Blast in Berlin

I just finished up my 2016 season with another 80m throw in Berlin. It was the most fun I have had at a meet in a really long time. I was hungry to throw farther, but I can’t complain since it was my 8th best competition of my career.

A couple weeks ago I competed in Paris; it was a great city but all the travels must have taken its toll on my body and I didn’t throw well. I flew to Germany where I could get a couple training sessions in to get my body right, and it would also keep me close to my final competition in Berlin.

I took a train from Offenburg to Berlin. It was cheap travel, but took a bit of time (7 hours). Thankfully when I got to Berlin the meet hotel was amazing! They had the best food I have had all year and I was finally feeling relaxed.

I was super excited for the competition because it was my last of the year. I could put everything on the line. No fear, no regrets, nothing to hold back. I was ready for something big.

Upon arriving to the stadium I was in awe. We were throwing in the Olympic Stadium from the 1936 Olympics. There was just so much history and I was happy to be apart of it.

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We started warming up in an indoor track under the stadium stands, went to a few call rooms, and then finally out to the track. There were only 7 javelins for 8 competitors, so we weren’t allowed to throw in the grass. We went straight onto the runway and started to slowly warm up. Luckily this wasn’t like the Olympic Games and we got more than two warm up throws on the runway!

I was feeling really good, and really confident about the meet. I was having a blast, smiling a lot, and just enjoying the moment. And then we were told to change our shoes and head over to the center of the stadium for introductions. Sadly we waited here for about 20-25 minutes before we were finally announced but it was pretty cool how they set it up.

Berlin ISTAF Introductions – Robert Harting

We got back to the javelin runway completely cold, spiked back up and the official told me I was up! My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t ready now.

First throw was terrible. It didn’t hurt physically but when I found out it only went 66m I was definitely hurt emotionally. I couldn’t help but laugh it off; literally I couldn’t stop laughing, I just couldn’t believe how bad it was.

Soon after, the Germans lit the stadium on fire! 83.29m (273-3) from Julian Weber on his first throw. What’s even more impressive is that his bags were lost on his flight to Berlin and he had to borrow spikes, half tights, and jersey from the Olympic Champion Thomas Rohler.

Johannes Vetter had a rough meet in Paris as well, but his first throw he unleashed something truly amazing. 89.57m (293-10) on his first throw, after a 25 minute cool down! It was like something magical was in the air.

The German crowd was going nuts every time they threw. It was something really special to see.

The crowd died down on my second round which was disappointing, I was hoping to ride their energy to a big throw.  72m on my second round felt embarrassing after the Germans were throwing close to 90m, but I was determined to do something big; I just needed to warm up.

Julian Weber followed up his 83m throw in the first round with 88.29m (289-8) in the second round. I couldn’t believe how clean they were floating the javelins. It just seemed so effortless and easy. It was amazing to watch, but even better than that it was a confidence builder that I could throw a personal best.

Video of top two throws

There was obviously something allowing so many throwers to go big. I wanted to join them and I was finally warming up. I went 78.55m in the third round and 79.14m in the fourth.

I was so close to throwing one clean. If I did I could honestly see it going 84-85m it was just one of those days where big marks were going to happen.

I struggled to throw farther in the 5th round but on my last throw I let the gravity of the moment weigh down on me. This is the last throw of the last competition of the year. You won’t get another movement like this.

I hit it well, and it flew a little cleaner, but it landed just over the 80m line. It wasn’t the monster throw I was hoping for, but it was a throw I was proud of. 80.53m (264-2) to finish my season. It was another 80m meet in the bag and left me incredibly hungry for something more.

berlin-eagle-shirt

The more I throw with the best in the world the more they become mortal. They are athletes you see on YouTube or watch on TV. It makes them somewhat unreal and what they do unbelievable, or unachievable. But the more often I face them the more I realize I can do it myself.

85 meters is there. It’s in me. I have the tools, the talent, and the will.

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1 year ago