Rotterdam Marathon

So this year I decided to try Rotterdam as a change from Paris. It's nice and flat and I originally thought when I entered it would be good to go for a PB here, which would be around 4 for me. Since then though, the Devon coastal marathon on 18/2 left me limping for a week and I just haven't got back into the swing of things. Stupid really given the time I put in over the winter.

Undeterred, the silliness didn't end there and I decided to continue with the plan anyway. What was I thinking?!

It was our first trip to Rotterdam and we stayed in the amazing SS Rotterdam - a former cruise ship from the 50s with a really cool art deco look inside. The kids loved it. Me too....
We took a water taxi to the registration expo which was great fun. On race day we took the metro to quite near to the start. The first train was packed and we had a push chair so we had to let it go. It was a bit of a tense wait wondering how long and how full the next one would be with the clock ticking down... Fortunately we all got onto the next one and walked the short distance to the start. The start area was a bit crowded and everyone was being funneled through tiny gaps into the pens and a bit of a crush was developing.

So, after narrowly avoiding being crushed getting into my allocated 'E' pen (fortunately, someone opened one of the fence panels which relieved the crush) I set off with the 8,000 or so other runners. It was pretty cold for the first few miles and pretty windy over the bridge out. I found it quite hard to settle in to an even pace but I could see the 4 hour pace balloons constantly in the distance ahead of me so it couldn't have been that bad. Probably just me checking my garmin too often. After about 90 minutes I had to stop for a pee so I said goodbye to the balloons and just as I did, I saw one balloon fly off in the wind...

The half came in at 2.02 but even by then my pace had started to slip a little and I knew it was all going to get messy at some point. Coming back around past the start/finish at around 27km/16 miles, it was quite hard to stay positive and I was thinking about how easy it would be just to stop. Still, I pressed on through to the northern loop. Somewhere around 19miles/30km, just before I got to the 'park' everything got really hard. My pace started to slip to over 10m/mile and then things just got worse. I didn't feel sick, although I did feel a little bloated after having by now had maybe 6 gels. I tried a few sweets instead. I just felt incredibly fatigued, like I just couldn't get my legs to go any faster. I just wanted it to end. I can't really remember too much about the last 12km. I do recall thinking, oh it's only 10km - just a lunch time run. It's only 6km, that's just a quick sprint... Oh it's only 2km, F*** still that far! People were passing me in droves. And I will admit to enjoying walking through the water stations! Eventually it did end. Boy, was I glad.

Just by the finish I met my wife and 2 young daughters. My girls had a little 'I love you' balloon and some flowers for me which almost brought me to tears.

All in all I would say I enjoyed it.

Time 4:28


1 9:16.9 1.00 9:17
2 8:49.9 1.00 8:50
3 9:02.9 1.00 9:03
4 9:08.9 1.00 9:09
5 9:10.0 1.00 9:10
6 9:03.9 1.00 9:04
7 9:19.6 1.00 9:20
8 9:06.3 1.00 9:06
9 9:11.8 1.00 9:12
10 9:13.2 1.00 9:13
11 9:17.2 1.00 9:17
12 9:26.0 1.00 9:26
13 9:29.4 1.00 9:29
14 9:48.3 1.00 9:48
15 9:41.8 1.00 9:42
16 10:13.4 1.00 10:14
17 9:46.9 1.00 9:47
18 10:06.8 1.00 10:07
19 10:37.7 1.00 10:38
20 10:53.7 1.00 10:54
21 11:40.1 1.00 11:40
22 11:00.0 1.00 11:00
23 13:26.4 1.00 13:27
24 12:13.2 1.00 12:13
25 11:24.2 1.00 11:24
26 12:15.7 1.00 12:16

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