The Düsseldorf Marathon is taking place this weekend and the running community is electrified with it!
The race is the city’s event for the famous distance, where athletes shoot for the long length or organise themselves in teams of 4 for the relay competition. A kids race gives children the opportunity to participate as well. The event brings elite contenders, amateurs, enthusiasts and fans from all quadrants into a fantastic celebration that no one in the city stays indifferent to.
The course touches several neighbourhoods of the city, spreading from the center along the river to the outer edges of the residential area, crossing the stream twice through the Oberkasseler Brücke, giving spectators numerous opportunities and a wide angle into the sports activity which sets the whole city on movement once per year.
As a runner at heart it is very interesting to see the dynamics leading up to a great event…
In the weeks prior the big day, the flow of runners that can be seen training outdoor grows exponentially. Taking place in Spring, the Düsseldorf Marathon brings with it nice sunny days that welcome runners into the outdoors. This doesn’t necessarily mean that race day is always pleasant, however nice weather in the training weeks leading to it truly puts a crescendo into athletes motivation.
One additional factor you get to notice is how runners are visible at any time of the day. The most charming and scenic routes for enjoying the outdoors in the city is definitely along the river and across the bridges. While rush hour is usually morning, lunch time or afternoon, it becomes nearly impossible to avoid athletes in the city’s running routes. Looking at them you can see an interesting glaze in everyone’s eyes, one of determination, decision and bravery for facing such an endeavour. At the same time a happiness aura hovers at plain sight, the sense of achievement becoming tangible with the run of time, an impression of inevitability as unavoidable as the passing of time itself.
Most of the people you talk to are either participating in the event, know someone who is or are interested in asking if you’re participating yourself. Friends, colleagues at work, fellows from running communities are all tied in an invisible web that sets us all on common grounds: the one of defiance. No matter each individual goal, each and every athlete is having its own challenge and facing its inner fears, regardless of whether that is related with fighting the distance, maintaining a desired speed, coping with anxiety, managing sleep, reassuring training was enough or ensuring appropriate energy levels remain sufficient during the run.
Think of any trailer genre music you like. The music is not there… yet I hear it all the time. It reminds me of The Grind and how each and every athlete is likely having it inside their minds. Epic battles being anticipated and cautiously planned, all leading to the same day, where around sixteen thousand people get their spirits combined in a flux of energy bound to a single thought: to make it to that finish line as best as possible!
How thrilling is that?
How unique is the feeling to look around you and recognise in people’s smiles a restlessness as familiar as your own?
How sensational is that unseen bond?
With a strong focus on the epic challenges which are now around the corner, the Estrela Grande Trail in May and the Eiger Ultra Trail in July, I’ll be participating in the relay on Sunday. Together with great runners, good friends, companions from the Vodafone community, we thrive with the expectation of doing a singular result. Where every single perfomance counts yet the teamwork is ultimately decisive.
To all my friends participating in the event, a few for the first time, some to beat previous achievements, others to enjoy a fun day… I with you all the best!! You are all in my heart! Love you all, make sure you make the best out of it!!
To all the participants in general, may your dream come true!!