The unique aspect of this month's run was that we each started at the same time at separate points in Berlin and raced to see who arrived home first.
Based on our latest 5K times, we calculated that an even race would be me running 11.8K and Hannah running 10K. I found her a quite uninterrupted route starting at the Teltow S-Bahnhof, through Teltow, and then along the Teltow canal home. My route was definitely more urban starting in the middle of a housing district in Neukölln and then running mostly Gradestr. then the Teltow Canal back home.
To get full symbolism of running on the day of the Winter Solstice, we planned to start right at day break of the apex of long nights and short days, so our official start was planned for 07:35 when the sky begins to brighten on December 22nd, but we had both arrived at our starting points by 07:25 and it was cold, dark and rainy, so the official start was about 10 minutes earlier at 07:25:43.
The first 15 minutes was definitely this year's run with the least visibility, most rain, and most darkness, sploshing through deep, unavoidable puddles, rain and darkness. But after 20 minutes, I could start to notice the sky dome brightening and by this time I was off the former East-German non-sidewalks and onto Gradestr. with full sidewalks and quasi daylight.
It never really stopped raining the whole race, and my shoes were quickly sopped with water.
Hannah and I sent photos via Whatsapp as best we could during our race and Karla and Gisi sent intermittent cheers, which is the best it gets for Corona-era runs, but competition was definitely in the air, and when I cut out onto Kaiser-Wilhelm-Straße, I calculated that I was going to finish well within Hannah's ability to run a 10K, so pushed it hard down Ebenkobener Weg to the finish line.
As it turned out, I finished first, Karla standing in the rain holding out a self-made finish line she had constructed out of paper, and less than two minutes later we saw Hannah rounding the corner and cheered her on as she ran into the finish.
My brutto time on my watch (after stopping for all traffic-light waits, etc. was 01:05:35 (05:33 pace and estimated 00:55:30 10K time). Hannah's watch unfortunately didn't start again after one of her traffic stops, so we had to estimate her run time based on start of race, finish and estimated wait time, which gave her an estimated 01:10:20 (pace 07:02).
It was cold and wet so the three of us quickly left the finish area and found refuge in our warm apartment. But the flair of a race was there and Hannah and I decided that this would not be our last urban race, quite fun.