I hadn’t planned to run another half this year, but I did and I’m happy that I did. The Amsterdam Half Marathon is always sold out, but in the weeks leading up to the event there are always lots of people offering bib numbers (which is allowed by the organisation). After watching so may people offering to transfer their bibs, I decided to take the gamble and buy one.
Only one month after my first half and one week after a 10k race. I wasn’t sure how this race would turn out, but I decided to not have too high hopes and just see how it would go. If I would run a good time, great. If I would finish but with not such a good time, fine. If the sweeper bus would catch up with me and I DNF, so be it. I was just going to enjoy the race and see how it would turn out without any time goals. So, one thing I learned from this: every time I go into a race with this attitude, I run a PB. I had the same attitude about the 10k ladies run in Leiden with no specific time goal and I ran my 10k PB. Didn’t have high hopes for the Amsterdam Half Marathon and ran a PB.
Now, I must say, the weather also helped. It was probably the last warm day of 2016. It was 19 degrees and sunny and no rain. To be fair, it was a little too warm, specially while running in the sunshine, but it also could have been a whole lot worse.
The route went through the east part of the city, not through the city centre, but with so many runners that was probably for the best. You start next to the Olympic Stadium (which is in the south) and follow (what are normally busy) car roads towards the east and eventually you’ll loop back to pass the Rijksmuseum and run through the Vondelpark and end in the Olympic Stadium itself. Afterwards I heard a lot of people complain about it being busy on the course. The half marathon has around 15,000 runners, so I’m sure that some of the time it would be busy on the course, but since I’m always towards the back as a slow runner it didn’t bother me.
I had a great time running this half marathon, would definitely run it again if I got the chance. And I finished in 2:48:58 and with about 300 people behind me, which is probably the largest number that I have ever left behind me in a race. But on the other hand it’s just 2%, which is a quite normal percentage for my running speed. But running in larger races suits me, since it’s nice to be running at the back of the pack while still being surrounded by other runners.