Stage 10: Amster-meh


Imagination is a wonderful thing.

As a child, it can be a blessing or a curse (a curse especially in the eyes of a parent). As some of us grow up our imagination gets weaker, for some, it gets stronger but it never disappears.

Each day we probably find ourselves drifting off in our imagination with little self-control, imagining as we travel to work, ordering a coffee, cooking the dinner or even working out.

When I train my mind goes into overdrive. I think of all the things that happened in the day, which may happen in the day if I'm working out in the morning, the food I'm going to eat post workout and imagining unreal scenarios.

Scenarios that will never happen I should add. Like running a 4-minute mile. Appearing in a movie. Singing on a stage. Being able to bake on the bake off. Weird stuff hey. I also imagine stuff about running whilst running. Winning a race one day, maybe running a full marathon, competing in a stadium. Well in Amsterdam, one of those came true. Yep, in Amsterdam we got to run in an Olympic stadium!

The end of the Amsterdam half marathon finished in the Olympic stadium, which hosted the Olympics in 1928. It is some feeling entering that stadium, the texture under your feet changing from hard concrete to the soft bouncy artificial surface, the cheer from the supporting crowds on the street changing to a roar from those in the stadium seats. You really do feel like a champion when you come down that final straight. Now I say roar, but it was probably more a purr with good acoustics. However, the day was well planned and we were finishing not long after the full marathon so there was a good number of people to cheer us home.

As for the rest of the race, I have to say it was my least favourite of the year. I lost the adaptor to my headphones on route to the race (damn you iPhone 7 and your lack of Jack) which meant a race with no music. A first for the year. There were 19,000 people competing in the race and the course was very narrow in parts, which made it feel quite overcrowded. Taking us out of town, the course was quite bare in parts before bring us back across the Amstel river, back through Vondelpark towards the stadium.

But if you had to rose-tint the trip then I suppose we did go to an Irish bar and listen to 20 musicians simultaneously jamming away with their guitars and fiddles. And we did make a trip to Chipsy King, which 'aint a bad name for a chips shop. And we did meet up with Lauren who we knew from back in London, who was great company!

Is that enough to make up for the lacklustre race?

Absolutely not.

Cameron searched far and wide for a pair of gloves, going into at least two shops. Not a decent pair to be found at a decent price! And for some reason, toilets are sacred in Amsterdam - so finding one where they don't charge you 40 cents to go in is a lengthy and uncomfortable task. And if you want to watch football in a nice quiet sports bar, FORGET ABOUT IT. You will be forced to listen to loud rave music at whatever sports bar you arrive at.

I say it was my least favourite but what is clear is that this year we have been absolutely spoilt this year with all our locations and the courses varying from mountains to seas, It truly is a year a to remember.


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