Gisi and I were looking for a fall half-marathon to match our spring half-marathon in Poznan, and decided on Leipzig which is only an hour from Berlin, combining it with two days of vacation to see Leipzig and the surrounding area. Especially pleasant was the summer-like weather throughout the four days we were there.
While waiting for our train at Südkreuz, we watched Kipchoge on my smart phone successfully run the world's first sub-2-hour marathon in Vienna, a nice way to start a half-marathon weekend.
Since this particularly half marathon was a commemoration run for the 206th anniversary of the Völkerschlacht of 1813, it was not through the city but through the former battle fields south of Leipzig, starting and ending at the 91-meter Völkerschlachtdenkmal built in 1903, an impressive--if not megalomaniac--monument in itself which we visited on Tuesday before returning back to Berlin.
The marathon itself was smaller than most, but there was a group of runners named "Lauf geht's" which encourages people to train and run a half-marathon within six months by changing their eating and exercise habits, and the probably over 100 runners in that group added a nice zest to the run, the one's with green shirts were running a half marathon for the first time.
The half-marathon route very quickly left any sign of the city and most of the time was spent running straight ahead on roads through fields and past farming equipment and small villages. The sun was shining bright and there were no clouds but the air seemed cool enough for a pleasant run, an average of about 22°C. Gisi stayed under Hannah's Olso Half Marathon splits for most of the run, but from about 12K to 19K, it seemed like there was one long incline after another, and so while she was 3 minutes ahead at 10K, she dipped to 1 minute ahead at 15K, and in the end she finished 144 seconds behind Hannah's half marathon time with a 02:29:19, a solid run for the course but nevertheless one in which she had to admit official defeat to her 15-year-old daughter.
The next day we took a nice trip to the picturesque medieval town of Altenburg, had a nice walk around Leipzig spending more than an hour in the Hugendubel, and on Tuesday took a tour of the inside and top of the Völkerschlachtdenkmal which offered splendid views landscape south of Leipzig that we ran through during our race.