I read a book in elementary school about a group of boys who had a right-of-passage dare: to dive from a rock cliff, swim through an underwater tunnel, and come out on the other side. For years I've had a similar Berlin run planned: run from Steglitz straight north to and around Tegel airport and make it all the way back, a run that is a little over a marathon in length no matter how you run it. A couple years ago I tried it, but it was cold and snowing, and by the time I had made the full loop around the airport, I had come down with chills and fever, so cut the run short and took public transportation home. I am currently much more fit for long runs, so I have been planning to attempt this run again, and when my daughter asked me today if I could "take her to a friend's house and pick her up 5 hours later", I said to myself "this must be a sign" and decided to attempt the run again.
Hannah took her scooter so that on way back she could keep up with me, and we took the bus to her friend's house. After I dropped her off I took off running straight north up Bundesallee to the Zoo, then Otto Suhr straight to the Charlottenburg castle, then up the long streets up north to Tegel airport. I had my MP3 stick packed with numerous hour-long podcasts so I was good to go. It was rainy, cold, many puddles, cars often spraying water from puddles as they drove by, but after 30 minutes I was very warm and just became part of the rainy wonderland and enjoyed the run, legs felt fantastic. By the time I got up and around to the north side of the airport, it was dark and I found that as you run around the west side down Bernauerstr., if you run on the left side of the road, you have a wonderful winding path that generally follows the road but has constant fun curves that dart in and out of the trees, and there was just barely enough light from the streetlights and passing cars to see the outline of the path. Large, roaring planes taking off overhead through the black, night air added to the uniqueness of this stretch.
After getting back into town, I realized I was going to be late so gave the family a call and said I would be later, then put on Jason Jollins again and got into a good pace, running only on familar streets as to not waste any time taking a wrong turn, went straight down Ulandstr. then cut over the Schildhornstr. and back down to Schlossstr., a very simple route, good to know it.
After I picked up Hannah, she zipped along on her scooter for the last 2.5K as I followed her. The last 1K I started to get the chills again and was glad that we would be home soon. We got into a good pace, me leaning forward, stretching my legs out behind me, and Hannah pumping along with her scooter up the Albrechtstr. then on the downhills riding standing up zipping along right beside me. It was a tremdenous feeling to finally arrive at home sweet home. I took a hot shower and spent some time on the couch wrapped up in blankets until the chills went away. A couple hours later, my legs feel sore but in no way hammered, what a wonderful thing to be able to say after running a casual Sunday marathon and the longest run of my life.
following Hannah to the starting line
saw lots of xmas trees on this run
KuDamm on the way up
tourist obstacle course
AmerikaHaus, where it all began in 1993
starting the top north stretch around the airport
turn down south
amazing how your eyes adjust to the darkness
last energy stop
KuDamm on way back
following Hannah home on her scooter for the last 2.5K