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Silvesterlauf Half Marathon

Rastatt HM Race Report

About 60km south of us there is a town called Rastatt Wintersdorf where an annual Silverstelauf takes place. Silvester, that's the last day in the year. Lauf - well - is a run. The run comes in many forms, a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon.and knowing Martin and me you probably guessed that we did the latter - meaning, our start was the earliest, at 12:00 noon.

The race gors through a really flat area, it nowhere is crowded, and apart from a little mud on the recently rained on forest pathways, there are no technical difficulties.

So we set off at 10:00am, with a little hot tea in a travel mug, spare cloths (none could believe it really would get so warm) and arrived to a fairly empty parking lot. A couple hundred meters walk and we were at the store in whose street the finish and start area and the packet pickup happens. Here you don't necessarily have to decide days or weeks or months before a race that you want to do it, most of the time you just go there, pay your fee, and just start. The fees are way lower than in Chicago races (7-15 Euros, meaning $6-13) but you almost never get a shirt. We got mugs which I found neat for a Winter race.  At most races there is a location to shower after the race but there are only few porta-potties.

So we payd our fees and late fees, then browsed the store a bit, did a warm-up run, hit the port-a potty and then it was time to start. At the half marathon the field was small enough so I was over the startin line within a couple of seconds. On through the forest, they had the km-markers backwards, telling me how much I still had to run, which confused me at the first one (I didn't read it then, just wondered why I had taken 8 minutes to get there, believing it only was a km. But it was 1.5km.

Running on and on and on, removing my hoody under the running vest, putting on the vest again and tying the hoody around my waist, running on, counting down, getting past the aid station and watching the fastest guy coming the opposite direction. On through a large windy loop passing this station again, no-one anymore to watch coming in opposite direction (we are in Germany - so no slower racers on the course, and certainly no walkers), grabbing a piece of banana, and then getting finished with my first loop, just a couple of seconds after the 10k-runners started. Grabbing some warm tea which kind of made me sick afterwards. I'm not used to it and I should have stuck to my bottle. After finishing the loop the field around me wasn't empty anymore, I passed a couple of 10k-runners andfound my pace somewhere between some of them. The same procedure once more, again through the windy area which was not so windy anymore.

And off to the finish, where Martin already waited with the camera and took a finish picture of his exhausted and happy wife.

We had some cake and coffee in the town's multi-purpose hall and watched the raffle, then we drove home, again being glad that our car heats up quickly, and enjoying the new seat heating pad Martin gave me for Christmas. It's amazing that I could run with short sleeves (and vest) and a bit disconcerting for mid-winter, but at that time I did need all the heat the car could provide. And a  hot shower and tea at home.