Hannah wanted to run a 5K again to see if she could beat her fastest 5K time of 29:07 from 2017, so we signed up for the 5K Winterlauf in a forest north of Spandau.
This race being organized by a small youth sports club, the most difficult part about it is to find the little building where you have to pick up your numbers, and then find where the starting line is, which is about a half kilometer down some streets and into the forest. Since we took a Car2Go, we were able to drive to both places, and so drove to the starting line in our warm car getting there about 15 minutes before the race, which was nice since it was quite cold, about 4°C at the start.
The other difficult part about this race is to know which paths to run on through the forest. There are four races, a 2500m, 5000m, 7500m and 10000m and everyone starts at once, and there are two loops, a large loop and a small loop. Our 5K race consisted of a large-small-large-small loop, and in the end, you just have to follow the rest of the runners through the woods.
But the forest path is also a bit treacherous with wet leaves, mud, surprise holes, divots, and branches under the leaves, some sharp turns with lots runners vying for position, and paths where there is only space for one runner so if you are going to try to pass, you are have to trudge past them faster than they are running through forest undergrowth, quite risky.
Hannah kept a very steady pace, I clocked her first 2500m lap at 13:30 and she finished with a 27:36, well below her record of 29:07. But after the race, she remembered that her 5K split of her 10K Airport Run back in 2014 was also quite fast, so we looked it up on my website and found out that as a 9-year-old, she had run the first 5K of her 10K at 27:34, a two-second lead on today's run, and so in the end, Hannah still needs to beat her fastest 5K time. Perhaps we'll run a flat 5K this spring without the soggy forest paths and we'll see if she can't get her all-time fastest 5K record.
But her 5:31 pace today was quite impressive, and below the paces she has been getting in runs for the past two years, usually between 6:00 and 7:00. And if you keep up a 5:31 pace for the length of a marathon, you can run a sub-four marathon (03:52:46).
So, continuing to push boundaries, next month will be Hannah's longest run of her life: a 23K in Lyon including a week traveling through the south of France practicing our French, should be fun.