March Regional Running Review: A monthly snapshot of local running events

by Maj. Ryan M. Coyne
Contributing writer

Spring has arrived! Well maybe not officially, but the early racing season is certainly in full swing in Germany.

The days are getting longer, the weather is getting better and there are no longer only one or two choices for road races during the weekends. Going out for those important daily runs no longer has to be relegated to lunchtime; now there is time before and after work to get a few miles in. However, more miles doesn’t always equal better running. Ease into those extra miles slowly, your legs and your doctor will thank you.

Last month, I reviewed a few events then highlighted some races that had made it to my near term calendar. I’m happy to report I participated in all races discussed plus ran a few extra for good measure. All were professional events; however, two in particular should definitely make your race calendar next year.

A good early season half marathon on Feb. 20, the Saarbrücken road race didn’t disappoint. The race started near the new mall across from the central train station then took all the runners along a very flat and scenic course out and back on along the Saar River. This course could have produced a personal best however it’s still early in the season not to mention it was very cold. 

Another great race not originally on my calendar but I ran anyway was the Bad Dürkheimer Fashings Waldlauf on March 5. Everyone knows this area for the great wine fests but it has also been a source of some great races the past couple of months. This was a tough trail run through the scenic hills surrounding this famous wine producing town. Nothing like negotiating rutted single track with 300 other runners with the goal of finishing fast. The views and after race baked treats alone will ensure this is on my short list for next year.  

Most runners will probably agree some of the best personal planning occurs during those 30 to 60 minutes of running most of us try to get in on a daily basis. 

During my training runs I’ve thought about this month’s review and the regional races I might pass on for your possible participation. There are many, many choices however I’m going to suggest two races in the near future and one summer race for your long-term planning.

First, check out the TSG Kaiserslautern/Der Laufladen Half Marathon April 10 at 9:30 a.m. The 13.1-mile, traffic-free course with minimal elevation changes should be a great race for the half marathon beginner to the more experienced runner looking for a personal best. This could be a good middle distance race to augment your training for all those runners participating in the upcoming base cross-country season. 

If you can’t fit the Kaiserslautern race into your schedule, I suggest seriously taking a look at the German Wine Road half marathon in Bockenheim at 1 p.m. April 22. According to the English version of the website, “Competitors and spectators alike can experience and enjoy the feeling of the Mediterranean springtime of the Palatine region.” 

Finally, you’ve probably already put a couple “big” races on your summer race calendar.  If you are looking for a race with great views, than the Konigsschlosser Romantik Marathon, Half Marathon, or 10K needs to make it to your calendar.  The various races all start in Fussen July 23 and 24.  Runners can easily travel to/from the Fussen by train making travel to this race very doable. Information on all of the above races can be easily found by typing in the race name into your favorite Internet browser. 

Some of us run for better health and weight loss while others run to ensure they can pass their fitness test. When you add a race or two, not only does it add a healthy dose of competition to your workout routine, but more importantly, racing allows us to enjoy this beautiful country with our athletic German hosts.