Wes Ogden takes on Berlin to London!

Marathon Double-Header – Berlin to London So how did I find myself in this position? Well, I have
only myself to blame and the fortune of being in the Malvern Buzzards. Let’s go back to late October 2019 and like other Buzzards I had been rejected by the London ballot and I was had just watched Sim, live on TV playing with his little balls, failing to select my little ball for one of the two Buzzard places which the club had been allocated. Another year of rejection!

So, I decided to have a search for other city marathons which I could consider, I looked at the
other majors, New York, Boston and Chicago. I even took a peep at Tokyo knowing that I had little
chance. Then I took a look at Berlin. Sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time, or in this case on the right website at the right time as the Berlin ballot was about to close at midnight. So I applied thinking I had little chance. Three or four weeks later I received the email
notifying me that I had been successful.

Well, I have to admit that I had mixed feelings, mainly good but also knowing that running a marathon is never a walk in the park, but I knew that I wanted to do it and I was determined to enjoy it. I waited until January 2020 to book my flights and the Berlin hotel, a bit early but hey, what could possibly go wrong? Let’s just say that I had an enjoyable time in Berlin later in September 2020 but no running, in fact the day the marathon was supposed to be running was perfect running weather.

Then the London ballot came around again and I decided to go through the usual process of apply and knowing that I had little chance. Wrong again! So now I had my deferred place for
Berlin on Sunday 26th September 2020 and the London Marathon a week later. Should I defer my London place to 2022? I have to admit that I didn’t give it too much thought, the thought of running two within seven days was a challenge and well we all like a challenge.

Eventually, I got to the start line of the Berlin Marathon on a warm sunny September, there was not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was forecast to reach 24 degrees. Needless to say, it was not the perfect marathon running conditions. I started close to the rear and was in the last group to get started, I had already decided to take it steady due to the heat and to stop at every water station to take on liquid and fuel. As we all know the course is very flat and the Berlin roads are nice and wide with plenty of room for the runners. The support was fantastic around the entire route with bands playing every few miles. I managed to finally reach the Brandenburg Gates and the finish line with a time of 4:23:14, initially I was a little disappointed with the time but that soon became a smile when I considered the heat and the fact that I improved on my PB by 9 seconds.

So seven days later we moved onto London, the weather overcast and the temperature more than ten degrees cooler than Berlin. Again, the atmosphere was fantastic, the support unbelievable and the whole event was a complete joy………….except for the pain. With the cooler conditions, I knew that I could push myself but I still ensured that I stopped for regular water and consumed enough gels to sink a battleship. This time I crossed the finish line in The Mall, just behind Chris Evans, in 4:11:20. I was very pleased, another PB. Berlin was brilliant and London had a lot to live up
to………and it did. London was equally just as brilliant. And now I’m hooked, more major marathon
events will be booked in future. Congratulations to everyone who completed their marathons in
recent weeks, fantastic running!