So I ran the Berlin Marathon on Sunday. I made it, I finished. In the immortal words of John F. Kennedy, “Ich bin ein Berliner!”

The truth is I had totally lost my running “mojo” since last year November when I ran my best time yet of 4hr 3 mins in the New York Marathon.


Berlin is reputed to be a much easier race than the notorious New York route, and the world record was set here. However, after the NY post Marathon recovery, I just could not seem to get back into running. Due to work pressures, I could not find the time I needed to get the required training miles in.

I actually pulled out of the Berlin marathon a few times and tried to defer my running spot, give up my hotel accommodation and cancel flights. Finally, just over 3 weeks ago I decided to support the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation.

What a difference a sense of purpose makes!

The next day, thinking about all the good that there is to be done from any funds raised, I ran my best 10km this year.

On Sunday the 24th September, the stage was set. 43,000 runners including the world’s best Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes were attempting to break the world record or their own personal bests.

I was a bit further behind these guys. It was rainy, humid conditions, and the elite athletes failed to break the record (by only thirty seconds though).

It was a tough race for me – I stopped at least five times to stretch my hamstrings, get a massage at the health point and apply oil to my bruised thighs. I had lots of help along the way, some from total strangers such as Dawn from Albuquerque and James from Wales, who every time I gave up and started walking they shouted come on Flash, we are going all the way. I got encouragement from some of my 35 running club comrades from Nigeria and Ghana! Most of all, I was motivated to keep going thinking about the cause I was running for – the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation.

I finished the race in 4hours 27 mins, a shorter time than I’d projected going in.

Yemi Osindero running in the 44th BMW Berlin Marathon

Yemi Osindero at the end of the marathon race in Berlin, 2017

The experience reminded me that there are no shortcuts to putting in the work, but like all things in life, it’s all mental – You versus You! If we reach into a higher purpose, we are capable of truly heroic feats. I have resolved to always do this. Run for country. Run for the memory of a loved one. Run for a good cause. Run for something.

For those who have already supported the NHEF, I thank you immensely I have been moved by your support so far. As an alumnus of the University of Lagos, I am appalled and saddened at the state of universities in Nigeria and the quality of graduates being turned out. We must make Nigerian Universities great again.

Join us in supporting the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation and change the lives of millions through education. Thank you very much in advance for your support and contribution.

Kindly donate as follows: GBP donations – you can donate by clicking the following link to my Justgiving page: