Rhein – Ruhr ½ Marathon – 2.6.19

Race report by Dave Phillips.

Well time changes all things so they say. For the last 16 years I’ve done the marathon here but this year it was the half.

As usual Robina, Michaela, Rob and I flew out on Thursday, Then Robina and I did our usual Rhein-Ruhr cruise, visited museums, walks a plenty exploring all places of interest plus super German beer and food. Plus watching the World Canoe Championships on the waterways next to the Duisburg Football Stadium (like the Ricoh) which was the HQ for the marathon and other races in the huge Duisburg Sportspark. These went on for 4 days and were brilliant.

Then on Sunday there were full marathons for hand bikes (lying down on 4 wheel racers), relay teams (4 in a team), online (roller blades) and the normal running marathon. Then the half and kids’ run.

This is a massive event starting at 0800 hrs with the half at 1000 hrs being the last event off.

The various start times meant that the ½ runners merged with the full with about 8 miles to go so there were plenty around me for a change.

But what a scorcher. It was c28 degrees when we started and 32 degrees at the end back in the stadium but the course was all on closed roads, all through the industrial heartland of Germany and through many lovely domestic parts of the city.

Never before anywhere have I seen so many sprays and garden hose showers en route put out by the residents outside their houses and I went under every one as it was so hot.

Drink and food stations, music bands and drum bands lined the route so a really great time was had by all even of it was tough and slow going.

Eventually the Stadium was in sight and the final jog round the football pitch (where parachutists had “dropped in” from above earlier on) and the finish line was reached. Phew. Plus there was Robina shouting me in.

Michaela and Rob Eyley soon followed and then it was medal, T Shirt and free beer (as much as you wanted) plus all the other goodies to drink and eat.

So all in all a great long weekend. Trouble was the return flight to B’ham was delayed by 3.5 hrs. Could have done another half round the airport I guess!