Just a few weeks ago, I ran this very race. The only difference being, that it was in London.
What did Amsterdam have to showcase?! I was so excited to see the race t-shirt and necklace. A little less excited when I realised it was the same t-shirt…oh but I think I liked the necklace design more!
WE OWN THE NIGHT | Amsterdam. Trams. Olympic Stadium. Darkness. Lights. DJ. Tunes. Bag drop. Beauty Bar. Nike+. Laces. Bar. Try on zone. Vogue Netherlands. Names. Runners. Women. 10km. Warm. Rain.
BEFORE | #MyMoments
We travelled up to the stadium via the tram from Central Station. It was a nice ride, my first time on public transport in Amsterdam all weekend. Doubled up as sightseeing too! Inside, the DJ was situated above the entrance, which would become our start line in under a couple of hours. We arrived at the race village at approx 845pm kinda pumped to start running at 1040pm (race start at 1030pm but we were in wave 3).
When we arrived the village was still pretty quiet. After a look at the beauty bar queue, we decided not to bother. A look around the try out zone; nothing new for me but cute stuff of course. The Bar; no water available for runners…not even tap water and I was parched!! Then we hit up the Nike+ zone where they were giving out coloured laces corresponding to your Nike+ level – really cute idea! The next stand along was the Vogue Netherlands photo booth!
Before we headed to bag drop, I had a look on the board which contained all the runner’s names! I was a little disappointed that my name was split over two lines…hmmm, first world problems?!
We then found ourselves a spot to sit down to kill some time and rest our feet. This was when it decided to rain. I started to freak out a little as I had brought my rain jacket to Amsterdam but had left it at the hotel as a) my weather app did not mention that it might rain and b) the weather had been glorious all day. Now full respect to the event organisers, because out they came with plastic rain covers! Like bin bags but clear with a hood and arms! I was soooooo impressed and very, very grateful!
…then toilets…the queue was pretty long now so I decided to wait till the very last minute. …getting busier…and busier now…the atmosphere was starting to buzz…
DURING | #MyMoments
The start pens were located right in from of the DJ booth which was also the start line. The Dj, Eva, span a few good tunes. Then I began to wonder why the heck we weren’t running yet! 1030pm had gone…1040pm had..1050pm came and went too and as far as I knew there was no explanation…not in english anyway!
Eventually we set off into a crowd of people cheering, bright lights and a route set to be full of sights. The first major sight had to be the row of semi naked men at the 2km mark. If this was supposed to make me run faster… Part of me thought this was a little bit sexist…how would I feel about semi naked women being paraded during a men’s run?! Then it was the I Amsterdam sign…we hadn’t yet had a chance to get there to take pictures yet but at least now we knew where it was!
ROUTE | museums. canals. shopping district. crowds. cheering. bright km markers. semi naked men. drunk men. high fives. water stations. non legit water stations. vondelpark. I Amsterdam sign. there’s two. did you know?!
…before I knew it we were back at the stadium and crossing the finish line.
POST | #MyMoments
Then we were penned in. Crowded, sweaty, thirsty women…hundreds penned in trying to grab water, goody bags, necklaces and moving slowly…In all honesty I could barely breathe for the claustrophobic feeling that was coming over me…
Eventually I got out and headed to the bag drop…where I spent the next 40 minutes. Again, slow, sweaty, crowded….By the time I got out of the queue and went to meet Alicia, it was ten minutes before the village was due to close. We had hoped to get out quick and catch one of the last trams home as they stopped about midnight – but with the race starting late and the bags taking so long it was 1250am before we left!
We then waited 40 minutes for the night bus. Which we couldn’t get on. The next was was due in 60 minutes. Rather than wait, and risk not being able to get on it, we walked and walked and walked until we were rained into a bus stop and another bus came along…
We eventually made it to the hotel about 330am. I cannot even stress how tired and disappointed I was. Why would you organise a race somewhere that is so unaccessible?! Why would you not provide people with information on how to get home?! Why would you ruin an amazing race experience like that?! The race was marketed across Europe yet they didn’t provide for those of us who were not in a city that we knew like the back of our hand.
What a way to end the evening! …What we did do though was OWN THE NIGHT!