Race report – Amsterdam marathon
Right now I am sitting at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam with tired legs and grateful for yet another fab weekend in Holland. I finished my 23rd marathon some hours ago and like the tradition I will sum up the race in a report. Hope you like it.
I came to Holland on Friday evening and went to my friends place in Utrecht. Spent the evening chitchatting and drinking wine. Two favorite activities of mine. On Saturday I went to Amsterdam where I met a colleague that also was running and our mission was to limit the walking but when the gps freaks out we had to walk, walk and walk. In the evening I was back in Utrecht to have a nice dinner and then went to an international birthday party with my friend in a nice bar. I am not that serious with my running so I would never skip going out, have a nice time and drink a bit before a marathon. Well, we are all different.
I woke up just before 7 and then walked the 2K to Utrecht central to catch a train to Amsterdam Olympic Stadion where the start was going to take place. Luckily Starbucks was open so I bought breakfast there. Then I had company with some random runners that I met at the train. I love those random talks with strangers. Not very Swedish style. We had VIP access to the title sponsor TCS lounge so I met up there with a bunch of colleagues that also were running. Then at 9:30 it was time to line up at the Olympic Stadion for takeoff.
The first half
I was immediately feeling that this was going to be a great day for running. My legs felt fresh and I was in racing mode. Two important things when running a marathon. If not it will be tough. Trust me I have tried that. Half the running is mental. The first part of the course was in the city center and after about 10K we came to my favorite part where we ran along a canal. There were loads of DJ’s and private entertainers so always something to look at. It was a lot of runners but everyone kept the same pace so the crowd was not a problem.
I finished the first half at around 1:55:00 which was inline with my goal sub4. Actually I always have three goals when running a marathon and they are for gold: personal record, silver: sub4 and bronze: finish. I have huge respect for running the 42K and a lot can happen. I was a bit tired at 27K but that always comes at one point in these long races but it is just to push through and not give up. Then it was okey for some K and then I got tired again but I have done this so many times now so I know the deal. Never give up. When I passed 32K I had more than one hour to use to my last 10K and I was quite sure I would finish sub4. Of course it was painful and I was thinking about a cold coke (always do them at during long races) but there were no cokes in sight so every step was one step closer to the one at the finish line so I just needed to keep going. When it was 3K left we passed the beautiful Vondelpark again. I had never been there before so check on the tourist bucket list. Amsterdam is really a great city and the spectators were fantastic all along the course. This was one of the best marathons I ever been running in terms of course, organization, route (all flat) and spectators. A perfect marathon for beginners I would say but also a must for marathon collectors like me.
Anyway, I finished strong and passed the magic 42K mark at 3:56:03 and guess what? That was a new personal best! Of course I celebrated with a cold coke. There are few ocassions where Coke taste better than after a marathon.
That was the marathon story. I hope there will be a 24th one aswell in not too long. But being able to run these long distances is nothing I take for granted and I am happy that my body can cope with it without any major pain. Now I am just looking forward to sit down at the flight home. And to sleep!
/ Pernilla the marathon finisher