Finishing a race is cause for celebration. After weeks (months?) of training, dieting, and living with a great deal of structure, it’s time to relax. Maybe you pop a few beers or sit down to a feast of a dinner.
Imagine being able to indulge right at the finish line! Such is the inspiration for the ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon & Half-Marathon, scheduled for June 14 at 8 a.m. through the trails of Pennypack Park.
Runners are treated to a jaunt through one of Philadelphia’s more scenic, peaceful settings, and greeted at the finish line with a German feast including bratwurst, sauerkraut and German potato pancakes.
The race is the brainchild of the founders of the local running organization Uber Endurance Sports, who endeavors to organize "fun affordable races with a German twist”—which means plenty of German food at the finish line.
“This race is put on by my family and friends,” says Stephan Weiss, race director for Uber Endurance Sports. “I came over from Germany in 1999, and my wife’s parents owned a German restaurant in the city for over 40 years.”
In keeping with the German tradition, instead of trophies or medals winners receive prizes such as cuckoo clocks and German weather houses. “They do work,” Weiss says. In fact, the group’s website lauds the houses as “pretty much as reliable as Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz.”
This marks the event’s 5th year in Philadelphia, and thus far it has grown in popularity each June. The race will begin in the southern end of the park just off Shawn Street on the Pennypack Trail. The course will follow an out-and-back format, with runners encountering “Mount Cuckoo” a one-mile loop trail around the 6-7 mile mark. After completing the loop, it’s back onto the Pennypack Trail for the return to the start/finish area.
(Full marathon participants will complete the full course twice.)
This course, as you can imagine by its terrain, is described by organizers as relatively flat. As runners begin to finish, the party will get started around 10 a.m. where food and beverage will be served to all participants.
Due to the contours of the trail, Weiss finds it best to keep the race to a certain number of participants each year—and the total for 2014 is 1,000 runners. He anticipates the event selling out again this year. If you are interested in participating in the ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon and Half Marathon, sign up by March 16 to run the half for $60 or the full marathon for $65.
For more information on this run and other Uber Endurance-sponsored events, visit www.uberendurancesports.com
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