Ran the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon this morning.
A German-themed race?! Ich bin dabei!
Hosted by Über Endurance Sports and the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein in North Philly, the race is run in Penny Packer Park. Runners could choose between the half and the full marathon, and seeing as I'm only beginning to claw my way back into shape, I chose the half.
The course was beautiful, almost 100% in the shade on paved and dirt paths. Women in dirndls handed out drinks at the aid stations (no beer stop, sadly). A guy with an accordion played at miles 4 and 9. I shouted "dankeschön!" each time as I passed and even received a few "bitteschöns" in response.
There were a few wicked hills on the trail but nothing outrageous. I was grouchy at the start of the race from getting up at 5am yet again and always going to these races alone, but I was surprised at how great I felt as the race progressed. I was killing it on the hills and passing a lot of runners in the back nine. So I was a bit dismayed, as I neared the finish, to realize how close I was going to come to my time from last weekend. I ended up barely beating my time by three minutes.
I was not expecting to PR, but based on how I was feeling, I thought I was going to crush my time from the previous weekend. This race was a nice reminder that progress and PR's are hardwon, especially as I get older, and if I want to see significant improvements in race times, then I need to show significant effort in training.
After the race I caught the shuttle back to the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein and sat in the beer gardern out back while enjoying two brats and two beers which were part of my $80 entry fee. The guy with the accordion was there, along with a group of women and men in dirndls and lederhosen.
This was a fantastic race. Just the right size with great amenities and atmosphere and racecourse. Can't wait to sign up for this again next year.