The race? Amsterdam Marathon 2011, October 16th 2011. :)
At the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. Great location for a start, if you'd ask me. ;) It was chilly out (at 9:30 AM), and sunny. Sunny sunny. :) I liked it! Ditched my throw away jacket, and was fine heading out in a short sleeve with Moeben arm sleeves. And a running skirt. Duh. ;)
Woke up with GI issues. Not what you'd hope for on race day, but - really - nothing I could do about it. It did make my legs feel 'tired' earlier on in the race. Earlier than they'd normally feel tired. The crampy feeling wasn't that comfy, but well, I just had to be careful on the 'farting' thing (too much info, I know - but, come on, who doesn't fart and burp during a long run/marathon...). ;)
Scenic course through Amsterdam and along the Amstel river. Loved the Amstel river part! And, bonus, the Amsterdam marathon course is a flat course. :) I'd take mountains over asphalt any day, but hey, a girl can't have it all. ;)
The on-course support
I feel humbled. And blessed. Seriously...the on-course support was amazing. The aid stations looked okay, but I never had to use them. Why? I'll tell you why. :)
Ronald (and his gang: Sylvia, Marco, Jolanda- you know who you are!)
This guy was there for the runners at the 11K and 30K mark. I'd asked him to hand me my GU brew at 11K and at 30K. And he did - Brilliantly! Cheered me on in a way I've not seen/heard before. And gave me that much needed hug at 30K. :) Ronald, thanks to your 'aid station' I did not hit the wall - at all. :)
Bjorn (and his camera)
The bet was on! Bjorn was convinced that he could take a non-sucky race photo of moi...after the 22 mile / 35K mark. Ha! That, I did not believe! But, guess what...he did manage to take a heck load of photos I actually look okay in. And gave me the pep talk I needed after 22 miles / 35K. Bjorn, you made 35K-39K a heck of a lot easier (well...don't get me wrong, those miles weren't easy...at that point I was counting down the miles...)! And I believe I still owe you a hug for that (I did say that, right? ;))...
Mom (and the doggios - and her rather special driving style...)
I could not wish for a better mom, and I should tell her that more often. You were there, and violated at least 10 traffic laws while doing so. :) I'm pretty sure that no other mom would do that for her long distance crazy kid. :) 'I love you' doesn't even begin to describe how blessed I feel.
Paula (and her flat tire)
Last but not least. Last but not least. Without me asking, Paula was there. Being injured at the moment, and not able to run because of that, she grabbed her road bike and cycled to Amsterdam. To cycle along the course. Where and when she would be cheering for me was a huge surprise every single time she spotted me along the course. And with that, she did not give me any chance to even get close to hitting the wall. Every single time she managed to make me smile. Texted me where she was waiting for me after the finish - just seconds after I'd crossed the finish line. And let me cry for minutes. Didn't even tell me to harden the f up. :) Paula, I know it's you I owe that 3:42 finish and 8 minute PR to, don't you? :) I owe this girl BIG TIME!
I feel blessed and humbled. This support meant the world to me!
Enough with the sobby stuff, how about the race!
For now, I'll let the photos do the talking! (photo courtesy of Bjorn Paree)
24.5K in - I'm doing my Heidi Klum gone bad pose. ;)
35.5K in. The ugly. ;)
I'd like to think that I look 'focussed' instead of 'ready to jump into that river'...
Crossing the Amstel river at 37-ish K.
I think I spotted Paula here! :)
40-ishK in - the Vondelpark. :)
Says it all, doesn't it? ;)
5K 26:57 (26:57)
10K 52:46 (25:49)
15K 1:18:50 (26:04)
20K 1:45:16 (26:26)
25K 2:11:28 (26:12)
30K 2:37:41 (26:13)
35K 3:04:02 (26:21)
40K 3:30:49 (26:47)
42.2K 3:42:27 - an 8:05 minute PR. :)