This year I have already run several hilly and mountainous half marathons: in Jerusalem, in Brasov, in Targu Mures. In Romania there hardly seems to be a normal running event. Somebody will always put a mountain range in the middle of the track.
This Saturday, it will become more challenging yet: At the half marathon in Baile Tusnad I will have to cover 900 meters (= 2,952 ft) in altitude. That’s more of an ascent in one race than some people in Kansas or the Netherlands master in a lifetime.
But I will be rewarded with scenic views. From Baile Tusnad the track will go across the mountains all the way to Lake St Anna, a volcanic crater filled with rainwater. I’ll probably dive right in once I get there.
And while normal half marathons are happy with 21 km, here I’ll have to run a distance of 23 km. As if the mountains weren’t tough enough.
The bear in the logo is no joke either, but a reminder of the large population of bears in the forests around Baile Tusnad. I hope that I will finally encounter a bear in the wild, either while running or during one of my hikes in the days before and after the race.
Let’s see how I’ll feel on Saturday. If I still won’t have enough of crazy challenges, I can run up the Transfagarasan road in September, to an altitude of more than 2,000 meters.