"Each step forward has a sacred meaning of its own" Sri Chinmoy
Hauptapfelbaum Trail Run, Feb 2020
It was the second year running that I'd found myself in a cold, damp forest on the edge of Heidelberg with my trail shoes on and a marathon attempt looming in the next few weeks. I'd already got my official long run of the week done a few days before, on the all too familiar ring road cycle path in Bristol, so to get out and run an hour and a half hard-ish on some new forest trails was a treat.
For a change I headed out of the hotel (the one over the road from Pujaloy Temple) into Ziegelhausen and out of the village on a long ramp of a road that ends at the trailhead. The trails here are a bit like the fire roads I got to know well when I lived in south Wales - some are properly surfaced, others a bit gritty and there are also some proper mud trails for those who want to sink into the dark forest soil never to emerge.
I picked a high point on the map called Hauptafpelbaum and went off in that direction with my map app to help get me there. It was about 400m of climbing but none of that was too hard - all just a steady, sweaty ascent in the silent forest. There was the odd dog walker and mountain biker but mostly I had solitude and no sound apart from my feet slapping on the road (those studded trail shoes are good for any surface but they are a bit loud on tarmac!).
I had time to pause for a selfie at the turnaround point - an empty forest shack on some high ground that my app was telling me was Haupapfelbaum, then a hilly return where I got a bit more off-road and sunk here and there into the aforementioned dark earth.
When I finally came out of the woods the route home was on paths that zigged and zagged down the steep hillsides through Ziegelhausen into some watery late afternoon sunshine. A very peaceful run....and good prep for the marathon in March. I hope....
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