Sunday, 16 October 2011

Amsterdam Marathon

Almost perfect.

Eric took me to collect my bib last night so there was no drama or rush this morning.  I got the bus from their house almost direct to the Olympic Stadium, arriving in plenty of time.  The event was well organised and I had no problem dropping off my bag at the start and getting set for the off.  The only wrinkle for the setup was that I couldn't get the foot pod on my shoes to register with my watch as there were too many other devices nearby.  Should have seen that coming...

Sunny but cool weather without strong winds.  Learning from what I observed at the Semi de Paris and other events, I took a sacrificial top to wear.  The idea being, you keep it on until you get nice and warm, then you discard it.  Many events collect up the clothing left by the runners, launder it and distribute it to good causes.  For me, it was an opportunity to dispose of a top that I hate, so double win!  :)

Here's my track of the course.

In the first few kilometres I got chatting with a guy who had also done the Medoc this year (and many other years also) but he left me behind at about 10km.  

The run out to 20km was great and it was fantastic to see Carolyn and Eric at Ouderkerk on the southermost part of the course, almost halfway round.  Some unique entertainment was provided as rock bands and opera singers plied the canals on barges to keep us entertained.  Around 22k, I had a bit of a digestion crisis but fortunately the course provided facilities and I (as ever) had my own paper.  Too much detail?  Never mind...

Once we left the Amstel behind, it got very dull.  Kilometres 27 through around 32 were through industrial areas with little to see and few spectators.  I started to run out of energy and the pain in my hip began again.  I even had to do a few stretches at a walk.  Happily, Eric and Carolyn came to the rescue, almost dragging me off the course and plying me with beer.  Magic Beer!  The pain faded away and I got some new energy which kept me going through to kilometre 39 where we re-entered the rather lovely Vondelpark and the crowds cheered us forwards for the last 3k.

Once again, traffic problems meant that no one I knew was there to see me finish the race but given the boost I'd had earlier it's difficult to be disappointed.

I really need to come up with a routine to tame my wayward digestion on these long runs as I had another crisis on the way back from the event.  Not a pleasant subject, I know but it happens to a lot of people I'm told.  No point in pretending it doesn't hit me, too.

I guess that this was pretty much the perfect Amsterdam Marathon with weather, temperature and support from friends making it another unforgettable experience.  That's two done.