For Hannah's fourth consecutive month of running a 10K race each month, we chose the Potsdam Schlösserlauf, which I did two years ago as a half marathon. It's a perfectly sized race: large enough where you get a medal and a t-shirt, but small enough so that there are no long lines or excessive crowding, etc., and it has the specialty of touring you past a host of 18th and 19th century Prussian castles, e.g. on the 10K tour we got to run behind Schloss Sanssouci and then right in front of the Prussian Baroque masterpiece, Neues Palais.
We met up with my friend Thorsten before the race and watched him start in the half marathon. Having then 20 minutes before the 10K started, we walked once around the track and checked out the starting line and the finishing area.
It basically stopped raining right before the start of the race which made for quite optimal running conditions, although it was a bit warm and muggy, but at least we didn't have the hot sun beating down on the race as it did the last two years.
At 5K, I noticed that Hannah was keeping a pace well under 7 minutes per kilometer, every time I looked back she was trucking along with a constant speed, apparently something she has genetically inherited from her mother. Running with each of them is very similar: there's no slowing down or speeding up, just a constant, relaxed pace as if it is being generated by some internal motor.
My favorite moment of the race was the long stretch in front of the Neues Palais in all of its majestic, Baroque beauty, as overly-ornate as it is, and behind which I lived from 1993-1994 while I taught at the University of Potsdam. In fact, there really wasn't any moment in the race that the passing surroundings weren't reminding me of some incident or memory that I could recall from my time living in Potsdam back then, a time that I remember almost as a kind of childhood to the second half of my life, at least in the sense of everything being so new, and now, it all being so long ago. I remember one of my first days in Potsdam back in early September 1993, standing in the middle of Luisenplatz thinking about where my two years in Potsdam might lead my life, one idea that certainly didn't enter my mind was that 25 years later, I would be running past Luisenplatz with my 13-year-old daughter in a 10K race.
In any case, memories became reality again, and I was suddenly following Hannah into the gate that led to our final half lap around the track, getting ready for her to blast off in her traditional run-like-a-scared-deer sprint into the finish line. I stayed up the best I could and officially finished two seconds after her, she getting a 01:08:06, which she was quite satisfied with, I think anything under 01:10:00 she considers a fast run, and with the long Sanssouci hill, which I imagine added at least a minute to everybody's time, it was definitely a solid run for her.
She said she wants to run it again next year, and in my race packet I found a 5K race for Karla in Potsdam in October, one at which "you get a medal at the end" which is a stated requirement of hers to run a 5K race, her maximum. So in one form or another, we will most likely be back to Potsdam to run again.