Trans-Europe Express – Part I

Yesterday I ran my first ‘official’ sub five-hour marathon at the Hans Christian Andersen marathon in Odense, Denmark. Although I did 4h 49m last month for the Jimathon, the fact it was such a big improvement in time (18 minutes) kept making me wonder whether I’d measured the course incorrectly and had in fact only run 25 miles. So to actually do it with the soulless, yet relentlessly accurate, electronic timing chip telling me I had actually, properly, no messing done it felt really good.

Couple of things I noticed yesterday:

Danish marathons are fast
Although there were about 6,000 running yesterday, the standard was much higher than my experiences of a similar-sized British marathon would be. I first worked this out when I was looking around for the pacers’ balloons indicating what time they were measuring. I was stood by the 4h 30m (the slowest I could see) and thought “I wonder where the rest of the pacers are”. About one minute before we started, it finally dawned on me that they weren’t expecting a lot of 5h+ runners and a groaning shiver of terror ran down my spine.

Charity stays at home
With the caveat I’m not that familiar with Danish charities and could be completely wrong, I struggled to see any charity runners on the course – mainly saw running clubs. Saw them from the back of the field, obviously…

A few days off now before next Sunday’s Berlin marathon and the end of the Twelveathon.


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