|Ready to go|
|finding my way at the expo|
I knew Amsterdam pretty well (particularly its transport system) and headed off. The Olympic Stadium was walkable distance from Amsterdam Zuid or you could change to the Metro and get marginally closer via one of its stations. 20 minutes later I was there. The exhibition was a lot smaller than I expected and I quickly picked up my bib and Tee. Recently I ran out of gels so would wait and pick some up at the expo. I was shocked to find that only clothing and shoes and limited accessories were on sale. No gels or anything like that. So I would have to run tomorrow with no gels, something I wasn't that comfortable with.
|Busy in Dam Sq|
The race started at 9:30 and I had arranged to meet some people at 8:30 at the bib 10000
|Some familiar faces|
|Ultimate relaxation from the FIl-Irish|
We were off. The start was great with 200m on the track before exiting onto the streets. The next 41km were not great. Unfortunately the course designers didn't bring the route
|In the Stadium|
From about 12K to 25K we were taken along an out and back on the Amstel river. I know that we passed by some beautiful parks on this route but didn't see them. For example we ran along the outside of the fantastic Amstel Park with its many many public sculptures and its famous "midget golf" course. That would have been more interesting.
The weather though forecast hot was actually OK with a reasonable breeze around.
The rest of the route pretty much retraced our way back to the stadium. Gels for me became a problem from half way. AA gels were
|Tok Tok time|
|And we are home|
The marathon really only came to life as we entered the Stadium again for the finish. It was special and I came in with my fastest last 2Km to finish in 4:28:24. Pretty slow really. I am definitely taking a week off after Dublin next weekend.
Overall apart from the start and the finish I was disappointed overall with this marathon. It didn't live up to the Gold Label status and the route did not show off Amsterdam as much as it should. It was still relatively affordable and easy to get into and flights and accommodation was reasonable. But not for me again.
The finish was the best part of the day