Munich, or München, is the third largest city in Germany after Berlin and Hamburg. It is also the capital of the Bavaria region and one of the most popular cities to visit in Germany. The Munich Marathon on October 9, 2016 was the perfect excuse for us to visit the city for the first time. Of course, running a marathon in any city or town is always a valid reason for a visit!
We flew out of Brussels Zaventem Airport with Lufthansa at 9:05 AM on Saturday, October 8, 2016 and landed at Munich Airport an hour and 15 minutes later. We proceeded to take the S8 metro to Herrsching and switched trains at Marienplatz for the U3 train to Moosach to arrive at Olympiazentrum 54 minutes later. It was a short walk from the metro stop to the Olympic Hall for the marathon expo.
The Olympic Park and its halls are located in an area that is expansive, beautiful, and peaceful. The 1972 Summer Olympics was held in Munich so these structures must be at least 45 years old but the clean architectural lines of the halls are timeless. The Star Wars exhibit was being held in one of the halls and there was a long queue of people waiting for their turn to get in. The BMW Museum located at one of the street corners caught Richard’s interest.
We were booked at Leonardo Royal Hotel Munich for this trip. It was a stop away on the metro and 18 minutes by foot. We decided to walk to the hotel so that we can stop at the Tengelmann supermarket along the way.
The hotel prides itself for its modern architecture, tasteful interior and a harmonious colour concept.
There were three interesting art displays in the lobby that greeted the guests.
The 85€ race fee included the finisher T-shirt, a bag of dried fruit, waterproofing garment solution, pedometer, two energy drink mixes, and a neck gaiter.
The hotel is very close to the start and finish line but it was in a quiet street. We decided to just eat our dinner at the hotel restaurant instead of venturing out. Richard had scallops while I had chicken pasta.
I did not have to wake up too early because the race start for my corral was at 10:20 AM. We had the buffet breakfast before I changed into my running gear. The metro stop was only 50 meters away and in no time at all, we were back at Coubertinplatz in Olympiazentrum for the start.
The marathon route took us to the district of Schwabing, through Munich’s largest park, the English Garden, through the districts of Bogenhausen, Berg am Laim and Haidhausen. Then we passed through Schwabing again on the way back to the Olympic Park.
It was a mix of urban and rural scenery. We had to stop for a few minutes to let a huge flock of sheep cross the road.
The race support was plentiful. They had plenty of Taxisport drink and water, plus fruits and Gu gels towards the latter part of the course.
The spectators were encouraging and there were entertainment spots along the way.
We finished the race inside the Olympic Stadium. I took the metro back to the hotel to clean up. We were on our way back to Munich Airport for our Lufthansa flight to Brussels at 9:55 PM.