Munich Half Marathon.


Ein Schriftsteller ist ein Mann, dem das Schreiben schwerer fällt als allen anderen Leuten.

~Thomas Mann

Good old Thomas – he knew a thing or two. The reason I have started with this quote is because it perfectly encompasses what I feel about writing. It explains how writing is more difficult for a writer than for everyone else but if you want a slightly more literal translation – it would go something like this: “A writer is a man for whom writing is more difficult than it is for all others”. Regardless of this I’ve got down to writing the blog this week and will be informing the reader of the main event, being the Marathon.

But first I would like to make an observation about luck. “That was lucky” you’re thinking – it’s just what I want to read about. The reason I want to write about this word is that it interests me greatly. There’s much talk in life of luck but noone agrees on what it is. People who are lucky seem also to be happy. Does that just depend on your perception? Does even feeling lucky, even if you aren’t, make you somehow more lucky? Either way, it’s happiness that most people seem to be trying to achieve. If you make your own luck, then does that mean you are also responsible for your own happiness too? What got me thinking about this was the Germans don’t distinguish between the two. Well, of course, it depends on the context, but the word for luck and happiness is the same: Glück. Naturally this was a pain for the translators of the film Happy-Go-Lucky  which ended up with the hopeless title of Unbeschwert, Sorglos, Leichtlebig (lit. blithe, carefree, easygoing).

I’ve also been very lucky in my life and I’m glad that I was lucky enough to participate in the Munich Half Marathon, something which I didn’t expect myself to want to do. Sometimes you meet people in life who inspire you and make you want to be a better person. You could say this has happened to me.

The big run.

On Sunday morning Ludo and I arose to run the Half Marathon. To our surprise, the weather was glorious and Munich was alive with colour for the first time since I can remember. The Germans were taking things quite seriously and were well kitted out, many choosing to sport tight running-wear, bright colours, Lara Croft-style belts with navigation systems, water bottles and lots of unnecessarily technology strapped onto them. It was at this moment in time when I realised, to my disappointment, that my socks weren’t matching. Awkward.

True to form, Ludo was one of these very well prepared people in lycra and a fluorescent top shining brighter than the sun. There was no worry of losing sight of him at least!

Highlights of the run included running into Ludo as he started to walk and pushing him until he began to run again. I also remember getting carried away in the moment and bellowing “Das Leben ist ein Marathon!” at some spectators in a bid to hype myself up for the final lap. The most mixed emotion I felt during the run occurred when I was overtaken by a man who must have been in his seventies who was brandishing crutches and screamed words of encouragement at me as he sprang haphazardly past me like a fearless mountain goat.

The run was harder than expected and my biggest challenge came when I tried to speed up on the final lap, I had zero gas left. I have utmost respect for those who have completed twice the distance the London Marathon etc. My time of 2hrs 6 minutes is distinctly unimpressive but I met my challenge which was not to walk at any point. Anyway I guess it’s all about the taking part that counts and the money raised for GOSH. Thanks again to all those kind donations from family and close friends, it means a lot. The page is still live so if you still feel like parting with a few pennies then head straight to

Thanks go out especially to Angus who gave me great advice for training and to Anna who (albeit coincidentally) supported on the day. Thanks guys.

We are in Germany so it was almost inevitable that the run would be sponsored by a beer, even if it was a non-alcoholic one.

What better excuse to head down to the last evening of the München Frühlingsfest, the fourth beer festival of the year. Ludo and I had planned to celebrate with a couple of Maß in the Augustiner Zelt. Amazingly, Ludo and I managed to not see each other at Oktoberfest at all, not even once. Despite being there simultaneously we were both too inebriated to meet, at one point even both being in the same tent and still failing to coordinate a successful RV. The spring festival is of course much smaller than the Wies’n, but nevertheless we got a load of people down to the fest and celebrated our achievement the only way the Bavarians know; with litres of beer and an awful band. The Sunday evening was unbelievable, certainly a day to remember.

Man hört sich, man sieht sich” – Friends section:

Narnia Nath’s parents were in town and I was invited along to “meet the parents” because Nath is single. I always love meeting people’s parents, Nath and his Dad have all the same mannerisms. Great stuff. I hope they had a great time in Austria this weekend and thanks again for the grub!

Techno Tillman is my newest roommate and by far the most normal. Being from Berlin he listens to techno but not only to prepare him for a night out, we also have the pleasure of breakfast techno to ease us into the day as well as work techno to keep us productive during the day. At around 5pm a decision must be made as to whether we eventually graduate either to party techno if we’re partying or bedtime techno to prepare us for sleeping. Sweet electronic dreams. He also loves motorbikes, bikes, mountain biking. Basically if it involves two wheels he’s interested. He has taken part in some pretty brutal downhill races, has stories of injuries, jumps and accidents. He took part in an intense downhill race in the Alpe d’Huez called MegaAvalanche 2012 and recorded this video with a chest camera. It’s worth a watch just to see how suicidal the conditions are. What isn’t included in the video is the part where he breaks a pedal and goes down the mountain using one foot. He’s a madman but in a good way.

Since my last post I have learnt how to prepare and cook Schnitzel, the highlight of which was watching him tendering the meat and seeing his face as he used the full force of a frying pan to guarantee the bits of turkey he had purchased were in fact completely dead. Having experienced Disco David’s methodical process, I like to think I am now fully qualified to prepare and cook an authentic Bavarian delicacy.

Emmanuel (Mannu Malade) has finished his internship and is now doing bad things in Paris en famille, starting a degree in Real Estate Management at the rather swanky sounding “L’Institut Supérieur de Commerce et Gestion” in September.

Maintaining the unwritten rule of always having at least one very extrovert French friend to go out with until their placement ends. Jean-Rémy was replaced by Rémi who was replaced by Emmanuel. Guillaume has introduced me to “the two Pierres” who I believe will provide adequate Francophone fun for the next few months.

The biggest surprise in May has been that my friendship group is nicely still expanding and I’m still having such a great time in Munich.


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