This was Hannah's and my 16th consecutive month running a 10K+ race together ever since we started this streak last year in March. Since we don't want to run the same race twice, and since we are running out of races in the Berlin/Brandenburg area, we have started to take weekend trips out to races in other cities, this being our first this summer, this one to Altenburg, a picturesque little medieval town in Sachens-Anhalt south of Leipzig.
We spent the night in Leipzig in a luxury Airbnb apartment where we passed the evening eating homemade salads and watching the opening game of the Womens' World Cup Championship, France beating Korea 4-0, which set the sports theme for the weekend.
The next morning we got up early, walked through a sleepy Leipzig to the train station and took the one-hour S-Bahn trip down to Altenburg. We arrived about three hours before the race, so had lots of time and walked through the quiet town where we soon realized that it was going to be a hilly run, especially as we walked up the steep hill into the Schloßpark, which we could see on the map was going to be our 10K point in the race. We then walked around to the castle on the hill which gave us a nice view of the town from above.
The nearer we got to the center of town, the more runners we saw and the louder the music became, a very festive atmosphere at the market place. There were about 10 different races going on from Bambini races, 3.6K, 5.4K, 13.3K, half marathon and marathon, plus variations of these with relays and walking events, so races were starting about every 10 minutes from 9:00 until we ran at 11:30.
The weather was perfect, cloudy and cool at the start with sun at the finish, and the race route was the most varied of any race I have run: cobble stone streets with lots of turns, up and down hills, around a lake, through a forest, out through empty farm land, under highways, back into town through a residential area including a maze-lake portion between back yards of houses, over bridges, and then at 10K back up the steep hill of the Schloßpark past hilltop mansions and then down a steep cobble-stone street back toward the center of town.
The refreshments during the run were homemade and looked more like a well-stocked picnic with piles of fruit and vegetables such as watermelon, apricots, apples, bananas, and cucumbers, plus cookies, sugar cubes, and to drink a choice between water, lemonade, cola and tea, and after the race, soup, bread and beer.
I can recommend this race to anyone, it's a beautiful little town to visit, the race is well organized with festivities e.g. Brazilian dancers, and there is literally a race length for everyone from the 3K to a marathon.