Rotterdam Marathon: 15 April 2007
A fairly sobering experience. First things first - this is a very well organised race, very flat and in "normal" circumstances would be ideal for PBs. The course is not particularly interesting, but there is a decent level of support most of the way round. However, on the day, this was extraordinarily tough - the weather was incredibly hot - definitely 25C+, and I heard talk at the end that it had hit 32C. Whatever the exact temperature, basically no amateur runner could be prepared for these conditions after training over the winter. Extra water stations, plus spray zones had been organised, and the organisers say that they handed out over 200,000 cups of water - 15 per head. The only "criticism" I would have (with the benefit of hindsight) is that an 11am start meant that you could feel the heat rolling up off the tarmac before the race had even begun.
I heard ambulance sirens after about 15 minutes, and apparently over 25 people were hospitalised. I went from being on schedule for exactly 3 hours at 32K, to finishing in just under 3.15, the last 10K taking me 57 minutes, and have never before felt that bad after a race. Many thanks to kind Dutch people who spent a good 20 minutes with me fixing my cramp. The race organisers, probably sensibly, stopped the race at 14.30, diverting runnners from the 28K mark straight to the finish.
Race report by Mark Braley
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