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Finally, a marathon again. After my registration for the Cologne Marathon 2020 was not successful for well-known reasons, I had planned to run this marathon in 2021. The date was October, 3rd and my training was geared towards this date. But unfortunately nothing came of it. After 2020, the Cologne Marathon 2021 was again cancelled. What to do?

While looking through old results lists, I became aware of the Black Forest Marathon in Bräunlingen. The times I ran there in the marathon in 2002 and the half marathon in 2003 were not bad - 1h 37min and 3h 47min respectively. The Black Forest Marathon 2021 was supposed to take place on October, 10th. So one week later than the cancelled Cologne Marathon. That fits! The registration was done quickly and I could continue my training.

As usual, I planned to run three to four "long runs" of 30km, i.e. in September. However, nothing came of it. At the end of August, we got the surprising offer of a holiday in Piedmont. The holiday flat (house) was booked from September, 11th to October, 1st.

My idea of running the missing long runs in the Piedmont was quickly put to rest after arriving. The house was in a small village at the end of a 6km serpentine road. Organising long runs here or in the surrounding area (e.g. in Domodossola) (route, travel, pick-up, drinking) would have messed up our whole hiking plan. So no long runs and try to get through the marathon somehow.

The "final rehearsal" one week before the marathon was not exactly successful. After a "short" run of only 17km, I was pretty exhausted. But it doesn't matter. I had arranged meeting points with my accompanying family members at about km 18 and km 24, where I wanted to possibly stop.

With a little delay (due to delays at the entrance to the start area caused by checking the Corona vacation documents) I started on October, 10th at 9:20 am with temperatures of only 4°C but with a bright blue sky. At the first agreed meeting point there was only a short chat and then we went on. The second meeting point was not so easy to reach by car, so my daughter met me there with her folding bike.

The half-marathon runners had already turned back, so it was a bit "lonely" in my pace zone.  But my daughter as a "passenger", the nice weather and the beautiful route made it easy for me to keep running. At a short stop at about km 25 (first aid for a fallen runner by my daughter) I met Katica and Klaus, with whom I ran the last 17 km. Katica had run the Berlin Marathon two weeks earlier and Klaus (8th in the 100 Marathon Club overall statistics with 1179 marathons) runs a marathon almost every weekend. Both ran about my pace and we had a lot to talk about. The time passed by very quickly and it was clear that we would also run together over the finish line. The finishing time was not important to us.

Despite the insufficient preparation, it was a lot of fun. A great organisation, a beautiful course and in addition great weather and nice fellow runners. It couldn't have been better !

Here the link to the official website of the Black Forest Marathon.

For pictures pls. check the German version of this post.