Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Badischemeile (Baden Mile)

On May 7th I am running the 8.88889 kilometer (5.5233002 mile) Badischemeile, or "Baden Mile", with a team from my company. When I first mentioned this a couple weeks back Jon made the comment that there must be an interesting story behind this distance. So without further ado:

"The Baden Mile is a historical measurement of distance. Up until 1819 the “royal foot” was used by the people in the Baden region to compute distance. Count Carl Friedrich defined the distance that was covered in two hours by him and his attendants as the longest stature mile in Germany. The distance covered: Eight kilometer, 888 meter and 89 cm or 8.88889 kilometer.

With introduction of the metric system the conversion of the old measure did not round off completely, so that the "bent number" 8.88889 kilometers was specified as the Badischemeile or “Baden Mile”.

The idea of the "Baden Mile" race originated with Otto Velten in 1977, but the race with this name was first implemented in 1990, the 275th anniversary of the City of Karlsruhe, Germany.

It was meant as a fun run, a warm up for the city marathon that took place the following day. The Baden Mile is still a fun run, long since accredited as an independent competition in May, one of the first larger “peoples” run in the region for this time of year (the city marathon is now in Sepetember).

The popularity of the Baden Mile continues to grow, the number of runners increasing every year since the first start in 1990."

So now you have the "rest of the story". My company will be running the race for the third time this year, last I heard we have 70 people signed up to run (or walk) the race. In 2004 my company won third prize for having the largest group (47 people). This year we are hoping for first or second place.

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