Berlin Marathon – Race Report from the back of the field

In pouring rain, one hour after the gunshot for the elite, it was only the slowest left to start the 46th Berlin Marathon, and among them – me.  As so often before, I had time to repeatedly ask myself the question: Why on earth are you doing this? And the answer is quite simple and it hasn’t got to do with the joy of running or anything like that; I simply do not want my boyfriend to be the only one with a medal around his neck at the end of the day – affectionately mocking me with phrases like “pain is temporary – quitting lasts forever” (true story after I had to leave the race after 25 km in Stockholm due to an injury a few years ago). That is why I did not forfeit, despite fever and sore throat, but decided to give the medal hunt a try.

After just a couple of km I realized that this was going to be tough one (so, what else is new…?). My leg felt like led, and I was not at all able to keep the wanted pace without jumping to pulse zone 4. Not a great start, in other words… After only 15 km I felt completely depleted and then the heavy rain started. Perfect! From here on I was able to wog my way to the finishing line, but the jogging part became constantly shorter and shorter. For the approx. 10 last km, I was actually able to increase the jogging intervals, but that was simply because just walking was too painful to endure.

For the first time in history I used wireless airbuds, with a promised durance of 5 hours, but which only lasted for about 3 (thank you Bose Soundsport). Luckily I had foreseen this problem and had brought the portable charger, so after approx 10 minutes, the airbuds lasted for another hour before I had to repeat the charge.

Nourishment during a race always constitutes a big problem for meg, since my stomach cannot take any kind of sport gels. I did, however, bring with me 2 x baby smoothies, which I was able to digest during the marathon along with a couple of banana bites. Not much, but at least enough to keep me going.

For the last km, up the Under the Linden and to Brandenburger Tor, I was so motivated by the fact that I was approaching the finishing line, so this km was actually my fastest one. If you are thinking “If that was your fastest, then you had more to go on earlier in the race” think again. I REALLY did not! The mere thought of the finishing line along with the cheers of the spectators still left along the course, just gives me a second wind.

FINALLY, I could cross the finishing line and collect my fourth big, fat, Berlin Marathon Medal. My boyfriend had graciously been waiting for me for 90 minutes, so when I had regained my strengths and gotten changed, we left the area. Still runners were out in the course, but now they had closed off the finishing line, so the runners were not able to cross it or collect a medal. It was really heartbroken to watch… I mean, I do get that after 6:15 you do not get an official time, but someone could at least stay behind and give the slowest participants a medal for their effort!

Anyway, since this was my fourth time in Berlin and my boyfriend’s fifth, we have now decided to go for the jubilee membership (10 x Beriln Marathon), so we are already looking forward to next year and hopefully it will be a bit easier than this year.

 

To sum up: I got the medal, and nothing else matters 🙂

 

London Marathon – My favorite in the Abbott Series

After doing the New York Marathon in 2013, the bar was set high for beating that experience. London Marathon, however, a great deal due to the fantastic spectators along the course, having a party from start to end (meaning they were pretty intoxicated by the time I came along).

My first spot in London Marathon (in 2014) was secured through Springtime.no since I did not risk loosing out in the lottery (when all the traveling agency spots are taken). I had, as I always do, trained way too much way to late and ended up with both shin splints and hip bursitis, but didn’t want to miss out, so I started anyway (a real recipe for disaster in other words). Well, the race wasn’t very glorious for my part. The last 17 km I crawled my way to the finishing line with a severe limp, in the end using about 12 minutes/km, while piss drunk English men cheered me on the whole way, offering me beer (which I declined) and “lifted” me the rest of the way while shouting encouraging phrases like “Come on love, you can do it!” Have I mentioned I love these guys? Dissolved in tears and in excruciating pain, I managed to cross the finishing line and grab the medal. When I came to my senses again I was able to enjoy the though of all the crazy outfits I noticed on my way, like several guys running with a giant rhino’s head, one lady was trying to do the marathon in high heels (don’t believe she made it, though) and the best one of them all, a guy carrying an old fashion fridge!

My second attempt in London was in 2016, where I secured a spot through Rogaland Marathon Travels. At least time I did not have any injuries to blame, so I completed in my usual slow manner. This time, I managed to enjoy some of the costumes along the race. Among others I passed a several meter long T-rex (you know, the feeling of finally passing the dinosaur…) and right before the finishing line, I crushed Jesus on a cross (a guy running barefoot, tied to a huge cross).

Among the six marathons included in the Abbott series, London is definitely my favorite. Securing a spot, however, can be tricky and the wait list can be several years, unless you are fit enough to qualify or lucky enough to win the lottery. But hey, “Wait lists are temporary, big fat medals last for ever” 🙂

 

 

 

New York Marathon – Once in a lifetime

Preparations

In Boston Marathon in 2103, 2 bombs went off in the finishing area, killing 3 and wounding hundreds. I had never considered marathons as possible terrorist targets, so it was with a bit skepticism I accepted a charity spot to the New York Marathon in the fall the same year.  Could it happen again…?

Well, to put it like this. The security measures taken before, during and after the race could not have been better. Body search, police helicopters constantly hoovering above us, plenty of armed guards in the starting area and along the course and a tightly closed off finishing area (it took me like 1 hour to get out of there afterwards..). Even with all the security the organizers, and the good people of New York managed to give us an event for a life time. What a crowd and what a support along the way!

New York Marathon starts at Staten Island, ends up in Central Part and passes through all the boroughs of New York along the way (Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Manhattan); all the places you are familiar with through watching TV, but which some you maybe would not have visited if ever in New York. In other words, very exiting.

 

Pre-Race Expo – Excitement (and tiger balm) in the Air

 

Race Day – Shivering Cold

Included in my charity spot was a bus to the starting area about 04:30 in the morning. I did not feel particularly tough jumping over poor homeless people sleeping by the entrance to my hotel in the morning or when I passed several fairly large rats while wandering alone in the dark in Manhattan, but I made it to the bus and finally we were on our way. Something else included in the charity experience was a heated tent, hot beverage and bagels before start, something that really saved my morning since I was freezing cold.

Right before the start gun went off, the speaker listed earlier winners of NY Marathon and when the Norwegian Grete Waitz was mentioned, I must admit I got major goose bumps; this was BIG!

 

The race itself was nothing but amazing. Even slow woggers like myself were cheered on with great enthusiasm and along the course we passed several iconic places seen on TV. The finishing line was in Central Park and I was all teared up when I finally got my medal after some exhausting hours.

Post-Race – Time for Sightseeing

In the days after the race, we were as usual sore all over, but we were able to do some sightseeing.

 

Central Park

Central Park is an amazing park in the middle of New York with a zoo (famous through Madagascar), lakes, entertainment, skating course, horses, joggers, tourists, and thousands of squirrels. I could have spent several days in this park, just exploring, but since we only had 1 day to our disposal, we chose to hire bikes to cover as much as possible.

 

Empire State Building

The famous 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, famous from movies like “Sleepless in Seattle” with an amazing view of New York.

 

World Trade Center /”Ground Zero”

The World Trade Center site, formerly referred to as “Ground Zero” or “the Pile” immediately after the September 11 attacks.

 

Hockey Match in Madison Square Garden

First time at a hockey game. Madison Square Garden was a fantastic venue, but kind of stupid that we were not able to buy beer without a passport; we were obviously old enough.

 

High Line Park

High Line Park is an elevated rail line turned park and is definitely worth a visit. Read more about it in a separate post.

 

Tokyo Marathon – A real struggle, but the Six Star Finisher medal is in the bag

OK, first a spoler alert; I MADE IT!!

It was March 3rd, after a terrible night with hardly any sleep, I woke up at race day at 5 AM, not exactly in top shape for 42.2 km. One look at the rain outside, and I was tempted to crawl back into bed and forget about the whole thing. But, we are after all doing this voluntarily, we have worked for it for several years an we have actually paid a small fortune to come here, so I managed to give myself a kick in the rear and get ready for breakfast.

When it came to transportation to the starting area, it was already timed perfectly by our group’s Tokyo-Transportation-system-whisperer, so we others really only had to meet up in the hotel lobby, walk to the next building (Tokyo Station), walk for a few more minutes without concerning ourselves with which direction to take and volià, there was our train and after a 15 min train ride we reached our destination.

The bib-number control and baggage check were done really quickly (have I mentioned how efficient the Japanese are?), so we had over an hour to kill before the run started. I choose to spend that time in a stair case, after a trip to one of the many outdoor toilets, which was quite an experience indeed. The most organized line ever, with a guy standing in the end of the line holding a sign saying the line starts here. There were also multiple persons actually telling which toilet to go to when it was our turn. Perfect system and no cutting in line..

Check out the line in the background.

Even if the lines seemed endless, I didn’t have to wait too long before it was my turn. One drawback, however, was the fact that these were squatting toilets and small, which made this 1.78m, 40+ year old with bad knees struggle so much that I almost fell over at one point. I did make it though, but a repeat visit was out of the question, so I made myself hold it in until the race was over and more comfortable facilities could be located.

One hour before my starting tine, I went to my starting block to get in as good as possible position. Tokyo Marathon practices gun-shot timing when i comes to cutoff times, and they are strict on enforcing those times. My starting block not crossing the starting line before 30 minutes after the gun-shot, made it a real threat that I might struggle with some of the earliest cutoff times, which I incidentally also ended up doing. It did not help either that I was, due to the heavy rain, both cold and soaking wet, so it wasn’t the most amusing hours of my life that marathon.

I must admit that the race itself was a struggle from Start to Finish and I was really hurting from all the long-runs I never took prior to it. But, I did manage to crawl over the finishing line in the end and was handed both the regular Tokyo Marathon medal and the big Six Star Finisher’s medal, the proof that I have made it through all the major marathons in the world (Boston, Berlin, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo), something approx. 4000 have done before us, but only 36 Norwegians.

Something very uplifting during the race and which really made my day, was of course our anazing cheerleaders, running through town to cheer for us at three different locations. ❤️

So to sum up: rain and windy, soaking wet, painful race, but two more medals in the bag and afterwards we had our traditional champagne celebration. Since we were the among the 44 first Norwegians to achieve the grande Six Star Finisher medal and the first ones from our city, we made the local paper as well. With the title (for which I still object) “Considering our age, we are not in that bad of a shape…”. I mean “Considering our age????”. The picture did us justice, though….

Boston Marathon – the flu, pneumonia and vertigo, but at least I bagged the medal

Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the more prestigious to run. It is very hard to qualify, and they have very few charity spots. For us runners that are a bit challenged pace wise, the only option then is to pay a fortune to secure a spot through a travel agent. Since Boston is one of the Abbott World Major Marathon and we needed it to get the big, fat six-star-finisher medal, we were therefore very happy that we were able to buy our way in through Springtime in Norway in 2017, after 3 years on a wait list.

The training for the marathon was everything but perfect. The race is in April and in January I got the flu that lasted for a week and developed intopneumonia which I left untreated for a month. In the whole of February I had the cough of a patient with COPD still smoking 60 cigarettes a day, but in March I started on antibiotics and recuperated quickly. I managed 3-4 running sessions before I got ill again, this time from Ménière, a vestibular disorder causing major vertigo spells, fullness in air tinnitus and nausea. I could not move my head for the last days before departure, but suddenly, the night before our flight, I got much better, and started to pack my gear in a hurry to board the plane the next morning.

We were a group of six persons, where 4 of us where to participate in the marathon and we arrived in Boston on Thursday afternoon. I went straight to bed after check in at Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill hotel.

On Friday I woke up early due to the jet lag and I lay completely still,trying to check if the world was still a roller-coaster. Luckily not, so then I was ready to join the others for sightseeing. Boston is the lobster capital oft he world and since lobster costs as much as gold back in Norway, we ate lobster several times a day for the entire stay.

Oldest restaurant in Boston

On Saturday we went to a baseball match, which was very exciting, but a bit cold since it lasted for 4+hours the temperature was not exactly all that.

On Sunday we took the metro to Harvard and spent the day there hoping to grow some brain cells (spoiler alert; no such luck) before we went back for an early pasta dinner the night before the race.

On Monday, the weather suddenly turned, and we got temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius. The course was interesting, but with my lack of preparations, I had a hard time completing. But, I did it with a whole minute to spare before the time limit, so I did get my medal. It felt very strange jogging up the same path as where the bombs went off five years earlier.

Berlin Marathon 2010, 2012 and 2015 – Rain, ambulance and naked men in park, but 3 new medals

Berlin Marathon in 2010 was my second marathon after the under par experience in Nordmarka Forest marathon a few months earlier. I really had given up the idea of participating and had even cancelled my plane ticket, but had a change of heart the week before the race and booked a new trip to Berlin; outbound on Saturday morning and inbound on Sunday night, right after the race.

Well, race day arrived with rain and cold weather and that resulted in burns and blisters ALL over due to friction (like 1×10 cm opened wound in the back of each knee caused by my Rehband kneewarmers. My clothes was not quite up to speed either, for example, I wore a regular bra, which gave me bra shaped burns. I also got burns from my ear-phones, so all in all, not my finest moment. But, the course itself was amazing and despite the poor weather, Berlin was crowded with people cheering us on (or, to be honest, I do not speak German, so I am just guessing they were cheering). The last 1000m is up the Unter den Linden. On the map it looks totally flat, but at the end of a 42,2km race, it feels like a giant hill. On the top of the “hill” is Brandenburger Tor and I when I saw it, I was totally sure that that was the finishing line. No such luck… When reaching Brandenburger Tor, I saw that I had to crawl for an additional 2-300 meters. Passing the finishing line was amazing and some tears found their way down my cheek there in the rain, but was quickly replaced with the biggest grin when I got the medal around my neck.

Well, the race was over and I had to revert back to my hotel for a quick shower and then pack up my stuff and go straight to the airport. The hotel was approximately 1 km from the finishing line, but it took me 45 minutes to reach it. I had to have like 20 breaks on the way where I sat down on the wet ground and felt very sorry for myself. But, I did get a lot of sympathetic looks along the way at least… When I finally reached the hotel, and went into the shower, I started to cry like a little baby when the water hit all my burns. The pain was excruciating and I barely managed to get undress afterwards. Then I had to rush off to the airport, where I received a sms from some colleagues, who had also done the race, asking me to join them for drinks and dinner. Instead, I had to sit 2 hours on a plane with poor leg room, reach Gardermoen at midnight and then drive the 2 hours back home and then be at work at 8 the next morning.

Two years later, I was back in Berlin for my second try. As usual, I had not exactly been resting the days before the race. 10-20 km sightseeing the day before a race is not exactly the best of ideas, so my legs were hurting already before the start. But, at least I got a new medal for my collection, and this time the weather was pleasant with sun and perfect temperature. A buddy of mine, who was also running, made the same mistake as I two years before, in believing Brandenburger Tor was the finishing line. But, in his case, he did not notice he was not done and laid down on the ground to rest. A mascot came up for him and tried to cheer him on, but my friend thought the mascot was only gratulating him, so he gave him a good hug before he suddenly noticed the finishing line a couple of hundred meters away (#EPIC). And the best of all; we have it all on tape…

In 2016 am back for the third time, along with a bunch of friends. One of the days we were going for a picnic in Tiergarten and had laid out all the food and were halfway down our prosecco glass when we suddenly noticed that everyone around us were naked. It turned out that we had managed to pick the nudist part of the park for our picnic. We tried to look indifferent, but when a couple of the guys started to stretch, we simply couldn’t be there anymore (I still have some mental pictures of the whole thing I am unable to get rid of…). This was the year I felt a pressure throughout the race, had to take an EKG after crossing the finishing line, resulting in an ambulance to the hospital where I was admitted with severe kidney failure. So, instead of celebrating with champagne, I got an IV and a hospital bed… lucky me..

Note to self for next time… 2XU compression tights, sweater and socks can be challenging if admitted into the hospital for a check. My bloated body stretched the clothes to their final limit, and they almost had to cut them apart to get them off me for examination. The next morning, I was well enough to leave the hospital and luckily we had a couple of more days in Berlin before we had to go home.

We staid at the Intercontinental Hotel Berlin and when we showed up for breakfast on our last day, we noticed that they were actually serving prosecco. A bit early for us, but we thought, what the H***. When in Rome (or Berlin in this case..) do as the Romans (or the Berliners). After breakfast it was time to pack up our stuff and, a bit tipsy, we went to the airport for our return flag.

Nordmarka Forest Marathon – My first marathon

 

Give me any kind of ball and I can play a decent match in just a few sessions (handball, football, basket, table tennis, squash, golf, volleyball, etc.. ) Ball games have always come easy to me. The same can be said about swimming. I did competitive swimming 2 years when I was like 14-15 years old, but I have only been swimming on holidays since. I found out, however, when going to the municipality pool a few months ago, that I still was a fairly good swimmer, and I also got a lot better after just a month of training.

Now, this is not meant to be a blog about bragging… It is just to set the scene for the disappointment I felt when I started up with running. Since athletics have always come easy to me, I kind of had the same expectation when it came to running. No such luck… A mental trainer I once had a meeting with, told me that we are never to tell our self that we suck at something. We are just to say that we can get a bit better at something. Well, I can be a lot better at running. That is still true several years after my first marathon.

I was fast approaching my mid-thirties and had a one year old at home and a husband working afternoons and nights at the local hospital. I wanted to pick up volleyball again (I played 2 years in the premier league in Norway), but since my little bundle of joy could not be by himself, I had to settle for my life-long hated sport… namely running. I have always considered running, unless it was in chase of a ball of some kind, as a waste of time. Now I did it as a mere necessity to try get rid of some of the baby weight and to keep myself sane after early mornings for a couple of years (we are talking around 04:00 AM here..).

Like I said, running did not come easy to me and after a couple of months of effort, I still couldn’t run for 2 km without breaking for a walk and my motivation was approaching rock bottom. Then I decided, just for the hell of it, to sign myself up for a half marathon, so that I had something to look forward to (I have always had a soft spot for medals..). So, 1 month later I ran 21.1 km in Oslo and at a terrible pace of course (sorry;the pace could have been better..). I then promised myself to never run again and to throw away my running shoes. So, I went home and 1 day later I had signed up for a full marathon at Nordmarka Skogsmarathon a few months later (you see, my selective memory sometimes plays tricks on me).

Sooo, the marathon day arrived with 4 degrees Celsius and rain, and part of the trail was in something best described as a swamp. After 1 km, I was soaking wet and freezing. I looked at my watch and remember myself thinking “OK, only 41,2 km to go..).

What I lack in talent or fitness, I take up in stamina and stubbornness. I was not about to quit, so I alternated between walking and jogging, walking and jogging, walking, walking, walking and then a bit jogging right before the finishing line (the plan was at least to finish in style..). Along the way, I had talked to myself, watched with interest the small frogs that kept jumping around my feet and tried my best to ignore the many ambulances that drove past me (apparently a few persons had fallen ill during the race).

I more or less crawled across the finishing line and barely had time to recognize the feeling of disappointment over that they instead of a finisher medal had a finisher…cup (what the f***???).Well, I grabbed the damn cup and had to throw myself in my car and drive for 2 hours to get home in time for a shower before a birthday party 45 minutes later.

Stockholm Marathon – Storm and heart problems, but third time’s a charm…

First time I tried to run the Stochkholm Marathon was in 2012. Race day started out with heavy rain and stormy conditions and it hadn’t been so cold on June for almost 100 years (#luckyme). As if that was not enough, I had come down with a cold and was a bit feverish. Safe to say the conditons were not exactly excellent,

At 10 km I was soaking wet and at 20 I start loosing sensation in my fingers. At 25 km, most of my fingers were blue, and I started to fear for my life. At around 30 km I caved, and surrendered to the medical personell who brought me back to the starting area.

It was a real downer to get a DNF (Dod Not Finish) on my resume, and I was a bit bummed out when I later went for dinner with my boyfriend and a couple of collegues who had actually made it through. In a moment of severe lapse of reason (with his finisher’s rock in his pocket; they did not start with medals until 2 years later), my boyfriend managed to mention his favorite quote later that night: “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts for ever”. Safe to say I could have killed him on the spot, but I settled for a promise to myself that I would eventually complete this course.

The next year, I was about to try again, but ended up at a cardiologist right before the race due to chest pains, so had to forfit once again.

The chest pains turned out to most likely be benigned, so then I signed up for Stockholm Marathon for the third time. This time I finally made it and was 5 minutes away from setting a PB. This year they also started with real medals instead of rocks with bo other function than serving as a door stopper.

 

Amsterdam Marathon 2011 – Cheese, sausages and a toilet in the middle of the room

This image has an empty alt attribute The Amsterdam Marathon was the first marathon with my then pretty new boyfriend of 3-4 months. To put it like this, we were still in the starting phase of a relationship where you would like to present yourself in the best light possible. My best light is definitely not being on the toilet, so I did not exactly cheer with excitement when we walked into our tiny room at CitizenM Hotel in Amsterdam and noticed that the toilet (and the shower) were placed in the middle of the room with only transparent glass walls. To be honest, we did not feel we knew each other well enough to use the toilet in front of each other (for that matter, we still don’t 8 years later…). We made it work, though… My boyfriend took one for the team and used the toilet down in the reception area and when he went there, I used the one in the room in private. I must admit that even when being alone in the room I felt like a dufus.

Not much privacy in this room

Then to the marathon… Amsterdam Marathon has a flat course with start and finish at the same place (Olympic Stadum). Parts of the course followed the olympic route along the river Amstel and along the course we passed both fashionable villas and wind mills. We also ran through Amsterdam city center, passed by the Rijksmuseum and crossed the Vondelpark. Along the course the spectators were amazing and a lot of them brought us treats like small cheese and sausage bites, chocolate and candy along the way. To put it like this, you are not exactly picky about what you grab of eatable items after 30 km.

This was my third marathon and still the one where I did my personal best (which is so slow it is not worth mentioning..)

Chicago Marathon – Blood blisters, sweat and lots of tears, but…..totally worth it!

A bit late, being my 12th Marathon and all, but last summer I decided that before Chicago Marathon in 2018 I was going to try out something new; actually exercising before the race. And for about 2 months, that plan worked fine and I was starting to dream of a decent time (or at least beat the ones on crutches this time..). Then in November, just I was completing a fairly good 10K, my good old vertigo (caused by Meniere’s disease, but which had been more or less dormant for a year) and I just fell over and never really got on my feet before July this year. With up to 10 vertigo attacks per week, I had more than enough with trying to function at work, and just the thought of Chicago made me ill. I had more or less given up on the Whole thing when I, in July, the attacks stopped and suddenly I was able to step on the treadmill again for other than a slow walk. Then, with just a couple of months to prepare + the fact that I suck as a runner from before, my new goal was just to complete within the time limit, so that I could collect the big, fat Abbott Six Star Finisher’s medal in Tokyo in March.

With no really long runs in the bag, I went over the Atlantic Ocean with a hope of my usual strategy would work yet again (namely yelling at my feet to keep them moving…). In the days before the race, the weather forecast showed everything from 5 degrees (C) and heavy rain to 28 degrees (C) and sun. We ended up with light rain in the beginning, lots of rain in the middle and cloudy and windy in the end (and there we might have the reason for the friction burns all over my body). Even if you don’t have any other goal than completing, you still get this excited feeling at the starting line, waiting a long with 40.000 others; from record holders like Mo Farah to crappy woggers like myself.. The moment was a bit ruined, though, by the runner next to me blowing lots of sigarette smoke my way.

 

With a GPS all crazy due to the sky-scrapers I had to keep track of time every 5 km, since I am not that fluent in units of measure other than meters. I passed 21,1 km according to plan, but soon after my whole body started to shut down, limb by limb. Soon I had the posture and walk of a zombie (from the golden oldies that is, not like one of the really fast ones from movies like World War Z). My whole body was aching and I was starting to loose sensation in my feet, so in a desperate attempt of keeping my brain from ordering my body to call it a day and crawl to the nearest taxi, I started to take pictures, look at the scenery and even chat with some anti-Trump protesters with signs along the route. When I was starting to close in on the finishing line, runners en masse were lying around in the street or on gurneys surrounded by medical personnel. A bit demotivating of course, but at least it was not me. I had to stretch every 500m for a while, but at least I was still able to keep moving, although in the pase of a slug. 2 km from the finishing line, I suddently got a second win (I always get very motivated at the end) and managed to jog the rest of the way.

 

In the beginning of the race there were all sorts of religious signs (like VERY religious) I have never seen in any other country before. Too bad I could not found some at the end of the race, when I was taking pictures. I did, however, notice a billboard of a bonafide ambulance Chaser (NB! never trust a guy with playmo hair and a slick smile).

Finally I reach the finishing line, and soon after I got tears in my eyes. Not because of the medal (though it certainly deserved some tears), but due to the fact I had to walk all the way back to the hotel and I didn’t quite know how to do that… Well, I made it back and went for a hot shower. NOT a delightful experience… Did I mentioned that I had gotten some friction burns?

After the painful shower, I got 15 minutes of rest before me and the rest of the gang were meeting up at a bar for celebration. Great evening, but as always, it ended early…

Summa sumarum: mission accomplished 🙂

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