Amsterdam half marathonUltra runner and MR fitness model Max gives his verdict on the Amsterdam half marathon
Sunday 21 October 2012Name: Max Willcocks
Occupation: Personal trainer and model
Event: Amsterdam Half Marathon Distance: 13.1
It's a great race and due to the nature of the country it's a flat course, which means you can't complain about not being able produce quick times. It's a hugely popular marathon and half marathon race, with around 40,000 people running in the marathon.
What was the organisation like?We registered on the day as the half started at 1:30pm, bag drop, registration and start are all very close to one another. On the day the city was closed off, so most runners travelled to the start on the tram, which the race organisers has put on specially. While getting to the race was easy - getting away was much harder! Everything was well organised but did feel rather rudimentary.
What was the course like?It was pretty much perfect weather to race, very overcast but not cold with no rain and a light breeze. However, because it was so overcast the course wasn't quite the picturesque landscape that Holland is known for, and mostly you're running through commercial and slightly industrial areas dodging the tram lines underfoot, which provide near fatal hazards (I saw one person take a fall)! You do take in one small park and run along a few nice canals, but for the best part the half marathon doesn't perhaps show Amsterdam's prettier side. However, the finish is a half lap round the Olympic Stadium which is a nice touch. Be prepared to work you race strategy in km though if you don't have a fancy watch.
What was your overall verdict of the race?It is, however a great race and easy to get to from the UK, and is a quick course with the start not far from the city centre - just 15 mins on the tram. It is a fantastic race if you take the chance to enjoy the culture and atmosphere over a long weekend, or if you simply want to blitz a time. If you enjoy the slower more aesthetically pleasing races then perhaps give it a miss.
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