Eight kilometers is a bit of a strange distance. There aren’t that many races that are 8k, although I’ve done a few. The Damloop by Night is 8k nowadays and during the Amsterdam Marathon event there is also an 8k distance. Probably because they couldn’t fit a 10k into the schedule. The 8k has to finish before the first elite marathon runners get back into the stadium.
The Amsterdam Marathon weekend was two weeks before New York City Marathon and although I like the Amsterdam Half, I wasn’t sure if that would be too much. So I decided to run the 8k. I already did the 8k race at Amsterdam last year 3 weeks after running my first marathon. I then ran a time of 01:03:02. At that point a PB for me on the 8k distance (since there aren’t many 8k races).
But the main reason to go to Amsterdam was because of Tori. She would be running her first marathon in Amsterdam and I wanted to cheer her on. I had planned that we could pick up our bibs, I could see her off and then I could go into my starting pen to run the 8k.
The 8k goes through the Vondelpark, underneath the Rijksmuseum and then loops back to finish inside the Olympic Stadium. Not a bad route. I had gotten a new 10k PB the week before, but wasn’t aiming for another PB. It would just be a training run for NYC. Plus, the 8k in Amsterdam is pretty busy with 5000 runners on an 8k route where some of the streets aren’t that wide.
I went off pretty quickly, but it became a bit difficult to keep up the pace in the Vondelpark where the paths are a bit smaller and thus a bit more crowded. After the Vondelpark I decided I wanted to try for a PB, so I went a bit faster again. I thought I could run a 2 min PB if I would be able to keep up the pace, but I wasn’t sure if I could, since I already tried my hardest at running a 10k PB the week before. After 6k I realised I would definitely get a PB, I just didn’t quite know by how much. In the end I finished in 58:17. A 4:45 min PB! A lot more than I had anticipated.
After getting my bag and getting something to eat I started following Tori in the app and tried to figure out if there was a point along the route where I could meet up with her. I noticed that I could pretty easily get from the Olympic Stadium to km 28 of the marathon route via metro. I managed to get there before Tori and cheered her on at the 28km point. She was doing great when I saw her. After that I headed back to the stadium to wait for her to finish. She really did a great job on her first marathon!
I had a great day in Amsterdam running and cheering on others. I really like the Amsterdam Marathon event and the atmosphere around it. Will definitely be back again.