Oh - so I ran the Amsterdam marathon. The site of the start and finish was at the Olympic stadium. I think we passed by it about four times during the race.
Here we are pre-race. Me, Jo and Ian C entered the full marathon (a few other BTS'ers were there including Sarah, Debs and Joe M) while Louise, Ian W and Zowie were there to run the half marathon. However, the marathon started at 9:30AM while the half marathon didn't start until 1:30PM so needless to say, the half marathoners were in bed while we were getting ready to run.
The weather turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day. The race was great - I must say - flat marathons are definitely the way to go. This race was packed though. I started a little too far back and have to say I was never clear of people. This is not a race for the claustrophobic. This picture is supposed to represent Jo Weatherall crossing the finish line. However, I can't find her anywhere in the photo.
I did find her here though! Jo did fantastic for her first marathon and finished in just under 4 hours. I also did really well with a personal best of 3:28:15. Actually, the race was a bit long too. I could tell at the end of the race that even though I know I was running faster (I'm pretty darn sure I was) the km markers were not appearing any sooner. The last few kms were definitely long according to my legs and according to a few Garmins. I guess what's a half mile more when you've already run 26.2?
This picture is realy blurry but you can just make out Jo in the middle with BTS on the back. Her black top stands out against the sea of red!
After the race, it is straight on to the reward! Yes, this is why we run.......
Later that night, we get cleaned up and celebrate a little more. Ian W did really well in his half marathon so smiles all around.
Louise and I are coordinated in our pink scarves.
Louise shows off the pink scarf the next day while we wait in line at the Van Gogh museum. We went first thing in the morning (as fast as my stiff legs could get us there) and our wait in line before the museum opened paid off. It was packed by the time we left!
Outside the Van Gogh museum is the National Art Museum. Just in case you forgot you were in Amsterdam.....
Wandering around Amsterdam, I found this very interesting. You can see at the top of the buildings, they iron girder with the hook on the end. You see these on farms, etc, so that you can lift the hay bales up to the top of the barn. Well, I thought these buildings were very old and that is how you used to get the furniture in through the windows... but... it turns out that this is still how they build it today. Apparently, they still prefer the classic 'haul the piano up through the window just in case some antics need to ensue beneath the dangling potential disaster'
This hook is only placed halfway up the building. Does that mean you aren't allowed to have furniture on the upper floors? So, not the most surprisingly architectural invention, but one that I find fascinating in this city.
Not necessarily architecture, but I loved this picture of all the bikes racked by the canal. Sadly, I can't get my other canal photo off my camera (stupid technology!) but you'll have to imagine all the lovely serene water and brick roadways.
I think I mentioned before (see the Carnival blog post), how the Dutch cycle everywhere. I love it! I want a Dutch commuter bike. Fenders, a basket, a chain guard - seriously people - this is absolutely the way to commute.
And so ends my weekend in Amsterdam. I got to see more of the city this time - granted I was running giant laps around it - but it was a fun trip and hey, I did well. Can't complain now can I?