Hamburg Half Marathon (1:55:47)

I just now realised that I left you in the unknown. The last time I posted, I couldn’t move because of back pain and I was only two days away from my A-race. (Well, the race that was my number one goal-race before I knew about my marathon debut in Berlin this September.)

I took pain killers and pills for muscle relaxation, but the latter made me feel worst. I slept the whole day on Friday and I felt tired on Saturday, too. Not knowing if I could run or not, I decided to pick up my race bib on Saturday afternoon.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, I felt better. Not as perfect as I would have hoped for my Sub-2h attempt, but ok. I took another pain-killer, something I had said I would never do. Taking a pain-killer before running 21 km just doesn’t seem right. It still doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do, but with a thick scarf around my neck, I got to the subway and felt ready to run.

As soon as I got to the start area, I handed in my backpack and got into the line for the Port-A-Potties. The line was way to long, and there were not enough Port-A-Potties for 6000 runners. With over a half hour left, I wasn’t worried, but I waited, and the time rushed. It was five minutes til the gun went of and there were still ten people in front of me. I didn’t want to worry about having to pee during the run, so I did something I had never done before: I hurried to the bushes.

I made it to the start just in time. I got to the 2:00 runners, and as soon as the gun went of, I ran.


The night before, I decided that I would try to finish in under two hours. The plan was to run between 5:20 and 5:30 minutes for every kilometer. Yes, I actually planned to run faster than the 1:59:59 i needed for a Sub 2.

Running with this pace also ment risking a DNF. I wasn’t feeling well for the past two days and my legs were tired from all the racing I did this month. However, I wanted to reach my goal, so I had to risk a DNF.


Lucky me, my legs feel good from the beginning. We run on the famous Reeperbahn, and down to the harbour. At km 5 we crossed the start line a second time and repeated the first 5 km.

Even though my legs felt great, running was hard. We run along the harbour and past the central station. I took a PowerBar Hydro Gel at km 13 to give me energy for the last miles.


As soon as I knew it, I was running next to the Alster, the known barrier lake. The 2:00 pacers were closely behind me, saying that they needed to slow down.

This was when I realised that I would make it. I would PR.


At km 16, when I saw my Dad, I yelled: “Only 5 km left!” and had a huge smile on my face. That didn’t mean I wasn’t dying. At this point of the race, I didn’t know if I could keep up and run a Sub 2. However, I figured a positive mindset wouldn’t hurt.

The last five kilometre went by fast. I never hit the wall, but I also couldn’t sprint to the finish like I did at the Århus Halvmarathon two weeks ago. This meant I really gave it all.

I finished in 1 hour, 55 minutes, and 47 seconds.
378th of 1815 women.
134th out of 589 in my age-group (WHK).


About Nina

a 20-something girl, full-time student trying to become a runner. Thanks for visiting my site!
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10 Responses to Hamburg Half Marathon (1:55:47)

  1. John says:

    Nice time Nina!

  2. dunedwards says:

    Well done! All that training paid off… Now it is time for the sub 4:30 marathon!

    • Nina says:

      Thanks! Secretly, I am hoping for a sub 4. However, after Sunday, I am wondering how the heck I could everrun the distance twice. Guess we’ll see in 15 weeks.

  3. Congratulations, Nina! I’m glad you made the decision to try even with the pain the days before.
    Way to go on a shiny new PR!

  4. Pingback: 2013 Is Going To Be The Best Year Ever | ninaruns

  5. Anil B says:

    I have just started reading your blog. Really superb and inspirational. I started running in March this year and your reports and musings are just great. Please keep running and writing.

  6. Pingback: Great Things | ninaruns

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