Second marathon, in Amsterdam after Vilnius last year with many spotters for the TCS Amsterdam marathon 2016. I also met a spotter this year who was part of the team in Lithuania, we call him Martin because his name is Martin. Sadly he could not join me this time - which is also not a bad thing as he is much faster than me - but he could host me. I had the best pasta ever the night before so I can't complain :-)
The days before
I arrived in town Friday evening and the race was scheduled for Sunday morning. The perfect time for me to have a last drink two days before the run. I did plan to stay sober the week before, but I completely failed on that. This week before was a pretty cool one where I spend all my evenings almost going out and meeting with my friends which simply help you to feel good.
Saturday I did the way home to the run start and picked up my registration stuffs. People from everywhere, taking pictures, still smiling, a good atmosphere. After that I went on a small walk but not tool long.
The day of the run
Awake at 6:30am about three hours before the race. Just the time to have a big breakfast and to digest. About 45min before the official departure I'm in the stadium from where we start and will come back later. People are slowly warming up, the challenge is to stay warm without using too much energy and for that matter all plastic bags are transformed into poncho for runner. 9:29am we are all packed, the plastic bags and other capes are flying around and we start! I running with the group 3h00/4h00 this time.
The first 33km
They are fine actually, I'm in my pace, feeling good and should be under the 4hours. The weather is good, the energetic gel taken every 10km have some effect. The race is pretty compact even so there is some space when we pass the sign 25km and the first exhausted people are appearing. Passing the 33km I had have a small blister under my right foot and need to slow down, even walk a few meters...
Needless to say that until 41km it was a bit difficult, but then seing the sign "last 500," I gather my last source of energy and run over at least 100 people which is always a great pleasure for a final time of 4h1min30sec. A lot of people on the side encouraging us, sometimes you could hear your name - it's written on your bib - which gives you a mini kick or energy to keep going, pretty cool! Also funny to look at your tracking device after the race, the path you follow is sometimes below the see level.
Like last year the 12h to 24 hours following the event are a bit painful, you live in slow motion but you are happy. There is a great feeling in you body after all, to have accomplished something, I felt good for days :-) and I want to run another one!