Amsterdam Marathon 2011

‘Don’t be fooled by thinking it’s 100% flat!'
Terry Amsterdam Terry kicks back with his medal and a hard earned brewski.

Name:

Terry Stephens.

Age:

30.

Occupation:

Designer.

Event:

Amsterdam Marathon.

Distance:

26.2 miles.

What was your race time?

2:59:55

How long have you been running?

Two years seriously, four or five years as a way of staying fit.

What made you decide to sign up for this race?

Fast, flat course. Hopeful of breaking the three hour mark for the first time.

What were your expectations for the race?

PB. Having run 3:05 in my two previous marathons, I was determined to come in sub-three hours.

What were your high and low points during the race, if any?

Not sure they’re real low points, but my two gripes with the race were: (1) The bun fight that was starting in the stadium. I was assured that generally it was fine, but the sub-3 pen was madness and it proved very hard to get any kind of rhythm. That said, the noise from the crowd inside the stadium for that first 200 meters was incredible.(2) Providing drinks in paper cups (as opposed to bottles). It’s not easy trying to drink from a paper cup when you’re jogging along slowly, let alone trying to main sub 7 miling. The result was a lot of sweet, sticky energy drink in my face!

What was the best part of the course for you?

Finishing in the stadium. Those dark days on the track came flooding back, I managed to block everything out (people, noise, pain) and finish with only 5 seconds to spare.

What was the most challenging part of the course for you?

Watching the pace drop with 4-5 miles to go. Questioning how much I really wanted to run sub-3 and digging deep to turn a 7 min mile into a 6:39.

How would you describe the crowd support?

Good. It’s never going to be a London or New York, but lots of locals are out lending support.There is a baron spell when you hit the canal, where there are very few people, but it gives you the chance to get into a rhythm.

What was the male/female ratio roughly in the race?

In the sub-3 pen it was about 95-98% male, as you’d probably expect. The rest of the field looked pretty evenly split.

Did you see many people running in costume, and if so what was the best costume?

One person, so I guess it was the best costume! It didn’t really strike me as a fancy dress kind of race, that said ‘Elvis’ did get an enormous cheer as he entered the home straight.

What’s your overall verdict of the race? Give marks out of ten for the following categories:

Organisation:

8/10

Scenery:

9/10

Atmosphere:

8/10

Would you do it again next year?

Probably not. I loved it, but I’m keen to take some time out before assessing my next goal.There’s also so many amazing places to run races now, that I’d be reluctant to run the same one more than once.

What one tip or piece of information would you like to pass on to anyone thinking of doing this race for the first time?

Don’t be fooled by thinking it’s 100% flat. There are two underpass sections that you need to get up at the 30-35km mark – just when your legs need it least.

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