Amsterdam. Homage to the golden age of the 17th century. Famous for its artistic heritage, elaborate canals, gabled houses amongst other things……… like it’s fast and flat marathon, (what did you think I meant?)
In its 42nd year, this IAAF Gold Label race attracts the fast and the furious. A total elevation of just 60 feet across the entire course makes the possibility of running great time very achievable.
3 of our amazing members made the journey out to The Netherlands to experience this world class marathon for themselves. Bill Goozee, (fresh from last weekend’s epic IOW marathon), Glen Jones and Keith Ruth.
Starting in the iconic 1928 Olympic Stadium, the course takes the runners through the Vondelpark before funnelling them through the passage at Rijksmuseum and south bound canalside before meandering their way along to the Amstel River.
Straddling both sides of the river, this out and back section sees the runners through some picturesque rural areas dotted with windmills before hitting the 25k mark and heading back to the city. The East side of the city ushers them toward the Toronto Bridge and they begin their quest for home. A return though the city’s largest green space Vondelpark and they can begin to see their finishline… back at the Olympic Stadium.
Unusually warm weather was forecast as they lined up in their starting pens.
Luckily it was a reasonably early start for them, giving them a bit of a cushion before the temperatures began to climb into the 20s. Glen and Keith ran the first 6 miles together, before inevitably getting separated.
Bill ran an amazingly steady race, keeping a constant rythmn of 20 minutes per 5k throughout
Despite running a marathon only the Sunday before, he ran an unbelievable 2.48.53 !!!
Still out on the course, Keith and Glen were battling away.
“I felt really strong all the way” said Keith
Great news as he’s spent a good few months struggling with niggles and injuries. For Glen it was a game of two halves.
“It was hot” he tells me minus the expletives “we were unlucky that the weather was just too good. I felt ok until 16/17 miles then my heart rate hit the roof! I made the decision to slow down so that I knew I would finish”
Sensible move. Sometimes if you know it’s not going to happen as you really wanted it to, its best to re-evaluate your race plan and finish comfortably, with a smile on your face.
Keith made it back to the stadium in a triumphant 4.04.55
“I am a very happy man tonight” he gushed on Facebook “Its my 3rd fastest time”
Glen completed his quest in 4.18.55
“That stadium finish really was quite special”
As they were approaching their stadium finish, our only half runner Zoe Elliott heard the echo of the starting gun as she began the half marathon race just along the stadium approach. Temperatures way into the 20s by now, this was not going to be as easy as the course profile suggested.
Alongside friend and Glossopdale Harrier Claire Campbell, the girls began an Eastbound trajectory toward the Utrechtse Bridge across the Amstel River where they joined the marathon course on its journey back toward that fantastic Olympic track finish.
“It was a great atmosphere , music and support all the way round, but really hot and congested in the middle miles”
She crossed the line happy and triumphant in 1.59.16
Time to celebrate