My boyfriend wanted to go on a European vacation. We narrowed the list of possibilities down to Barcelona, Paris, and Amsterdam. I nixed Barcelona, because I wanted slightly better weather (and to run a race there). We then decided on Paris, for about a minute…before settling on Amsterdam. (And then there were riots in Paris, and I felt better about my decision). Amsterdam was on my “list of places that sound nice and I think I’d like to visit” list, and now that I live in Israel/much closer proximity to Amsterdam…it was time to cross it off my List of Things to Do!
Once we decided on the general time we wanted to go to Amsterdam, I went online and looked for races in the area. As luck would have it, there was a half marathon and quarter marathon that weekend, only an hour outside of Amsterdam!
The Egmond Half and Quarter Marathon is located in Egmond aan Zee (Egmond by the Sea), a small town an hour or so outside of Amsterdam. My boyfriend was fine with adding the race to our vacation, under the following conditions:
1. We rent a car 2. I plan everything
As a Type A planner, this was my dream come true. Not even joking. As a little kid I made lists, scheduling play dates…so what better way for my new(ish) boyfriend to get to know me than to experience the full capacity of my planning obsessiveness?
Spoiler alert: the day trip was a success (as well as the vacation in general)!
Egmond Kwart Marathon, overview:
The race site stressed that the terrain is difficult and not PR friendly. But I wanted to have an international race experience, not a PR, so this was fine with me!
Cost: 19 euro/$22. I also bought 2 bus tickets, so the total was 27.88 euro/$32. I’d like to note that while this fee did include the medal, the shirt was an extra 25 euro…so I skipped that. Value for money: B/B-…why so cheap?
Website: The website was mostly in Dutch, with an English section. The English section mostly did the trick…and when I wanted more info, Google translate did the job. Website: A
Publicity: I found the race on an international race calendar/site. The Facebook page was cute but didn’t add much. Publicity: B…did the job for me
How I got to the race: Car + bus. We picked up the rental car (it was fancy!), drove about 45 minutes to a parking lot…see, the roads in/out of the city were closed, so unless we rented a hotel the night before, we were required to take the shuttle bus. Parking was free and the shuttle buses were plentiful, so it worked out. Transportation: A
Weather: Cold, a bit windy…but I dressed appropriately, so it was all good!
Time: 10:33am…I ended up arriving late (more on that later), and didn’t start the race until the next wave…but it was totally fine. And a later start meant that we didn’t have to leave Amsterdam too early! A+ boyfriend for agreeing to add a race to our vacation
Start/finish area: This was honestly the low point of the race. The start/finish areas were FAR from the packet pick-up…it’s also the reason I was late. They should have stated this more clearly. Still, it was easy to find the start area, because there were a LOT of people heading there. And on the way, volunteers handed out windbreaker hats! Honestly, this was more appreciated than a race shirt, since again, it was cold and windy. I kept my windbreaker hat, and hope to never need to use it in Israel. C-…not a dealbreaker, but also not appreciated
Race shirt: Seemed nice, but not worth 25 euro! F—
What I wore: compression leggings, long-sleeve shirt, fleece zip-up, vest, gloves, fleece headband, windbreaker hat. This was basically all of the warm weather running clothing I brought from the US. It did the job perfectly!
Bag drop: It was there, but I didn’t use it.
The course was divided into three parts: 1. Cute city streets 2. Beach 3. Dunes, mostly with paved paths
The terrain was very pretty, but the advertising was true to word…definitely not the place to try for a PR. Aside from the beginning/end of the beach part, where the sand was loose, it was relatively smooth sailing. B…pretty views, but not an easy course
Water stations: I think there were 3 or 4? It was enough, and since it was cold out, I didn’t stop at all of them.
Bathrooms: There were plenty of port o potties at the start, and there were also some at one of the aid stations! I didn’t use the aid station ones, but it was nice that they were there…especially for the volunteers. A, because my standards are low, and any port o potties = automatic A
Pictures: There were some, and they were free! I didn’t check too hard for mine, so I have none to share.
Medal: Nice enough. It features a lighthouse that is currently under renovations…womp womp.
In conclusion: The Egmond Kwart Marathon was a fun excuse to take a day trip outside of Amsterdam. Definitely a one and done for me, but it was a fun experience!