A Comparison – Hong Kong, Boston and Berlin Marathon Posted on January 25, 2018

By Rameshon

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Picture 1 – Berlin Marathon 1993, I did a personal best of 2hr 28min as the terrain was flat

In my earlier post, both Hong Kong and Boston Marathon has been compared. In short, Hong Kong Marathon is tougher than Boston Marathon. The former has a series of up and down slopes. It is easy to get a personal best time at Hong Kong as it is well organised, with a usually good weather, and the timing is very accurate, unlike what we see in some Singapore’s non-sanctioned races. Here, we need to work harder or double up on race organisation, as many races have wrong distances.

In Boston Marathon, it is easier to do a personal best time, as there are less upslopes as compared to Hong Kong Marathon. Every year, the event attracts about 500 000 spectators. We won’t be able to get this in Singapore. In early 1995, I experienced the start till the end, enthusiastic crowd support during the race. The world records broken here, however, are not recognised as the course has one of the fastest course  and has more downhills, in the world.

However, if a runner keeps running on a flat course, without negotiating upslopes and downslopes, on some days of training, it will be hard to run the downhill and uphill terrain of Boston Marathon. From start to finish, the average downhill ascent is about 140m. To get the fastest time of one’s life, it is a good idea to be conditioned to run up and down hills. For example a 200m x 10 or 300m x 8, with a jog down to where one starts the workout, to recover, would be helpful for handling the terrain well. Hence, a lifetime best is very possible, having one of the best crowd support in the world in Boston Marathon.

How about Berlin? Definitely, to get a very good time, it is not easy to attain in Hong Kong Marathon, besides getting a good time as compared to other South East Asian countries’ marathon. In Berlin, the terrain is generally very flat and I have always enjoyed the course. It is super flat and at some instances it allows one to push harder effortlessly, to cruise, so long one trains more on flat surface adequately. This is very important. That was how I did 2hr 28min in Berlin Marathon 1993.

Overall, compared to three, Boston Marathon may spoil one’s marathon preparation if it is not done correctly. If the training is done in precision and appropriately, and at the same time, it is done at least 2-3 months earlier to the race, one should be able to attain one’s life time best there.

Edited by Tan Mariviv