Last year I did the Amsterdam half marathon and really liked it (it is one of my favourite races so far), but 3 weeks after Berlin I wasn’t ready yet to run a half marathon. Thus, I decided to run the 8k race instead.
I hadn’t entered upfront, because I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling after Berlin, so I decided to wait two weeks and then decided to buy someone’s ticket. Luckily, the Amsterdam Marathon allows you to transfer your bib number if you wish and it is actually really easy to transfer it onto your own name. This is also how I got my half marathon entry last year. I just wait until the week itself, look at the weather forecast and decide if I want to go and run or not.
The forecast was sunny and about 21 degrees. That’s quite warm for this time of year and a little too warm for running, but the 8k started at 10 AM, so it wasn’t that warm yet. I had picked up my bib on Friday. I didn’t like the expo as much as I did the previous two years I’d been there, but maybe I’ve just seen it too many times?
The 8k is a bit of an odd distance, but I think that’s because they want all runners of the 8k to finish before the elite marathon runners come in and that would be even more difficult if it would be a 10k. But nevertheless, it is a nice route. You start near the olympic stadium, 40 minutes after the full marathon has begun. There are around 7000 runners running the 8k (and around 15.000 full marathon and 15.000 half marathon runners). You go through the Vondelpark, underneath the Rijksmuseum and then along one of the canals to eventually return to the olympic stadium and finish inside it, on the track! It’s always a great feeling to run into the stadium and along part of the track.
I actually ran an 8k the week before Berlin (Damloop by Night) in 01:03:55. But to be fair, I wasn’t really trying very hard to run a PB then, because I knew I was running Berlin the week after. So I was curious if I would be able to beat that time after Berlin. But I did notice while training that my knees were not that happy after the marathon and I didn’t have much energy while running. I just wanted to see how I’d do in this race, but wasn’t going to push myself too hard. The first 5k went just fine, but after that I was starting to run out of energy again, so I didn’t think I could beat my time and just decided it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t until I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin that I noticed my time: 01:03:02! I was a bit surprised to see that time on my watch. So all in all, not bad 3 weeks after Berlin, but I do have to work on getting my energy back.