Amsterdam Marathon – 15th October 2023

by Lisa Donaldson

Well where do I begin? It has been one hell of a weekend to say the least. This was my 2nd marathon for this year and 3rd overall, was so desperate for that Sub 3:30 after running London back in April 2023 and knew I didn’t push myself then, so there was defo more to be had!!

We got to the airport Friday afternoon where we met Laura and Sam, a few airport drinks were had but not by me and Sam, we were being good haha (first time for everything). My Dad was already at Amsterdam by this point, he got the earlier flight so had the duty of collecting my Number.

We got to the hotel about 20:30 local time and needed an early night for the next day as my dad was on the search for his Z parkrun to complete his A-Z achievement so, a nice 5 am start bearing in mind we lost an hour remember so 4am in my head haha.

We met Sam at the train station (Laura did the right thing and had a nice lie in) and off we went. 2.5 hours later we made it and the mission was complete and certainly took my mind off the next day.

Had a bite to eat, a bit of sight seeing, then back to the hotel for another early night to start the next day (was a lot of tossing and turning though)

RACE day! We got to the start line, which was in the Olympic stadium, but a big queue meant we had a long wait to get into there. Stuck in the hailstorm was not fun, soaking before we even began. Once we were in and down the stairs onto the track we were away. It was quite congested for the 1st mile, I would say hard to even weave in and out of people so pretty much stuck behind everyone. Once we got away though it was easier to weave and to say I got carried away was an understatement, forgot what I was doing for a second and at mile 5 I clocked a sub 7 mile haha.

OK lass, calm ya self-down and stop getting carried away!! I still felt good though and the breathing was controlled and the miles were ticking away lovely. Nice little run all the way down a canal and back up, that’s when you know you’re heading back to the stadium. brill, halfway now, we have got this!!

Trying to get a drink was a laugh, they were handed out in paper cups so when you eventually grabbed one someone was always there to make sure it went all over your face hahaha.

Some more windy hail came which didn’t help but soon went and all was good again. I would say the weather conditions on the run all in all were pretty good. We had a lot of bikes that just didn’t really care a race was going on and were just crossing straight in front of you but hay ho added to the adventure of running Amsterdam marathon I suppose.

By 38km still felt pretty good breathing wise but I could feel the heaviness of my legs creeping in and just telling myself to ignore your legs….how the hell can I ignore my legs when they are the things making me move!!

Hit 40km and the mind starts trying to defeat you arguing with yourself “I can’t get to the end” then nope I don’t think so you have just ran 40km you aren’t stopping with just 2km to go! “don’t stop when your tired, you stop when your done” Then you hear the sound of the stadium and it’s like music to your ears, 300m of the track and DONE!!!!!

Managed to knock 12mins off my marathon time only wanting a sub 3:30 I managed 3:21:03 so happy with that, more then I ever expected and its all thanks to everyone that made me believe I could do it so thank you. 😊

Sam Etherington 2:51:35 Debut
Lisa Donaldson 3:21:03 PB
Half Marathon
Phil Healey 1:54:25 PB
Laura Alliston-Godding 2:25:57