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Jul 9 / Jane

1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut 1/2 Marathon

I had been eyeing this race for over a year, a German themed race with a clever title: 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut 1/2 Marathon.  From the website description, it felt like it would be a fun run, a small field through a pretty park; a race I could do in costume with beer and brat included (not that the bratwurst appeals to me, but I love the idea!).  Some weeks before the race I committed myself and recruited a friend, Gwen, who I’d run the Philly RNR race with in the fall.  We both decided to run in costume and run together, just for fun.

Gwen and I before the start of the race.

Gwen and I before the start of the race. The best looking Bavarian couple, for sure! And someone’s finger at the top of the photo…

We met the morning of at the German Club and boarded the bus to take us to the park.  Both of us were feeling good so we lined up in the second wave (as indicated on my bib) and planned to run around 2 hours for the half.  We settled into a nice pace and were with a small group of like-minded (read: like-paced) runners by mile 3.  We smiled going up the hills, strode down them, chatted a bit and kept an eye on our pace.

Smiling uphill

Smiling uphill.

The park was beautiful. It was wonderful weather too, low 70’s; and the course shaded and cool, running along a river part of the time.  We were on a paved pathway with enough room for the small field and even some of the public walking and biking.  The course was well marked and had water stations manned by women in dirndls and men in lederhosen.  Hans (or was it Frans?), the accordion player, also made an appearance on the course.

Jack Nicholason, I mean, Hans, found his way onto the course...

Jack Nicholason, I mean, Hans, found his way onto the course…

Just before the 8 mile, the walkway split to allow for the “back” part of the race and we saw the leaders of the race just as we turned to do a loop.  We headed into an open field, around and back into the woods.  This time we ran onto a single-file dirt and rock trail up what the race calls “Mount Cocoko,” for about a mile and a half before headed back towards the water/gel station and on the “back” portion of the race.  We passed Hans again and retraced the path all the way back to the start.

I started hurting around mile 11.  Gwen was very encouraging and stayed with me as I slowed a bit.  We followed a “Run Bucks” jersey most of the race and he slipped out of sight but we were still on pace, 9:10 per mile for a 2 hour finish.  And then, in the last mile, Gwen tripped.  Uneven pavement and the increasing heat, the end of the race…  I saw it in slow motion.  She recovered quickly and I heard her say “no blood.”  I replied, “great!” and we moved on.

One of the most epic finish photos ever!

One of the most epic finish photos ever!

We crossed the finish in 2:00:05, RIGHT on target!  Then I realized I heard her wrong, there was indeed blood, and lots of it, both her knees and both her hands were scraped.  We grabbed water and headed to the ambulance for medical assistance.  The EMTs bandaged her up nicely and we headed back to the finish area for snacks, finish photos, and to relax a bit.

Gwen getting all bandaged up.

Gwen getting all bandaged up.

Finishers!

Finishers!

Feeling somewhat refreshed, we headed back on the bus to the German Club and enjoyed a beer while we watched a traditional German dance and the awards ceremony.  Alex texted me that one of the women who completed the GoRuck event was at my race wearing the same costume as me.  I knew who he was talking about since I’d seen his photos of the event and spotted her in the beer line.  I introduced myself and we chatted a bit before I rejoined Gwen.

Both Gwen and I being vegetarian, we did not have a post-race brat, but instead headed to a local spot for brunch.  Three Monkeys Cafe in NE Philly was a wonderful pick (thanks Yelp!), we both had a massive breakfast burrito and really yummy coffee on a beautiful outdoor patio.  Yes, it was that good.  =)

Seriously, this race was everything I expected it to be and more.  It was fun!  I loved running a hilly half marathon in costume with great company.  I honestly could not have asked for better: perfect conditions, great field, good beer…  I highly recommend this one and really look forward to running with Gwen again soon!  Prost!

Photo Jun 14, 11 10 59 AM (1)

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