As manager of Hannah's goal to run a 10K race every month since March 2018, it was difficult to find a mid-winter run in January in Berlin itself. There really were only two races to choose from: a small 10K run in Spandau, and then this 10K run around a lake in the idyllic village of Caputh, south of Potsdam in Brandenburg, which we chose. It was almost an hour's drive out of the city, but turned out to be one of our most memorable runs.
The 5K race before us was one lap around the lake, while our 10K was two laps. Apparently this was the 27th year of the run and so very organized. The race went by fast, half village, half forest, fun pathway curves through the woods, constantly a new hill to climb, or a descent into a valley, wonderful views of the Caputher See, and lots of fresh, forest air.
We left around 8:00 AM, a 50-minute drive out into Brandenburg to Caputh, and arrived around 9:00, organized parking in a REWE parking lot (a wonderful plus for these kinds of races), and then lots of excited activity at a local elementary school sports area.
We watched the 5K runners take off, went back to the car to warm up a bit, then got out to bear the elements to the 10K starting line, which by that time was light, cold rain but the kind of weather that is conducive to running once you get a kilometer or so into the race.
As usual, Hannah and I started out in front with Gisi behind us. The course took us through a kilometer of village streets, but then diverted us out to a road that became a forest path and we were soon running through trees around the lake, constantly up and down hills.
At 4K we came back out into a residential area, and Hannah crossed the 5K point (the starting line) at 31:15, a promising time which Hannah described as "Geil!" as we passed it and pressed on forward for our second lap.
At 6K, Gisi caught up with us, but unlike previous races, she didn't continue on but rather remained at our speed while Hannah pressed on ahead. I ran with Gisi for about a kilomter as Hannah stayed quite a ways ahead of us, but I eventually told Gisi that I had to move on to go catch Hannah again. However, by 9K, Gisi had caught back up to us and was running along side Hannah. We have always been waiting for the race when Hannah will run faster than Gisela, and this seemed to be it. I knew if Gisi didn't take a significant lead at this point, Hannah had her sprint at the end and would surely win.
But it never really came to that. Hannah broke away at about 9.5 kilometers, and then with her sprint, finished with a 01:05:26, a full 13 seconds ahead of Gisi with a 01:05:39.
Afterward we went into the elementary school gym to watch the award ceremonies, and saw on the monitor that since Hannah was the only person in the women's U18 age division, that she had won first place, so we watched as she was called up to the front and celebrated with a hand shake, a first place award certificate, and a rose presented to her by a representative of the local Caputh Sparkasse, a wonderful highlight of the day.
After the award ceremonies, we walked through the cold, drizzling rain back to the car, and then before driving back to Berlin, wanted to go drive past Einstein's house where he lived on a hill near Caputh from 1929-1932. In a few minutes we drove into the official "Einstein House Parking Lot" which had a sign in front of a road blocked off to cars that read, "Einstein House, 500 meters". It didn't take us long to decide that after having run 10 kilometers through drizzling rain, we didn't want to walk one more kilometer through drizzling rain just to see where Einstein had opened and shut his door. Besides, we probably had just run along paths where Einstein used to take his long walks that he was famous for. Visiting Einstein's house would have to wait for a nice, sunny summer day in the future, perhaps a future bike ride through Brandenburg.
And with that, we sped home to Berlin, munching on the food we had brought in our victory packs.