Now that I’ve announced our pregnancy, I can finally tell you about the last road race I ran. I didn’t want to tell you about it until you knew I was pregnant, because being pregnant was part of what made the race fun for me.
This was also the first big race I’ve run pushing Small Shaw in the jogging stroller. Here she is, rocking her best Regensburg Frauenlauf pose near the starting line:
The race was a 6k event for women only. This was on the race’s second year, but you’d never guess it. The Regensburg pedestrian zone was bustling with runners and their families, and there was a ton of race support and entertain, including….
- A warm-up dance party on the main stage
- A fall fashion show sponsored by a local department store
- Clearly marked start/finish area with huge main stage
- Water stations
- Sponsor tents with freebies
- Vendor tents with food and drink, including wine and beer
This was the only race I can remember running where almost every person in the race ran it wearing their race shirt. Usually, you don’t wear your race shirt until after you’ve completed the race, but I’ll admit that it was pretty fun to look around and see hundreds of women of all ages wearing their matching shirts.
The race started and finished in the Regensburg Altstadt (or old town). In fact, the starting line was only about a block away from the big cathedral downtown — the city’s most prominent landmark. You can see it behind me in the next. See the gothic-looking spires? That’s the cathedral.
The course took us past the cathedral toward the Danube River. We ran across the river, then ran parallel to it for awhile. That’s when the course changed from pavement and cobblestone (on city streets) to chat, or pea gravel (on a multi-use trail).
Most of the course ended up being along the multi-use trail. We eventually made our way back into the Regensburg Altstadt and to the finish area. There was music, and there was a fantastic finisher’s spread of fresh fruit, water, and beer.
Along the course, I heard lots of spectators cheer for me with my jogging stroller. Even if I wasn’t exactly sure what they were saying. I could make out things like “Go Stoller Mom!” as I ran the course.
I tried to start near the back of the pack, since I didn’t want the stroller to block the way for more competitive runners. I realized my mistake pretty quickly, as I found myself trudging along at about a minute per mile less than I wanted to run.
As soon as we crossed over the Danube and hit the multi-purpose trail, I started passing other runners so that I could run at a pace that was more comfortable for me. As I did, I heard many of them cheer me on, too! The Regensburg Frauenlauf really was a supportive, encouraging environment. I’m so glad I ran the race!
Just as I was started to find my sweet spot on pace, and right after passing around 40 other runners, I realized the course made a hard left down two flights of stairs! I was grateful for the two race staff (or volunteers?) who helped me carry the stroller down the steps, but it was such a bummer to watch all those ladies I’d just passed — and more — pass me up on the steps.
This wasn’t a race I signed up for hoping to get a personal best, though, so I just had to smile, be glad for the help, and keep running. I’ll admit that when people cheered for me with the stroller, I kind of wanted to tell them, “and I’m pregnant!”
The Regensburg Frauenlauf is for women, only. They design every aspect of the race, from the shirts to the music, for women. They even hand out a finisher’s rose in place of a finisher’s medal. How sweet is that?
I know what running isn’t for everyone, and that not all moms work out when they’re expecting. I’m lucky that I don’t have any pregnancy complications that sideline me from the active lifestyle I enjoy while I’m pregnant. Running the Regensburg Frauenlauf 6k was one of the highlights of my first trimester!
The 2015 Regensburg Frauenlauf was held on August 15th. To learn more about the Regensburg Frauenlauf, and to find dates for future events, visit the Regensburg Frauenlauf website (note: the website is in German, so you might need to install a translator app on your browser).