Watching the Berlin Marathon
It is a tradition that every year when the Berlin Marathon comes around we head down to Unter den Linden to cheer on the finishers as they head into the last kilometre. Our spot is usually by the Russian Embassy, just after the point where the runners turn the corner and catch a glimpse of the Brandenburg Gate for the first time. Once the elite runners and the best of the rest have come through – those more concerned with placing and time than anything else – it is a joy to watch the realisation on the runners’ faces as they see the famous old gate and know that a remarkable achievement is within their grasp.
It is also wonderful to observe the friends and family as they stand behind the barriers, cheering on not only their runners but all the others who stride by with heavy legs. It can get quite emotional… but one thing has always been clear, and that is I do not envy any of them, not the kilometres in their legs or even the sense of achievement that will get on the other side of the Brandenburg Gate. “Wouldn’t you like to do that?” we ask each other, and my answer is always… “Not on your life.”
But this weekend, in the lovely autumnal sunshine beneath the grand old Russian Embassy I felt for the first time…
No! I am not going to say it. Caught up in the emotion of the moment you might commit yourself to something you might regret…
Words: Paul Scraton
Pictures: Katrin Schönig