It was a year ago today that I ran for almost five hours around the streets of Berlin completing my first marathon. And yesterday, as runners completed the 42nd edition of the race, I couldn’t help but reminisce. I think I even felt a twinge of envy, wishing I was there again, huddled at the start line with thousands of other runners.
But while in Berlin, I actually did a lot more than just run the marathon. I’d never been to Berlin before so we stayed for several days after the event and made a holiday out of it. I highly recommend the idea of running holiday. It’s a fun way to travel and experience a new part of the world and, when the time is right for me to run my next marathon, I’ll pick a new destination to explore.
One of the highlights of our travels around Berlin was certainly a trip to the Berlin Wall Memorial. Despite my affection for cold war spy fiction over the years, I wasn’t prepared for the reality of this place. Here, this last fully preserved section of the “death strip” is a somber reminder of the horrors these people lived through and the freedom for which many of them died fighting. And in the midst of today’s refugee crisis and the politics of a war on immigration, I think many politicians could do with a reminder that it’s those who tore down, not built, the walls who ended up on the right side of history.