The day we fly out!
All of us met at the coach station at 11:00am in order to catch the coach to Stansted Airport. Our flight was at 14:15 so we arrived with plenty of time ahead of us. Once boarded on the plane, the journey lasted 1 hour and 30 minutes. During this time we were all trying to learn some basic German words, to try to assist us for our trip. We finally arrived at Schönefeld, Berlin Airport. Our passports were checked and we headed for the exits. Once we were out of the airport we were greeted by Jacqueline’s friend, who picked us up from the airport and drove us to the hostel. Once at the hostel we had to check in, then we went to our rooms and unpacked before heading back out to get some dinner. Later on we had a group meeting about the plans for the rest of trip, what our roles were going to be at the EXPO, and what we looked to get out of this trip.
Thursday morning we left Berlin early to visit the Olympic training centre in Leipzig, which is 200km from Berlin. Due to language barriers it was not possible to visit the Olympic training centre in Berlin. We were greeted by Petra Roßner, who won two world championships in cycling and one gold medal at the Olympic games in Barcelona. We first started with a presentation held by the career management team of the Olympic training center in Leipzig. Ms Dr Mendel spoke about how find athletes and how they support them, which facilities they have for the different sports, which sports they host and also how much money they have available. After the presentation Petra gave us a tour around the Olympic training centre and showed us their different facilities from the training halls to the gym and the physiotherapy which has a pool for hydrotherapy. During the tour Petra was talking about her career and how she sees doping in cycling. After our return in the afternoon, we went straight to the Marathon Expo and spent the afternoon with at the Oxfam Exhibition stand and talked to the runners of the Oxfam team.
IN the evening we went to the Christian Kruse street, which is a popular meeting place for students and had dinner. After that we returned to the hostel.
Another day and another early start. But today was crazy, runners all over the place. It was the last day of the expedition, where the remaining runners and their families come to collect numbers and gadgets to help them get through the whole marathon.
The expedition had different organisations there presenting upcoming marathons, different types of banded trainers, socks, gadgets, clothing, massage (this is where all the physiotherapists, sports therapist, medical team were). The Berlin Marathon Expedition was held at the Flughafen Tempelhof (it was meant to be Berlin’s main airport however when they did the tests before it could be open they identified numerous hazards. The government spent a lot of money on building, so it can be used as a venue for different events).
I had an AMAZING time at the expedition and a met a variety of different people from different backgrounds with different stories about how they go into running marathons and how many they have ran.
On the morning of the marathon, because of the limitation on public transportation (due to the course route) we had to get off a few stations prior to checkpoint 30 and make most of the journey on foot. We were able to see some of Berlin on our way, and saw some of the cyclists on the course. When we arrived at the checkpoint, we were given team smocks which had a few of the event sponsors featured on it. We also had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the other therapists we were going to be working with.
Not too long after we arrived the first few runners cross our checkpoint, allowing us to join in with encouraging them. The environment was very much in the spirit of the event as the spectators cheered. After a bit of time, we started to welcome our first runners in need of massage.
Massage was fast; no more than a few minutes in order to allow the runners to get back to
the race, with out affecting their time too much. It was a very vibrant atmosphere and we appreciate very much to see all the runners making their way to the Finnish line. We also saw those few runners that didn’t make it to the Finnish due to exhaustion and were collected by a bus. After finishing the massages at kilometer point we went to the Oxfam after marathon party for dinner and after that went to the airport and flew back to London.