Nibelungenlauf 2019 – Half Marathon

I haven’t run the Nibelungelauf in Worms for years, I think the last time I was here, I was supporting Katja who ran her last half marathon ever. Anyway, after a decent Firmenlauf a couple of weeks ago, I felt like I could have a good run here in Worms.

I thought I should at least run a season’s best time, so better than 1:25. I thought around about 1:23 should be possible. I am pretty heavy at the moment, around about 82kg, which obviously doesn’t help too much.

So I set off early to Worms, meeting KDötz at the station and cycling to the start. She was a bit apprehensive too and didn’t think she was in form to run a PB. We got there as late as possible, which was good as it was raining and cold! The race started at 10am, I looked around and didn’t recognise anyone, which is a good thing generally, as I remember the people who always beat me!

Off we went and I was near the front, I was wearing my Astra Escalantes and was slipping quite a bit on the way to the train station. The first 1km was in 3:35, but I remembered quickly that the km markers are wrong in Worms, so it was best to ignore them and go off my watch.

The 10km and half marathon both start at the same time, so it isn’t always too easy to know where you stand, but after forming a mini-group with 2 other guys, we overtook someone who informed us that we were 2nd, 3rd and 4th – wow!

I couldn’t tell who was strong and who wasn’t in our group, but I was staying in the slipstream and feeling like I was running fairly easy from about km5 to 10. After the little out and back that the half marathoners have to do, I could see that 2 guys were close behind and 1st was well ahead. I started to struggle to stay with the group as they accelerated, but I got back in to end the first loop in about 41:30.

I was soon off the group in the 2nd lap and after about 3km of the 2nd loop an Italian guy overtook me. It was clear that he had run the 1st loop conservatively and was speeding up now, as my pace was pretty solid and he caught me up like I had stopped! A few km later another guy came past me, suddenly instead of thinking of the podium, I was looking at top 6.

I felt like I stayed strong and held it together well. I could feel a guy close behind me and at the out and back I could see that he was maybe 30m behind me. I wasn’t ready to give up my place though, so I kicked on to keep him at bay. I asked someone watching how far behind me the chaser was, he said maybe 40m, with only 1km to go, it was looking good. My legs felt decent and I kicked for home and managed to keep 7the place at bay, crossing the line in 1:23:30.

Now it wasn’t some super race, it was nearly 5 minutes slower than my best, but I enjoyed the race a lot. Being near the front and being competitive was so much fun after being shit on all season in triathlons!

It turned out that the guy I held at bay had started 20 seconds behind me, so he had a faster chip time, though my gun time was faster. I don’t care, I beat him!

KDötz ran a PB, but was unhappy as it wasn’t a sub 2. I can’t imagine running a PB and not being happy anymore! I am really considering running a spring marathon now. I will start doing some polarized training and see if I can get myself fit. If I can, then I’ll give it a go, I have some unfinished business with 2:50, or even maybe 2:45!

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