If you’re looking for it, I can tell you where to find it!
The Berlin, OH (USA) Run in Amish Country Half Marathon is it. Don’t expect a PR here. Do expect a challenging course (Endomondo had almost 1100 feet of ascent, my Garmin had over 900), great volunteers, polite Amish families at the end of their long lanes watching this brightly colored parade, a high quality finishers medal, and hot buttered noodles at the finish line.
Always the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (end of November), you can also expect it to be cold. It was 28° at the start, but you will warm up quickly with the first hill (short but steep) not a hundred feet from the start line. That’s a clue. From there it was an easy mile of downhill.
The real hills start around mile 4…
That one wasn’t so bad….hope sprang eternal that maybe this wasn’t going to be as awful as I had feared. I did drive the course a week earlier. This is “home” and I know what Holmes County can be like. Note to self-hills seem much smaller when you are encased in a thousand pounds or so of metal with four nice, round tires to carry you along. This beauty was around mile 5…or 6…by this time I had pretty much lost track of everything except how incredibly tired I already was and my heart-which was trying to beat its way out of my chest…
Yeah…we are all walking. It went on like that pretty much the first seven miles. Then a miracle happened. It leveled out. For about three miles. I could actually run, or what passed for running by that time. Mile 10 and the left turn that I knew meant we were heading for the barn, er, finish. Remember that mile long coast at the beginning? What the course giveth, the course taketh away. Mile 11 undulates slowly uphill. Mile 12 I don’t want to talk about. Ever.
I do not know how anybody runs this entire course.
The finisher medal is of first class quality and workmanship, made locally by Wendell August Forge. In fact, almost everything in the swag bag was locally made. Truly a great event all around.
My sore quads and I are already looking forward to next year.