Sun, Jan 15, 2012 - 21K - 02:30:00
Half Marathon to Mendelssohn's Grave
I had read the other day that Mendelssohn, the "Mozart of the 19th century," grew up in Berlin and, like Mozart, gave concerts with his sister to his parents' business associates and the intellectual elite of the time here in Berlin. He was writing string symphonies by the age of twelve, his parents "bought him orchestras" in order for him to try out his musical pieces, and "Europe came to their livingroom", including Goethe who became a good friend of his despite their age difference. He also was the composer who brought Bach out of obscurity. Since he is buried in Berlin Neukölln, a run to his grave would be a perfect way to pay tribute to him. The goal today was to run to Mendelssohn Bartholdy's grave in Neukölln and back in time to pick my daughter up from a birthday party. I took off at 15:10 and had to be back at 17:30. 
I had Mendelssohn's 4th Symphony loaded on my MP3 player in honor of the man whose grave I was going to go visit, playing it as I took off, nice to run to 19th century classical music, very peaceful and smooth. It was quite cold and hands took about 20 minutes to warm up, but then I ran strong up Bundesallee to Nürembergstr. and then cut over towards Potsdamer Platz, listening the whole way to an excellent story telling podcast, a one-man show done in New York about the working conditions of factories that make parts for Apple iPhones and iPads. It ended along Stresemannstr. so I put in Mendelssohn again as I approached the cemetery, as I entered I took out my headphones and found a difficult to read, hand-written map of where the graves where, spent about 10 minutes walking around the empty cemetery trying to find it, until I saw a group of four people standing in front of a row of grave markers, walked over and saw that it was indeed Mendelssohn where he is buried next to his sister. It was dark and became cold very fast, so I did a light, respectful trot out of the cemetery, and then took off down past the former Tempelhof airport back home, picked up Hannah in time, who I pushed on her roller all the way home, a nice finishing sprint for me, and probably the fastest speed she has ever attained on that thing, very fun! 
Legs are just lightly phased, the coming weeks will be time for building up a crescendo of near marathon-length runs as spring approaches and the Paris marathon draws closer. 
Mendelssohn's 4th Symphony loaded in MP3 player: 
a very cool but sunny start 
some beautiful sky on this run 
"the ladder of success": 
beautiful sun at half-way through the run 
German historical art: 
Saudi Arabian Embassy 
this run also had some beautiful "silhouettes at dusk" 
Potsdamer Platz 
Mendelssohn's grave on the right: