Date/Time: Saturday 7th June / 22:30 (!?!)
Location: Olympic Stadium Amsterdam
Distance: 10 km chip-timed race
At the beginning of the year Nike announced four destinations for their “We Own The Night” races and well who doesn’t love a running holiday! It’s a huge excuse to go away with some of your favourite people, doing something that you love, whilst exploring a new city and EVEN more excuse to try out EVERY SINGLE local delicacy. So when we discovered that Amsterdam was one of them and that it was on a Saturday night Lissy, Laureen , Alice (who was going to be our support team) and I couldn’t say no!
So of course pre race prep kicked off with some very important “local” fuelling … particularly as the race wasn’t planned to start until 22:30!!!!
And then the obligatory kit lay down photo …
Notice the gorgeous bedding and of course our funky wall tiles … our entire room was covered in these …..!?!?!?!
What was pretty awesome about this race was that it kicked off and finished in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium. There was something quite epic about walking up to the stadium and then hanging out on the track!
Once we got there we met up with some of the awesome ladies from Running Junkies who had kindly given us loads of advice whilst planning our trip and showed some serious CREW LOVE once we arrived! Huge shout out to Elly who was our go to lady for all things Amsterdam!
The race village was a little smaller than the huge festival like space in London but it had all the usual things, a bar (though it’s worth mentioning that there was no free prosecco at the end (London 1 : Amsterdam 0!), a Nike store full of far too many gorgeous and tempting products, a “beauty area” where you could get your hair (!?!) and nails done and a “relax” tent. Vogue Nederland were also sponsoring the event and they had a great section where you could have your photo taken and it would link straight to their facebook page ….
Another cool feature was if you posted your photo on instagram and tagged Vogue it would link straight to a printer and almost instantly they would print out on little postcards!! We of course went mad with this ;D!
After all this photo fun, a toliet stop and a snoop around we realised that it was defiinitely time to head to our starting pen. Using the trick we had learnt from London we placed ourselves in the front section (I may or may not have been thinking about my Sub 10km goal for this year). The race started in the stadium and over the top of the start line there was a HUGE stage on which was a pretty awesome DJ playing some AWESOME music and there were even dancers?!
We scrambled our way to the front, climbing over a barrier to then be faced with another! Now we were 99% sure this was where we were supposed to be so we climbed over the second and worked our way to the front. After settling in and getting our watches/phones sorted we suddendly realised every other single girl around us had another wrist band on … and then after chatting to various people who noticed we had our Run Dem shirts it soon became clear we had stumbled (climbed) our way into the VIP start section … WHOOPS ;D!
The build up to the start was EPIC! Honestly it felt like being in a open air club in Ibiza, the music was amazing and the atmosphere was just incredible! The race did start a little later than planned, more like 11pm, which was slightly surreal but once the countdown came I was ready!!!
Going out through the stadium I initally ran with Anne and Laureen, Lissy was supposed to be taking it easy due to her knee but sadly we all quickly lost each other in the darkness! And when I say darkness I mean it! It was great to be running at night, during most of London it was still light and running in the dark is definitely a different experience but as this route was through the city it also made it super dangerous!! Cobbles, cones, kerbs and changes in terrain all made it a bit of nightmare. It was amazing to be running all over the city and Amsterdam is definitely vibrant at night but it also meant that I watched many girls trip, fall and even helped catch one as she fell next to me!
There were people all along the route which was great encouragement … though I suspect their overenthusiasm may have due to other things ;D and it was awesome seeing the Running Junkies crew near the start, they definitely gave me a huge boost so huge shout out to them!!
Every KM was marked by some crazy lights, there was a small band playing music and then a bizarre singer around 6km but other than that the city itself was the backdrop ….
APART from a magical moment around 4km …. as we turned a corner there appeared 10 or so topless men. TOPLESS, crazily ripped men … with glowsticks!?!?!?! It was hiliarious! The girls next to me didn’t speak English but our smiles said it all! Only in Amsterdam! (London 1: Amsterdam 1)
During the race I stuck with the two 00:50 pacers … plus they had speakers so it was great as I didn’t have my headphones with me. They were a great support, although the encouragement was all in Dutch it definitely pushed me and I made sure I was always one step ahead to make me work HARD!
Coming up to the last km I pushed, I pushed and pushed. It was RIDICOUSLY hot considering it was now nearly midnight, my legs hated me and the chips we all shared for dinner weren’t working as a good fuelling technique but as we came round the corner to the finishing line I, of course, kicked up for a sprint finish!
The race was actually marked as long … 0.4 km long apparently so hard to say what my exact time would have been but for today I am going on my watch time …. 49.25 (though this still means I need to get that official sub50 time ;D)
NIGHT OFFICIALLY OWNED!