The plan was to run the half marathon at the Venloop in preparation for Edinburgh marathon, but as usual these days, things didn’t go according to plan. I still don’t have a lot of energy since being on the new heart medication, so I decided to run the 10k instead.
The start is about 400 meters from Venlo Station, so I decided to take the train. But when the train almost reached Venlo station it came to a standstill and it couldn’t pull into the station, since another broken down train was blocking its way. We just stood there for over 20 minutes and half the train was filled with 10k runners on their way to the start. We then had to go back to the previous station and board another train, which was now jam-packed with runners who thought they were going to miss the start of the race.
In the end I did make it in time to the race village with about 20 minutes to spare. But the race village was very crowded and very chaotic. It wasn’t at all clear where everything was and there also hadn’t been a map of the race village online (at least not that I found). I spent a good 10 minutes on trying to locate the bag drop. I asked a few people, but none had any idea. In the end it turned out to be behind the pavilion, but there were no signs leading you there and you couldn’t easily see it either.
With only 3 minutes to spare I made it to my corral. Only to find out that the corral was already full and there was no more space for the approximately 100 people that were still waiting outside of it. We had to wait until most of the runners had started before we were even able to enter the corral, so I was further towards the back than I had anticipated. And I also didn’t have the preparation I’d hoped, since I had to rush to get to the start.
The first two kilometers were very crowded and every time the road got a bit smaller the entire crowd would slow down to a walk of even stop. The route zigzagged through the streets of Venlo and since the weather was pretty good there were quite a few spectators lining the streets.
I managed to pick up my pace a little bit between kilometers 2 and 8, but by kilometers 8 I started to run out of energy. Which seems to often be the case these days. I managed to run a minute faster than two weeks ago and I’m hoping this means progress. I finished in 1:17:04.
After I finished I tried to hurry back to the race village to meet up with Gaby, but the race village was even more chaotic than it had been 1.5 hours before. Managed to quickly meet up with Gaby before she had to start for the half marathon, after which I made my way back home.
The route was alright and it was nice that quite a few people came out to spectate, but the race village could definitely be organized a bit better.