I ran the Berlin marathon yesterday. It was my tenth marathon overall and first big race since Boston 2013, so I have been out of racing culture for a while. One noticeable difference between Berlin yesterday and my 9 other marathons was how much more aggressive the hobbyist runners were. By hobbyist, I mean people who train hard and are fast, but are nowhere close to elite (I spent the race yesterday and all my other marathons in the 2:40s/2:50s crowd). By aggressive / cutthroat, I am referring to cutting each other off, pushing, cutting the corners slightly, etc.
Berlin paints a blue line on the road to show the most direct way to run, so I tried to stay on that line during the race. There were probably 10 or so instances of someone passing me by maybe half a stride, and cutting in front of me to the point where I had to put my hand on their back to avoid them or stick my arm out to prevent them until they got farther ahead, or break my stride to avoid tripping, or step away, etc. It was especially bad while rounding corners and at water stops.
Is this a thing now? Or is it just Berlin? Is it worse farther back in the pack?