The FIDUCIA Baden Marathon held in Karlsruhe, Germany is a city
course favored by many because of its mixture of nature, culture,
and city-flair. The course is fast, flat and completely asphalted.
The first half of the race starts off in southwest Karlsruhe at
the Europa Sports Center (Europahalle), winds eastward to neighboring
Durlach, turns southward to Rueppur, then back to the Europahalle.
Marathon runners can wait until shortly before the end of the half-marathon
course to decide if they want to continue the marathon or end early.
The second half of the marathon course begins in the traditional
runners’ district in the lush greenery of the “Günther-Klotz
Park„ and along the banks of the river Alb. The course roceeds
over Mühlburg - the old US airfield, Knielinger Allee und Hans-Thoma-Straße
straight to the Karlsruhe Castle.
After crossing the Castle Gardens, the University campus and the
“Fasanengarten”, the course leaves the Castle and heads
towards the City. The runners cross the main streets and squares
of Karlsruhe: Kaiser-strase, Ludwigsplatz, Friedrichsplatz, the
Market Square with its Pyramid, all the way to Rondell Square. Finally,
after crossing the zoo, the course heads back towards the Europahalle.
Karlsruhe: A Historic Perspective
Karlsruhe is on the Rhine River at the foot of the Black Forest,
just a half hour from France. Karlsruhe is one of Germany's youngest
towns, founded in 1715, only 17 years after the birth of George
Washington. The founder, the Margrave Karl Wilhelm of Baden moved
from the medieval tow of Durlach (today a part of Karlsruhe) to
the nearby Hardtwald Forest. The radical layout of Karlsruhe, with
the palace as the center point, has since been regarded as one of
the best architectural examples of baroque town planning.
Thomas Jefferson visited Karlsruhe on April 15, 1788, at the time
the Envoy to France. He was so impressed by the fan-like town that
he sketched it's layout and eventually used it in planning the then
future city of Washington D.C.
Saturday, September 17th, 2005:
Well, tomorrow’s the big day. Am I nervous? To be sure, but
in a positive way. The Baden Marathon will be my second marathon,
I completed my first in Mannheim, Germany this past May.
The weather forecast for tomorrow: 11-15°C warming to 19°C,
cloudy with a slight wind. I’m a bit concerned on what to
wear. I mean because it will be fairly chilly for a just a short
sleeve shirt when I start out. My normal long running shorts are
fine, but I am wondering if I should throw on an old T-Shirt for
the first half that I can eventually discard or something in this
My chip is in place on my shoe (I bought one as I can use it in
several races in the area). I am picking up my start number after
lunch today. I will also pack my sport bag today with a change of
clothes and shower stuff for after the race tomorrow. Showers are
available at the sport hall where race is held.
I had 10 hours sleep on Thursday night and about 8 hours last night.
I will TRY to get in bed early tonight. I need to get up around
6 a.m. and be on the road by 7:00. I know from last year when I
ran the HM that the parking lot fills pretty fast so I want to arrive
an hour and half early. The ‘M’ starts at 9:00 a.m.
The first half of the race is the same for the HM and M –
it is the same route that was used last year so I know the first
half pretty well. I have been studying the second half of the route
and have it pretty well in my head. Of course I know the area pretty
well after having lived in Karlsruhe for 3 years in the 1980’s
while in the military and living in the area for quite a while.
I guess I have hometown advantage.
So I plan on taking it easy for most of today. I need to run a
couple errands when I pick up my start packet, otherwise I plan
on sitting and relaxing (e.g. staying off my feet). For motivation
I have the race route and a picture of the RBF
New Haven Road Race Crew
2005 hanging next to my computer. I thank everyone for the support
and encouragement. It DOES mean the world to me, I love you guys.
Tomorrow morning is the final test! Time to do it!!
Picking up the Start Packet
When I arrived at the Europahalle at about 12:30 p.m. the sports
center was a buzz of activity. Runner's picking up their start packets,
enjoying a fine looking pasta meal, browsing the runner's shop,
or just enjoying the company of other runner's.