After a great two week work trip in Jerusalem, it was time to head home. My itinerary originally included a required overnight in Frankfurt. Taking advantage of having a friend who lives in a town outside of Frankfurt, I emailed her to see if she was going to be in town and was free. Turns out she was! So I extended my layover to include one more night. Then….just out of curiosity I started looking around to see if there were any races nearby that weekend. And, as luck would have it, there was!!! And a really great one! The Deutsche Weinstrasse Half/Full Marathon (German Wine Road race). How could we not sign up for it?? Unfortunately since it was already so late, the half was already sold out, but there were still entries for the full, and there was a note that said that if you signed up for the full you could switch to the half around the 8.6 km point. So we signed up!
I arrived Saturday afternoon and after dropping my stuff off at my friend’s house, we headed to the expo to pick up our stuff. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we got a little lost but eventually found our way. We picked up our packet which included a bottle of wine (awesome!!! Can’t wait to try it out), a bunch of grapes shaped sponge (still trying to figure out the exact purpose for it….we saw some people who had it with them during the race either dunking it in water and using it to cool themselves off and then others squeezing water out of it to drink, and wine too!) There was also a bottle of some sort of other drink, which I took one sip snd spit it out, it was so disgusting! I don’t even know how to describe it….it was sort of like flat cola, a malt like drink, some lemon mixed in, and just, gross! There were some brochures for other races in Germany and then a few candies. It all came in a cute drawstring bag. They had the option to purchase a tech shirt for the race, which I did. I figured it’d be a great souvenir.
The race was on Sunday, and didn’t start until 10am (thank goodness because daylight savings was in Germany on Saturday night! So we lost an hour of sleep that night). We got there with plenty of time. The atmosphere was great. A lot of music and people everywhere. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and looking forward to a great race. The weather was perfect as well! Sun was shining, but it wasn’t too hot.
The course itself was really pretty, but really hilly. We ran through a bunch of vineyards. I got some great pictures. We actually ended up walking most of the course. My friend is such a trooper! We had only signed up about a month before race day, so there was very little time to train. And not to mention she was still dealing with previous knee and other injuries. It was still a lot of fun. We got to enjoy the course and even stopped and had some wine at the water/aid stations along the way! I really do enjoy not having the pressure of “racing” and just running/walking the course instead. It is a different mindset and experience, but one I think I enjoy more. Granted – I say that now after being plagued with knee issues myself and having slowed down my pace a lot. Maybe that will change if I get my speed back 😉
At the last point of the race, we were passed by one of the marathon runners. He had a funny long-billed hat on backwards and was running in a plastic fake butt!!! Once I saw it I had to run after him to catch up and take a picture! There were a few people in the crowd who saw me sprint after him and didn’t realize what the heck I was doing until they saw his “backside” as well! Then they started laughing as well. I think it’s great that people have a sense of humor.
We crossed the finish line and heard our names announced (they even pronounced mine correctly!). We met up with my friend’s boyfriend and eventually sat down at a picnic table and enjoyed some beers and food. It was a beautiful day just to sit outside and hang out with friends.
The medal itself is pretty neat too. It’s a bunch of grapes and the ribbon is the colors of the German flag. I can’t wait to hang it and the one from Jerusalem on my “Tracey Runs the World” medal hanger that I got for Christmas! Two great (and appropriate!) additions.