The German city Düsseldorf has an Aldstadt or Old Town that is known as the longest bar in the world because of the sheer number of bars (over 300!) located in a small section. The area is perfect for people into pub crawling. If this is not your cup of tea – er – beer, you can saunter over to the adjacent Königsallee to lose yourself and your money in over a kilometer long of high-end shops.
These were not the reasons why we were in town for, though. I signed up for the Metro Marathon Düsseldorf 2017, just my fourth major German marathon after Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. Düsseldorf is only less than three hours away by car from our house in Belgium. We drove during a beautiful spring Saturday morning of April 29, 2017.
We parked the car at the Q-Park in Friedrichstraβe to avoid being caught inside the race route and walked the few meters to Leonardo Royal Hotel in Königsallee. It was too early to check in; we dropped off our bags and walked 10 minutes to the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf to pick up my bib.
Registration cost varies from 54 to 84 euros depending on the day you signed up. You can also sign up at the expo for 95 euros.
We walked back to the hotel to deposit our luggage in the room.
We got all chores done early! We hopped on the U-Bahn to go to the Heinrich-Heine-Allee stop to check out the scene at Alstadt and play tourist at the Rheinuferpromenade.
We even got our photo taken with the Rheinturm in the background. The Dusseldorf communications tower is featured prominently in the marathon publicity and race medals.
Thai was our choice for dinner in Alstadt before calling it a night.
Breakfast at the hotel was luxurious, with champagne served as you please.
Properly nourished, we took the U-Bahn to the Tonhalle stop for the race start at 9:00 AM.
The race had a time limit of six hours.
There were many animation points or entertainment spots.
The aid stations had the usual, plus SiS gels. The race had a special Diabetic Point along the course to monitor runners with medical conditions.
I made a new friend who was dressed as Super Michel.
The course took us all over the city.
We finished the course at the same promenade we visited the previous night.
After cleaning up back at the hotel, we took off for Belgium. Only then did we notice an exit for an interesting name for a German town. Oh.