Homeland run – Hinterzwickau, Eastern Germany

Lauf: Vielau – Hasslau Forest – Bogenstein – Oberhasslau, 11.2km, 263hm*

Time is currently limited during the week, so that I rather choose weekends for longer activities. However, last weekend I was travelling to „Hinterzwickau“**. Visiting my parents, having a family birthday party, spending time with friends – the usual program. Sport activities? Not sure. Rather unlikely. I thus left my Garmin in Zurich, my GoPro as well, and for a short second I even considered leaving my running shoes at home. But I did not!

Right choice. While on Saturday I decided to rather relax a bit – the schedule for birthday preparations was tight anyway -, Sunday morning then was perfect to explore „old“ trails again. Trails that I (should) know from the past when I was living in this region for about 10 years. But since I was not so much into running as an adolescent, it occurs that I can basically experience new trails on every run.

Therefore, give me the chance to provide you with a short description of the run. I started with a complete trail breakout route of the Hasslau forest – using only small, usually dog-free, muddy paths. After crossing Hasslau heights down to the valley of Bogenstein, I then started with the steep 400m ascent (avg. 15%) to Lutherhöhe. This short uphill sprint can definitely be compared with some of the short climbs in the Uetliberg area. The following part down to Oberhasslau was just a short relaxing phase, before returning back to Lutherhöhe outlook via a nice forest trail. This one is one of the mentioned highlights that I have never experienced in the past. Before finally completing the loop, I decided to use the chance to run some of tractor tracks on Vielauer heights. This opened again some nice view towards the silouhette of the Ore Mountains which I could always see on the horizon. In total, this run summed up to 11.2km and up to 263m in altitude gain (according to the Strava app*).

* The Strava app usually tracks elevation gain only via the GPS signal. In contrast to a barometric altimeter, it has much more volatility in tracking the single elevation gains. I guess the adjusted elevation gain for this run would be around 200hm.

** Coming to the notion of „Hinterzwickau“ – do not expect that Google will find this term. There is no such thing as „Hinterzwickau“. The reason this term exists is based on my attempt to explain Swiss when they ask me about my hometown. Although they might know where Zwickau is, the chance that anyone understands Reinsdorf or Vielau is tremendously low. I consequently defined the term „Hinterzwickau“ which means „beyond Zwickau“ and provides a very precise description on the location from a Swiss perspective – in order to give a vague idea where I am from.