Marathons (half), Music and MozartNovember 17, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C
On Friday we said goodbye to Budapest and travelled by train to Vienna. Vienna is a beautiful city filled with many, many baroque style buildings as well as numerous statues and monuments. It seems that whenever we turn a corner or wander down a side street, we are met with another beautiful building. What also makes Vienna more spectacular at this time of year are the Christmas markets, so many of Vienna’s squares are lit up and made even prettier.
Upon visiting St. Stephan’s Christmas market, we were approached by a man selling concert tickets for the Vienna Royal Orchestra. Because Vienna is known for music, we felt this was not an opportunity we could pass up. The concert was simply amazing! Made up of soloists from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, it showcased many of Mozart’s and Strauss’ well known classical pieces. Some of the pieces also involved ballet as well as opera. I will never forget the look on Neve’s face when the pianist performed a solo and she remarked on how fast both of his hands moved across the keyboard.
What better way for the girls to learn about Mozart by visiting his apartment where he lived for 3 and a half years. We learned that Mozart travelled across Europe at the age of 7 for three and a half years with his family to perform in various countries for the aristocracy. We also learned that he composed over 600 pieces of music and that on average, he wrote 6 pages, consisting of 12 rows of music per day. Neve was especially surprised to learn that he also had a serious gambling problem and squandered much of his money.
Last but not least, when we heard that Eliud Kipchoge ran his sub-2 hour marathon in Vienna, David researched the route Eliude ran. Lucky for us, the route is about 1 km from the apartment we are renting. So at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, David and I biked over, thanks to Vienna’s City Bike program, to run a half marathon following Eliud’s route. We started on the Reichsbrucke Bridge, just as Eliude did and followed his route through Prater park. The route also involved a small pedestrian 210 meter roundabout as well as an 810 meter roadway roundabout. The race course was completely flat and while David and I did not have 41 race pacers or lasers showing us where to run, I completed my run in 1:57:03, my first sub-2 half while David finished his half in 1:59:40 (the time it took Eliud to run a full marathon). We’ll have to work on our speed training some more.