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Race Report | Hamburg Half Marathon

I guess it’s time to fill you in on Sunday’s race, right?  Given the fact that my training was rather minimal this time around, I didn’t have terribly high expectations for this half marathon.   Although I’d been hoping to at least PR (and maybe even get a little closer to my sub-2:00 goal), after taking some time off because of knee pain, it became clear that my goal probably wasn’t realistic right now. Instead, I decided to just give it my best and enjoy the process.  In the end, I finished in 2:21:39, which is apparently a pretty average half marathon for me, if you look at my race history.

Hamburg Half Marathon

I was joined by mein Schatz and some friends from Hannover for the race, and we had a big cheering squad along the route, including my parents visiting from Seattle!  The race started along the Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s infamous red light district, where we made two loops.  We continued along the waterfront, before running up to the Kennedy Bridge, and around the east side of the Alster, ending in Rothenbaumchausee.

Hamburg Half Marathon Route
Hamburg Half Marathon 2013 route

During the first seven to eight miles, we were holding a decent pace.  But the difference between this race and last year’s awesome Berlin Half Marathon is that I was really feeling it.  Pretty much from the beginning, actually.  Instead of having it be my solid foundation to use for negative splitting and pushing hard in the second half of the race, it already felt much harder than it should have in the first few miles.  Still, I was able to hold on until around mile 10.

It was right around this point that my pace started slipping, mile by mile.  It’s not a great feeling to have other runners passing you towards the end, but I tried to stay focused on finishing.  I must say, it was pretty awesome to have mein Schatz running by my side, doing his best to keep my spirits high.  After crossing the finish line, we quickly found our friends and family, and did a little more birthday celebrating in the Schanze with ice cream and coffee.

Via Instagram

All in all, it was good day, even if the run wasn’t as perfect as I had hoped.  But it’s gotten me thinking a lot about my next race goals and where my body needs to be stronger.  I’m gonna hit a sub-2:00 half marathon someday, I promise. For now though, I just want to enjoy a summer full of running for fun!

Have you run in Hamburg before?  Where are some of your favorite routes?


  1. Uncle Clyde says:

    The key sentence is: Instead, I decided to just give it my best and enjoy the process.
    I’m glad that you persisted in running the race even though you knew the time would not be your best. Also glad that Mom and Dad were there; I’m sure they are proud of you, too.
    I had my fifth knee operation yesterday morning to remove a tear from my right medial meniscus and will be out of action for a while.
    Say “hi” to D and your folks for us.

    • Dear Clyde, thanks for your comment, that’s just the thing I needed to hear. We wish you a very speedy recovery from your operation, and I hope once you’re back up and at ’em, your knee will be stronger than ever.

  2. Emily says:

    Mile 10 was what got me on Saturday as well!! It was a little sad watching the last few miles tick by and my pace decreasing and moving me out of range of a PR. But it sounds like you still had a good race, finished and finished with a good attitude. Great job!! And ice cream after a race? Love it!! I’ve only been to Hamburg once, but I’ll bet it was really neat to run along the Alster.

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