Amsterdam Marathon , why , what did we learn and would we do it again …

Its now been and gone .. so what was it all about ……………

Amsterdam Marathon


Back in January , a friend , Greg from Think Fitness , asked me if I was interested in helping raise  money for charity , he was organising a group to run the Edinburgh half marathon in the middle of April 2010 .. fund-raising for the Borders Holiday Group , definetely one of my favourite charities , it raises money to take seriously ill and severely handicapped kids on holiday to the continent in a specially equipped bus .. what more persuasion did I need ..

So middle of Feb I headed out on a 3 miler … Martins Bridge and back , a staple diet of the Hawick runner , I was huffing and puffing , my legs hurt and my lungs were on fire , this wasnt good , Id just volunteered for a half marathon.

The last time I had trained seriously was for a Himalayan Kayak expedition in the summer of 2009 .. Im getting lazy in my old age and keeping 2 business’s running in a recession had taken its toll with regards to my training .. Id need to get motivated !!

So I went out again , and again , and again , gradually building my miles up to the magic 10 , around this time I met up with Gav Gibbon and Louise Philbin , also running in the same event for Greg .. we started running together , much better with company and with the occasional visit from Greg , Craig Rodgerson and Ryan Stewart to speed us up a little ,  we all we achieved our training goals in preparation to the forth coming half marathon .. I awoke the Sunday morning of the race to storms and horizontal rain .. later standing in Meadow Bank in the freezing cold waiting for what seemed like an eternity to hear the starting whistle … I achieved 1 hour 53 minutes that day … We all finished and raised a tidy sum , I was over the moon .

I was chuffed to bits and kept running regularly just for fun , I was actually enjoying running just for the fun of it , something never heard of in my past ..  I got back to some rock climbing , my usual summer pursuit and a bit of kayak training before my summer trip to the French Alps , this came quickly but I was unfortunate enough to dislocate my shoulder during a flooded river trip on the last week ! , stuck miles from nowhere and with an arm hanging out of its socket isn’t my idea of a fun time , 6 hours later , a french hospital and a bottle of laughing gas and it was back in its socket , but I was told it would 3-6 months before I would be able to get back to any normal training , and definetely no kayak/climbing at all for the next 90 days ….bummer , I still had most of the summer left !!

So I set about getting back to full strength and running was the first thing I was able to do , and if I was unable to do anything else , then running it would have to be .. I decided I would train for a marathon , it was high on my bucket list of things to do before I get any older , I had just trained for a half , yes , lets do it ……

Comrades … 26.2 miles finished !!

My good Friend Darren Murphy was also interested , so we booked ourselves in to the Amsterdam Marathon .. what better place to run our first !! . Off we went out running … more and more every week , 50 – 60 miles some weeks .. Along with Darren and  Mark Elsdon we ran The Great Scottish run and The Great North run , alongside Louise Philbin and Ross Gibson I ran the Kilomathon , everything I could along the way .. we raised money this time for The Leukaemia and Lymphoma trust , this particular charity was very deserving , aparently a lot of people had an experience or knew someone who had , so the money was quick in rising , this spurred us on and we trained hard .. So last Sunday we ran 26.2 miles in amazingly perfect conditions , if a little hot in the sun , we didn’t run it fast , it was our first , we jogged along and savoured the experience , but that didn’t stop it hurting , a marathon hurts , whether your an elite runner or just out for fun , you have to pay for the privelage of joining the Marathon club , you certainly do.

So what did we learn from it all , we learnt that 26.2 miles is a long , long way , we learnt that we can still run even when our legs are screaming to stop , we learnt that we shouldnt enjoy Amsterdam BEFORE we run a marathon , we learnt that eating bananas at mile 15 will give us a sore belly until mile 20 , we learnt that Dutch birds are tall and slim , especially the ones running in the marathon 😉 , but most of all we learnt that running is about fun , not the fastest time , nor beating the competition , who cares , its all about fun !! , we made great friends and shared many rewarding experiences along the way , and we achieved something special that will last forever , the memory of Amsterdam Marathon 2010 ….

To all the people who made a donation , helped me out with advice , kept me full Of motivation or just generally kept me smiling …. Thank you all , And be proud as we were all part of raising money for a deserving cause , we even may have made a contribution towards saving a life ……

Now for the Marathon De Sable April 2011  … thats going to be a different story

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