Six years ago I signed up for the Egmond half marathon and it was unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather. A year later I ran it and vowed never to do it again. It was dreadfully cold and painful.
But three years later, when the memory of the pain and cold had faded, I was ready to face it again. This time it went well so I thought I’d have another go this year.
Egmond Half marathon is a challenging race, at best. It’s 7km across the beach, 9km through woods and dunes, and the rest through the village.
The first challenge is getting there
With only 2 trains an hour from Sloterdijk station you want to make sure you are there in time to miss the rush and long queue for the shuttle bus. I succeeded in doing this but it does make for a long wait in the sport hall with some interesting Dutch music being played by the local DJ.
Luckily I bumped into a guy I knew from my old running club. We discussed how perfect the weather was, as it wasn’t too cold. Little did we know…
So off we went
The start has a few twists and turns and within a few hundred metres you are on the beach. In January, weather and tide make it a different event each year. I felt a headwind but thought being small I can just hide behind the taller Dutch men around me (a tactic I have used many times).
Within the second kilometre I looked at my watch and I wasn’t even running at marathon pace and it only got worse and slower from there. If you came out from the shelter of the other runners the head wind was tough and quite an effort if you want to catch up with the next group. It was good to see the end of the beach arrive but you do have a short but tough stretch of soft sand to climb up before get into the dunes.
Going through the dunes and woods is really nice and it was supported well but I never really got into a rhythm to make it a race I would ever be proud of. At least it is done and I can now look forward to the Barcelona Half marathon.
Once finished we talked to some other runners
Everyone had run much slower than they would have expected to and on the way home the guy I had met earlier said that the head wind had been 54km/hr! The course record for men is 1:00:46 and this year the winner ran it in 1:08:08.
The next day I felt the effects of having run on different terrain and into the wind. My body ached. Luckily, my trusty Biomechanics Coaching exercises helped me care for my tired and spasmed muscles, helping me feel a whole lot better and more mobile. I was able to get right back to work and training without even skipping a beat.