On 14th June, we (that is, Terry, Ole and yours truly) ran the Sauerland Höhenflug trailrun half marathon! It spans 21,1 km with 540 m in elevation gain and 540 m in loss in the beautiful Sauerland. What a magnificent race!
The course consists of about 8 km epic single trails (the same 4 km run both at the start and on the way back) and 13 km broader forest ways. In June, some of the single trail is partly overgrown by long swaying grasses and prettily framed with broom (probably Genista scoparia) in full bloom. There is many a great scenic view along the trail, varied landscapes surrounding the trail and a few crisp inclines and downhills; albeit without those being too technical and steep at the same time.
Despite all the beauty of nature around, I had a hard time during the race. This was primarily because we three had been so busy renovating and moving together in Münster the past weeks that we did not even get one little run squeezed in, so we came to the race hyper untrained and unprepared. Consequently, I felt real sluggish and warm. It did not help that many folks around me were of this typically German older running population that has been running casually but consistently for at least a decade, easily overtaking me like WOOSH. Usually I am happy for those people, but that day they just made me feel like a slow noob. I guess that is its own kind of humbling experience.
But I finished nonetheless, I saw a lot of beauty, and I lapped everyone on the couch, you know the saying 🙂
The race organisation was really good, the course was well-marked, and I love when races have a photographer hired for taking pictures of the runners free of charge (aka included in the entry fee but distributed across all runners). While we’re at this topic, I want to mention how much I liked the sponges they had at some aid stations. Nothing like squeezing some liquid goodness on hot skin during a race, no?!
As a bonus, here’s me stuffing my face with post-race yummy goodness:
The route of the Sauerland Höhenflug is great even in winter, for there are more numerous and broader views around the landscape viewable from the bare ridges. And I think there are few things as beautiful as the delicate hoarfrost covering the plants and grasses along the singletrail parts on cold sunny days… But this is for another day and blog post!