Homies Half: Bridge The Gap in Berlin

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The crew from Run Pack give us the inside look at the BTG Berlin event

There can be no mistaking that Berlin is a running city. Not only does it host the fastest marathon in the world, it’s arguably the epicentre for running culture in Europe, with an explosion of modern running crews shaping the city over the past decade.

The Berlin ½ Marathon is held in early April, and it’s a chance for the crews to have a celebration without the same global hype that the marathon attracts in September.

The Berlin Braves host celebrations for the ‘Homies Half’ each year, and this year they again linked up with Kraft Runners and Run Pack to deliver a full weekend of action.

We had photographers Ruben Elstner and Bjorn Ewers from Run Pack on hand to grab all the action.

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The weekend starts with a Friday night party @ Braves HQ in Kreuzberg, Berlin.

Amidst the beers and the tunes, Track Mafia lead man Beefy interviewed Swiss young gun Julien Wanders, who is signed to the elite NN Running Team and trains in Kenya with the world’s best (Wanders also ran a 1:00:09 at a ½ in Barcelona in Feb ‘18!).

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"It's always good to see old friends again and make new friends. What could be better to start the race weekend with good beer and some nice food?“

Kai Heuser (Co-Founder Run Pack)

Saturday Brunch with Kraft Runners and Run Pack

On Saturday morning Kraft Runners and Run Pack co-hosted a brunch at Zweitausend Kaffee.

We asked Henrik Niehus, co-founder of Run Pack, how it went down on Saturday,

"This is the 3rd time in a row now that we`ve teamed up with the other 2 big crews in Berlin. Our goal is not only to join forces but also to create something new and special every year. This year, we spent the whole Saturday at the freshly opened 'Zweitausend Berlin'. What started with a big brunch buffet and hangout in the morning, turned into a big block party with barbecue and live DJ's in the evening. Why only party after the race?"

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"Together with the whole Kraft Runners crew I was frying eggs, preparing cheese platters and cleaning dishes. Coffee was prepared by Marco himself, shop manager and Barista. But seeing all those happy faces was motivation enough to keep going. This brought joy to the whole event!"

Eugen Fink, Co-Founder Kraft Runners

PRE-RACE SHAKEOUT RUN

Saturday afternoon saw almost 200 runners from various crews show out for a shakeout run from the Braves HQ in Kreuzberg, Berlin. This event was again led by Beefy from Track Mafia, in a style only he possesses.

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The shakeout run was the perfect warm up for the Run Pack Pasta Party on Saturday night, the last chance to fuel up but more importantly to talk about the race with all the other runners.

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RACE DAY: SUNDAY APRIL 8 2018

"The weather on race morning was quite nice, the sun was shining and it was not too cold and not too warm. By the time the race started at ten in the morning with over 30,000 runners, I was thrilled like hell!"

Sven Abraham, Co-Founder Run Pack

On course, the cheer zone was set up around 500m from the finish of the race. In a few months time, the attention of the whole running world will again be on Berlin. The city will be overflowing with thousands of runners from all over, and the fastest athletes on the planet will be lined up to set a new world record.

But until that special Sunday in September, Berlin belongs to the local crews who helped make it the great running city that it is. And they know how to party.

"Having all those kilometres in the legs from The Speed Project a week ago, I decided to pace a 20 y/o Kraft Runner, aiming for sub 90 minutes. I did run with a boom box to bring a little extra motivation in for him and everybody else. Mission accomplished, I suppose, remembering all those faces and comments during the race!"

Eugen Fink, Co-Founder Kraft Runners

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Eugen and his speaker
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"The power of the cheering supporters of the crews involved is beyond words - it’s always like the 'small finish line' when you reach the cheer zone, and the energy stays for the rest of the race“

Kathi Hoffmann, Co-Founder Run Pack

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Editor's Note: Thanks to Run Pack, Kraft Runners, and the Berlin Braves for letting us into their amazing weekend.

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