Salzburg Half Marathon

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It was providence that I met Susan, my running partner.  It just so happened that my husband took our girls to the park on Super Bowl Sunday 2011.  Susan's husband was also there wearing a Notre Dame baseball cap.  Bob walked up to Bill and said, "You have to be an American!"  The two exchanged info and Bob gleefully came home exclaiming he'd found me a new friend and a runner at that.

I am so thankful for that chance meeting.  We've been keeping each other company on the trails for about 2 years and now she will be returning home to the United States this summer.  We decided we needed to run one race together so I chose the Salzburg Half Marathon, or as I like to call it, The Sound of Music Marathon.  What could be more inspiring than running past the movie locations in May when Salzburg is carpeted in green?

I have two recommendations for Salzburg. We stayed the night at Der Salzburgerhof Hof Annex and ate a really good Thai dinner at a restaurant called Bangkok.

The Details
Der Salzburger Hof
Address: Kaiserschutzenstr. 1 A-5020 Salzburg
Two blocks from the train station, our room was spotless and modern.  The bed was comfortable and the pillow perfect.  One of the best breakfast buffets I've ever eaten was included in our room rate.  The staff was exceptional. When they could not accommodate our late check out they offered to let us shower after the race in the hostel shower on the top floor.  Two thumbs up!  Several buses take you into the city center from the hauptbahnhof.

Address: Bayerhamerstr. 33 5020 Salzburg
Reservations: +43 662 873 688
Hours: T-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11:30pm
Delicious food!  They accommodated our walk in (probably because we walked there in the rain), but I would call for reservations on a weekend. I especially recommend the appetizer for 2+, it was almost a meal in itself.  Good service, two thumbs up!
So, back to my marathon story.  I had great expectations--not really a personal best, but I was figuring a 10 minute mile and 2:10 finish. It was a beautiful day with a flat coarse, the day was full of promise.  Only thing was, by mile 3 I still wasn't "in the groove" and by mile 7 the grumbling in my tummy forced me to stop for the toilet which meant I lost my running partner.  So with no groove, partner or music I plodded along at a hopeless pace.  

Notice the guy in the photo above, notice his kick?  That's a 90* angle, no wonder he is going to finish 1st.  Now look at my gait below, I am practically walking!  I am such a terrible runner and by this point I was just dying to be finished with the race.  I kept telling myself, "the end is near, don't give up now," "yes, this sucks, but keep running!"   

Bob, who finished 37 minutes before me,  also had a bad race.  Maybe flying home from Sicily the day before didn't do our bodies any good.  I finally finished at 2:20.  That is worse than my last race where I was violently ill afterwards!
This is my "I am never running a half marathon again" face!
Life is always better 10 minutes after with a cup of power aid and a bit of carrot cake.  Maybe, just maybe I will try to redeem myself next year.
Dang, someone needs a shower!  
So, while I didn't run with confidence as I passed Maria Von Trapp's tree covered lane and while I may never run another half marathon, the Salzburg Marathon does have a nice course.  Lot's shaded trails with beautiful vistas and with only 5000 runners the course never felt claustrophobic.