it again!

Cheers and happy days,
Dorothea

*insert chart of training recap here, 600 miles and 78 hours.  Darß Marathon

p.s. that injury? Well, I had an MRI lined up for today, the day after the race, and no stress fracture! Not even a stress reaction! No clue what it is yet, but I’m sure the doc will have some theories for me next week.

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31 comments

  1. Congratulations, Dorothea! 😀 A great post and you bring out the fun of running, enjoying the scenery, of checking with yourself. You look so relaxed and content. I’ve never been to that part of Germany but sorely tempted.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. First, I am glad to hear that it is not a stress fracture! Second way to go on finishing the marathon!!!! It does look like a beautiful course and you look happy in the photo. Next time on the goal times, but the important thing is that you finished strong, injury free and looking forward, not what might have been. 🙂 Great recap

    Liked by 2 people

  3. this once again proves the old running maxim: “you can never go wrong with orange socks and a positive attitude.”

    attitude, shmatitude. it’s gotta be the socks.

    disclaimer: i don’t think shmatitude is a real word. sorry.

    ps Yay!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well done Dorothea and glad it turned out well for you. I’ve never ran in a marathon but admire those who do. We went to the London Marathon this year and it was awesome to be there and watch all the runners and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. A great race and you made it through with that injury. I’m so glad you enjoyed the race. It doesn’t hurt to run in a gorgeous area.

    Like

  6. Wow Dorothea! Way to go! You do look like you are having a great time in the photo! And wow, what a beautiful place to run! Glad to hear you don’t have a fracture. Hopefully it turns out to be nothing serious and heals up never to give you a worry again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stefanie, the foot injury is finally gone after new shoes and shoe inserts and a few days rest. My back/hamstring on the other hand, troublemakers since March, are still giving me trouble. Hopefully a longer break and PT in June will help finally get rid of that as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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