I ran into the finish line today with Gisi who completed the longest run of her life, 25K in 02:57:52. Our goal was to finish under 03:00:00 and so it was a well orchestrated race. I was responsible for gel management, photos, and pacing, while Gisi was responsible for running as strong as she could. We had found out the night before the race that "runners who had not reached the half-way point in 95 minutes would be asked to leave the race" which put us with our planned 7-minute-per-kilometer pace dangerously close to being picked up by the loser van at the half-way point.
In the end, we were aided by the downhill start and a strong back wind that pushed us forward as we ran eastward for the first 10 kilometers, at which point we were averaging a 06:30 kilometer which kept us in front of the dreaded "Besenwagon" until we had reached the safety of the second half of the race. Averaging a 07:30 on the way back with the head-wind and inclines back up to the stadium put us right under our goal of three hours. There were only about 10 people who finished after us in our age categories and the last woman came in 15 minutes later at 03:15:00, so a tip for runners who have completed the Berlin Half Marathon and want to advance to the next longest race, know that the BIG 25 has much faster runners signed up, so be sure you can run a 7-minute pace or better unless you want to be running in with the absolute last runners, completely unlike the Berlin Half Marathon where at that pace thousands of people come in after you for the next hour.
In any case, running together down into the Olympic Stadium tunnel today and then out into the stadium and around the track after having run 25K together was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, very fulfilling. I'm not sure we'll run this race again, but we're glad we risked it and made it in the time we did, and can recommend it as a race for those who have run a half marathon and want to accomplish a longer race.
S-Bahn still on strike, we drove to race in Car2Go, Stadium right on the border of the Car2Go Home Zone
Goal #1: outrun the loser van, which meant we had to get to 12.5 Kilometers by 01:35:00, a mere 7 minutes behind our pace!
Goal #2: run through the "Marathon Tor" and into the stadium:
Goal #3: Finish in under 03:00:00, so printed out 7:00/km splits for a 02:55:00 with buffer