The race started out in front of the Festhalle, so close to 200 of us began the race with a bit of a bottleneck, but it didn’t take long for us to spread out once we got off of the sidewalk and on to the streets. Our views began with some of the downtown area that keeps with the Bavarian theme of Mt. Angel, making it a festive-feeling run. As we wound our way through neighborhoods, there were several people out in the drizzle putting up Christmas lights. One man even had music playing, which kept that festive theme going.
The course had everything from sidewalk to pavement to gravel as we meandered through a variety of areas in Mt. Angel. From the downtown area to various neighborhoods and on to a bit of rural scenery – I felt like we got a quick snapshot of Mt. Angel. Then there was the variety of flat to uphill to more flat and uphill and on to some sweet downhill and back to flat again. The course had many turns, but there were volunteers and signage at every turn making for an easy running experience. I don’t know Mt. Angel well and after a few turns I was so turned around I had no idea where I was and where I would end up next. It made every new corner a surprise for me, which was kind of fun.
As we crossed the finish line, we were given our hard-earned bag of custom-labelled hazelnuts – a fun change from the finisher’s medals offered at most races. Water was readily available near the finish area and snacks and other drinks were available for purchase indoors.
Afterwards the Hazelnut Festival was in full swing, with vendors selling everything from hazelnut products to handmade gifts and more. Many of the vendors had samples out for tasting, so there was no shortage of hazelnut treats to try – along with a variety of non-hazelnut goods. We meandered the festival while we waited for the indoor (warm and dry!) awards ceremony. Age group winners received ribbons and the first place winners also received a Run For Your Nuts mug. Overall winners also took home a drawstring bag of goodies.
In keeping with Mt. Angel’s Bavarian theme, my friends and I enjoyed lunch at the nearby Glockenspiel Restaurant. This picky eater even branched out and tried something on the menu that I couldn’t even pronounce – and I even liked it!
Overall, I enjoyed the festivity and casual feel of this small town race. I also appreciated the professionalism that kept this a valid event – with chip timing, awards, and a well-marked and well-staffed course. I will definitely run this 5K again and I recommend you check it out next year, too!