The idea for this run was that if I ran three timed 5Ks and Hannah joined me for the 3rd, then our speeds would be quite evenly matched in a competitive race, which turned out to be true.
Friday was a official holiday here in Berlin, the Kapitulation der Wehrmacht vor 75 Jahren on which I didn't have to go to work and Hannah didn't have to go to school, so it was a good day to try this out. I took off at about 14:30 out to the IKEA starting line, a plus being no shoppers, and a minus being a bit of a sunny day, and sun is something that always seems to slow me down.
My first round was actually pretty fast up to Priesterweg, but then the 2K of sun rays beating down on me and my general sluggish legs after taking more than a week off of fast runs to help heal my sprained ankle, produced a less than optimal 25:11 finishing time for the first round. The second round was tough, breathing no problem but tired legs finishing with a 29:49, a full two minutes behind last month's second round, ouch.
For the third round, Hannah had arrived on her bike and walked with me to the starting line. When we took off, she was decidedly faster and I settled in about 20 meters behind her. When she turned right into the tunnel to Reichartstraße, I noticed she suddenly stopped and I didn't know why. When I got to the corner, I saw her looking down at an older man of around 70 who had just crashed his bike and was lying on his back in the bushes (!). It took me a couple seconds to realize what was going on, and then I asked him if he was ok. He responded that he felt ok, nothing seemed broken, so I helped him back up with two interlocked arms. He dusted himself off and seemed uninjured and his bike wheeles were still straight, we talked a bit and he said his bike was 45 years old (!), which, when I looked at it, seemed believable. He probably bought it when I got my first bike back in the 70s. He said thanks for the help and we took off out to the autobahn, me following Hannah again.
My legs were too hammered to catch up with Hannah on Priesterweg, but under the S-Bahn tunnel I got within 5 meters of her. However, soon after that was the slight incline hill up Arnulfstraße where she consistently pulled ahead of me and I thought that was the last I would see her. But rounding the last corner at Bessemerstraße, I saw that either she was slowing down or I was speeding up, and I passed her with 400 meters to go. I thought she might break into one of her famous finishing sprints but I was too far ahead of her at that point and finished ahead of her with the exact same time she had last week (32:03) while she came in a half minute later (32:44).
So I think we found our competitive race: I run two 5Ks as fast as I can, and then Hannah shows up for a showdown against each other. She says she wants to do another one this week after work which will be cooler temperatures which means faster speeds. Looking forward to it.