Amsterdam Marathon – 16/10/11

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Races 2011

Just back from Amsterdam now where I had a thoroughly fantastic weekend. I was unbelievably lucky with the weather the day of the marathon – beautifully sunny and bright but quite crisp and chilly, in other words perfect running weather. The walk in to the Olympic stadium (as a runner) was one of the highlights of the weekend, albeit a little surreal. The first 10km was around the city and absolutely flew by, I barely felt like I’d done a warm up at that point. After that we headed out of town and followed a lovely route out around the river and it honestly just felt like the kind of run you dream about going on – sunny but not hot, crisp, clean air, everyone in a great mood and the running seeming to take no effort at all.

This carried on for 20km, where I started to think that something untoward must be waiting for me around a corner. Passing 26km I was almost laughing at the fact that this was further than I had ever run before and I still felt great. I passed the 30km at 3:06, still keeping a really regular pace (split times for every 5km up to 30 were 31mins, give or take 30 seconds). About the 34km it finally happened and I struggled for the next 3/4km but I’d banked on it happening at some stage and had the Rocky IV soundtrack lined up and ready to go. After that it was just a matter of imagining a short, sweaty, bearded man being chased up some mountains by some grunty Russians with eyebrows in their ears and I was home and hosed. I’d been keeping Gonna’ Fly Now in reserve for the home strait so with 500 metres stuck that on and kicked on as hard as I could. Unfortunately the song finished with 150 metres still to go so my triumphant finale fizzled out and wasn’t entirely Chariots of Fire like.

All told though, considering it was my first marathon, my ridiculous training regime and my utterly disastrous last long run only a week beforehand I was bloody delighted to do it in 4:31 (and all of it ran with a smile on my face).

Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)

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