Rimi Riga Marathon



At the beginning of June, the winners of the Team Cup were raffled, and one of the teams that went to the Frankfurt Marathon was the Tet team, called the Tet energetic dipper. Marathon team member Edmunds Garnach shares his first running season experience, running two marathons in Riga and Frankfurt.

"My road to the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon began exactly a year ago at Anita Siliņa and Zanda Zariņa Rešetina’s running retreat in Portugal. After 10 days of a strict regime in Portugal (ocean-breakfast-training-lunch-siesta-training-ocean-dinner) among great company, I was finally on the path to running.

After Portugal, I continued running in Latvia, and then my first running goal came to me during a training session: running the 2019 Riga Marathon. It wasn’t just a simple goal; it was a Big Ambitious Goal. Run Riga in under 3 hours.

I should admit that I didn’t succeed. I thoroughly failed. I ran it in around 3:42. I was really disappointed. However, when my anger at the merciless sun and Riga’s 2 circuits subsided, I was forced to admit that I was not yet at the level of running a marathon in under 3 hours. In a way, this made things easier. I felt freer to simply run. Then the Riga Marathon gave me and 3 of my colleagues a gift: the opportunity to run the Frankfurt Marathon for free.

And so 3 of our Riga quartet went to Frankfurt to achieve what each of us set out to achieve.  My plan was no longer 3h, bu the much more reasonable 3:30, and maybe 3:20 with a bit of luck and the help of my bottom (the left half of my bottom currently doesn’t get involved in running).

Luckily, before Frankfurt I once again took part in the Portuguese running retreat. So on the Friday I went straight from Faro to Germany fully rested and in my best possible shape. On my way to the hotel it became apparent that I was in a marathon city. This encouraged me.

On the Saturday, our group of Latvians met at the EXPO for a group photo, and I realised that even more Latvians would be running too. After the EXPO, I went straight to the hotel to relax and prepare for the marathon. However, it turned out that I had walked over 20 thousand steps that day, which definitely wasn’t very clever. You can’t get those steps back. But I tried not to think about the energy I’d used up, instead thinking about about avoiding using up even more energy. I was so worried that I didn’t even use any energy on sleeping.

That’s why, after a sleepless night, I went to breakfast on the Sunday 3 hours before the start time in a bad mood, with all sorts of thoughts about my upcoming failure in my head.  I arrived at the start 20 minutes before the run began, and seeing (or even perhaps feeling) the mass of runners calmed me down and prepared me for my run.

My first thought in the starting corridor was that Riga has much more exciting warm-up activities than Frankfurt. However, the general mood, like in all starting corridors, was electrifying. Then it happened. The start.

After a few minutes of waiting and moving my legs on the spot, I started to run. Despite the crowds (I think around 14,000 runners), I could run a kilometer in under 5 minutes fairly freely from almost the very beginning. My plan was to run the first 5 km at a medium pace of 5 minutes, then increasing my pace to 4:45-4:50. And maintain this until 38 km. I had planned on running the final 4 km slightly faster. However, despite putting on the brakes, I was running faster than 5 minutes from the very beginning. Despite all my doubts that morning, I ran well. I ran the second half 3 minutes faster than the first. And in the final 4 km I ran my fastest kilometer: 4:20. The finish was also great—I was shoulder to shoulder with another Latvian runner. In the end, I had a new PB: 3:25:52.

Speaking of the marathon itself, it was the best I have taken part in. First of all, the weather. Temperature in the teens, cloudy with drizzle in the second half. Great. Second, the atmosphere. Lots of loud supporters along almost the whole track. The support of a DJ and drums every few kilometers. The home stretch with a great atmosphere. Perfect. Third, the organisation. Water points exactly every 2.5 kilometers. I was easily able to plan when I would have water and gel—every 5 km. This removed a lot of the stress I’ve felt in other marathons when I couldn’t predict when the next water point would be.

My first proper running season is over, but I think this is just the start for my running. See you in Riga in May!"

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