Baden Marathon 2005: Kilometer 39

By this time I would love to say that I reached deep inside and gathered the strength and sprinted to the finish, but this just didn’t happen. I crept forward walking, running, walking, running – on and on for what seemed like an eternity. I remember seeing the 39K marker right before we turned and ran by the zoo.

The Karlsruhe Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Germany. It started in 1865, when the Baden Poultry Breeding Association opened the zoological gardens. But soon, the cost were so immense, that the city took over. The whole complex has been expanded continuously since then including the creation of the lakes and many gardens. Today, the zoo is home to over 1000 animals of 150 species from all over the world - with a just recently built polar bear environment for the three polar bears. Over 800 large trees from a wide diversity of countries, 15,000 roses of 300 strains, numerous tulips and summer flowers, shrubs and climbing plants make a visit to the zoo and gardens a very special experience whatever the time of the year. The location of the zoo is pretty unique, too: it is right across the street from the main train station in the middle of Karlsruhe!

The most permanent connection between Karlsruhe and the USA is probably a mathematical/geographical one, the 49th North line of latitude. It is the longest part of the border between the United States and Canada, and it also passes through the middle of Karlsruhe. If an American and a Canadian were to meet on their shared border between the Pacific Ocean and the province of Ontario, and if they were to travel this invisible line eastward they would eventually arrive at the Karlsruhe Zoo!

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