Running the Heidelberg Halfmarathon

The Heidelberg half marathon is one of the most prestigious sports events in the Rhein-Neckar area. Each year 3.500 runners compete in this 21.1km race around the old town including two serious climbs on the north and south bank of the river Neckar.

But the race starts two months before the actual starter's gun: When the participation lists open (usually on a Saturday at midnight) it takes less than 48 hours to fill the 3.500 vacant seats in the race.

IWR first participated with a runner team in 2011 and this year we intend to improve our team both in personal quality and in sheer quantity. If you want to join the fun, send an email to either Jörg Langowski or Michael Winckler.

2014 Participants (starter list IWR)

Place Name Class Time
1091 Bastian, Peter M50 01:52:26
1270 Buchholz, Jan M30 01:55:10
2047 Büch, Lutz M20 02:08:40
2063 Langowski, Jörg M55 02:09:05
823 Linke, Marco M20 01:48:42
722 Portl, Julia W30 02:27:07
620 Schnellbächer, Nikolas M20 01:45:34
343 Sommer, Andreas M30 01:39:47
307 Trofimova, Dasha W20 02:05:30

2013 Participants (starter list IWR)

In 2013, we aim to consolidate the HGS MathComp team. With 10 and 14 runners in the last two years, a solid team of the graduate school participated and preliminary discussions show that this tradition should continue. The list below will fill up during the next two weeks -- when the registration closes on March 9th/10th, we might see veterans as well as newcomers joining the team. Let's see ...

Starter Goal Result
Peter Bastian 01:59:59 01:55:01
Tommaso Centeleghe 02:00:00 01:46:40
Chen Chen 02:15:00 02:17:20
Miriam Fritsche 01:59:00 01:59:02
Dieter Heermann 02:10:00 02:05:48
Robert Kircheis 01:55:00 01:55:01
Marco Linke 02:15:00 01:45:53
Rahul Nair 02:15:00 02:14:59
Andreas Sommer 01:45:00 01:35:18
Darya Trofimova 02:10:00 02:09:47
Michael Winckler 01:59:59 02:07:36

2012: IWR Team & Results

This year we would like to turn this race into a sponsoring event: Race participants are looking for sponsors who are donating money for charity in case "their" participant reaches a certain preset goal. 

This year's donations will support   AMSEL Kontaktgruppe Heidelberg, a local contact group for patients of multiple sclerosis. Elke Pietschmann, assistant at the head office of IWR, is an active member of this group and initiated the contact. Suggested sponsoring would be: 10 Euro for reaching the finish line, 15 Euro for beating the "minimum goal" and 25 Euro for beating the "ambitious goal" set time. I'm sure we can find sponsors for all participants!! 

Starter Minimum goal Ambitious goal Result Sponsor
Peter Bastian 02:30:00 02:10:00 02:00:43 No sponsor, yet!
Chen Chen 02:45:00 02:30.00 02:26:09 No sponsor, yet!
Miriam Fritsche xx:yy:zz xx:vv.zz injured/ill No sponsor, yet!
Jan Bastian xx:yy:zz xx:vv.zz 01:43:32 No sponsor, yet!
Dieter Heermann 02:15:00 injured - just aims to finish! 02:12:16 No sponsor, yet!
Jörg Langowski 01:58:00 01:55:00 01:56:11 Sponsor found: 10.-/15.-/25.-
Rahul Nair 02:10:00 01:59.00 02:31:37 No sponsor, yet!
Gregor Obernosterer 02:10:00 02:00:00 01:56:32 Sponsor found: 50.- to finish
Andreas Sommer 01:55:00 01:50:00 01:40:58 Sponsor found: 50.- to finish
Vasil Tsimashchuk 01:40:00 01:35:00 01:40:38 No sponsor, yet!
Thomas Wick 02:10:00 01:50.00 01:50:40 No sponsor, yet!
Irmtraud Williams 02:00:00 01:55:00 02:00:53 No sponsor, yet!
Michael Winckler 02:00:00 01:55:00 02:00:02 Sponsor found: 10.-/+15.-/+25.-
Darya Trafimava 02:59:59 02:20:00 02:20:05 Sponsor found: 10.-/15.-/25.-

More photos from the 2012 team for the Heidelberg Half-marathon can be found on a separate web page. Thank's for all the support for our team!

2011: IWR Team and Results

Starter Result
Andreas Dreuw 01:51:58
Katja Ebel 02:07:32
Miriam Fritsche 02:03:02
Philipp Harbach 01:38:27
Robert Kircheis 01:45:47
Jörg Langowski 02:06:46
Sara Lee 02:07:23
Gregor Obernosterer 02:03:03
Markus Pernpointner 01:39:43
Michael Winckler 02:00:01

Tips for a successful half marathon

Go for a negative split

Aiming for a faster time for the second half of the race, compared to the first half, is called "negative split". For a half marathon such a negative split should be between 30 seconds and two minutes depending on your experience and your aim for the race. Try this in one of your training sessions: Run the first part of the session in a set time (30 minutes) and then turn around and try to beat this time on your way back (works best on a flat course ;-).

Drinking is important

In a race that lasts longer than 1 hour, drinking becomes an important factor for your fitness. The Heidelberg half marathon has rest stops at approx. every 5 km. Drinking during the race is something that you can train, too. I usually spend 20-30 seconds walking when drink a little water and isotonic beverages.

The long training session

Preparing for the race you should do one extra-long training session per week - preferably at the same day of the week and time as the race: Sunday morning. This session should be the longest session of the week. Extend the duration every week by 5-10% until you reach 90-100 minutes. This helps you to prepare for the event and takes away the fear of not being able to finish the race.

Relax on the first two kilometers

A half marathon is a long race - your finishing time will not be decided on the first two kilometers, indeed, as you have a personal chip, you should relax at the start line and wait until the crowd has started the race. Your personal time starts when you cross the red carpets at the start line. You can stay in the back of your starting group and start only when you see that the road ahead is not too crowded. That way you can pick your own pace right from the start - and as a motivation bonus you can overtake people once you found your own pace for the race.

Mixed training sessions

Runners are often used to their standard training routine. They pick the same course every time the do a training session and try to beat the time the set during their last session. But it's variation in training stimulus that improves your fitness: Long and short sessions, slow paces and fast ones, interval training or keeping one pace, flat or hilly: There is a lot that you can change from session to session. These variations improve your fitness - and they keep the training sessions interesting.

BTW: Fitness comes on days of rest, when the body has time to build up muscles and improve the metabolism. So try to distribute your sessions over the week instead of packing them on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.