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My first marathon

This is the story of  Marlies van Eunen – de Boer running her first marathon. A beautiful inspiring story!

She blogged her preparation at her website  http://adventuresofamarathongirl.blogspot.nl/ but especialy for us she wanted to tell her experience of her first marathon at out website. Please…read her story….

Yesterday my longheld blog title (www.adventuresofamarathongirl.blogspot.com) finally became true when I crossed the finish line at the olympic stadium and I am now truly a marathon girl. Yesterday’s 26.2 miles was all I hoped it to be and so much more.

At a ghastly hour I woke up to get my breakfast in and eat as much carbs as I possibly could and after that my love and I called a cab and drove over to the sporthallen Zuid where we went to the Le champion VIP-room. The atmosphere was a quiet and calm one and as we met some runners we talked to before at other races, I started to feel the nerves. I wanted to get out there and run. Around 08:45hrs we headed over to the stadium and I kissed my love and wished him luck. He was going to be the main coordinator of the day monitoring my team’s WhatsApp and all other social media during the day. Answering questions and keeping everybody updated on my whereabouts. My team would be my landmarks, my supply posts, my mental coaches and my social media crew during the day.

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I’m here somewhere…

Once inside that olympic stadium I couldn’t stop jumping and bouncing. Partially due to the brisk morning air but mostly due to the huge amount of people all getting ready to run that marathon. When ‘Bloed, zweet en tranen’ was played I sang my heart out. Not long after that we got off. I wanted to run my first marathon somewhere between 05:00 and 05:20 hrs so I hooked up with the 5hrs pacer group. This amazing group of runners kept us all going with their stories, their tourist info and their singing.

As the sun started to warm us up we hit my first post at km 8 before I knew it. I stopped for some water and my first gel and ran back to my group. A few turns later we hit Amstel river where my second post was cheering for me at km 16 and I felt like I could fly. We hit the bridge at Oudekerk and after that the half way marker. Things were looking good until km 24 where my stomach started to cramp up. Luckily I was able to breathe through it and run to my third post. This time it was harder to get back to my group, definately not like the first two posts. Around km 28 I had to let them go because the cramp turned to nausea and the only way to control it was to slow down a little. That was hard to do. I felt a little lost and alone. The mere thought of my beautiful sister at the 32 km point kept me going and before I knew it I was talking to other runners along route. At my fourth marker I told my sister I was cramping up and felt like puking but I also told her that I knew I would make it. Somehow I didn’t doubt that.

Around km 35 I met the man with the hammer. The pain that hit me was like something I never felt before and no amount of training can prepare you for that moment. All my marathon friends told me about this and I did what I had to do: I walked a few times and I dribbled a lot. When I turned to Vondelpark the crowd lifted me up and that is when I met up with Jeppe from Copenhagen. We exchanged stories and he promised me he would wait for me at the finish line as I met up with my fifth and last post. After my last refueling I made my way out of Vondelpark and met up with Simon, a 69 year old man who ran his second marathon.

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Every year my niece is a volunteer at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon. She just handed over my medaille.

We were walking by then and I told him that no matter what, we would run that last kilometer and finish this marathon together. Right at the finish line Jeppe held on to his promise as he jumped back on the course and picked us up. As I crossed the finish line I saw my love, both my parents and I broke down in one big emotional sob. I am overwhelmed and blessed. Running a marathon is love. It’s meeting strangers and having raceday friends you will remember forever, it is feeling the love and support from your significant other, all your family members and your friends. Thank you TCS Amsterdam Marathon for everything!

My time? 05:20:28 ….it only get better from here……if my legs start working again 😉