Runners lead a double life. They run and they do something else too. Running is woven into their daily routine, so their running life is often determined by their other life. That is one reason why since October 2005 runners whose secondary existence is to be night owls have been able to join together at night to run. And if you also happen to love jazz, then you no longer must feel alone in this big running world—for John Kunkeler, whose double life involves jazz and running, called this event into being, where one can ring in the evening or night beforehand or afterwards in his jazz club “Schlot,” depending upon how much of a night owl you are.
If you are not a nocturnal being, but rather one of the species that likes to constantly gain new experiences and gather fresh sensations, then you should also succumb to this unusual time to run. A metropolis at night presents its very unique and special sides. The city, which puts up with the hectic and frenzy of the people all day long, can finally exhale. An oasis of calmness is uncovered. A singular automobile becomes music to the night, mixed in with the voices of birds. In a city like Berlin there are, in fact, birds that apparently sleep during the day and first come to life when darkness falls.
We are not talking about owls, here, with their deafening hooting, but rather the so-called “Berlin nightingales.” The trees develop a special smell at night, as if the noise of the day was keeping them from spreading their lovely odour, and even the government stops governing. The prettily lighted government sector receives its well-deserved break and enjoys the silence after all the debating. Somewhere a burst of laughter from a circus tent breaks the silence. Running now really becomes mind yoga, where your thoughts can run free in this almost sleeping city without crashing into too much sensual waste.
If you happen to be on vacation from your other life and are a tourist in Berlin:
A City Tour
You cannot get a better tour of the city. The chosen course leads along the “must-see sights”, and if you are lucky and the Berliners are all off celebrating too much of May 1st or are revolting or paddling on the Wannsee or Müggelsee Lakes, then John Kunkeler will not only give you exclusive information about Berlin, but also the newest news in running.
Thus, you might find out where the marathon course for the World Championships in 2009 will likely be.
So, if you want to find out, then take this tip: join in the Night Run yourself. I thought the tour with John was wonderful. And one more word to those who dislike Berlin: Berlin hides its faults at night. You no longer can see the filth and the only audible ‘noise’ is made by the birds.
SPIRIDON – the running magazine - June 2006*
The Night Run Training takes place every Tuesday —
meeting at 10:30 sharp at the Edison Courtyards in front of
the jazz club “Kunstfabrik Schlot”
(with a large parking lot) at Invalidenstrasse 117 in Berlin-Mitte,
subway station Zinnowitzerstrasse on the U6 line.
The run is cancelled if it is raining.