Rotterdam LadiesRun 5K

Yet another race day has dawned with the unmistakable sound of rain. Today was the LadiesRun in Rotterdam, an event which is held in aid of Pink Ribbon, a breast cancer charity.

As if to follow my run of bad luck with public transport, Emmy and I made the mistake of following the instructions given by 9292 ov, a public transport website, which led us to leave the train at Schiedam, and take the metro (after a painful battle with the new chipcard system which is in use in Rotterdam and surrounding areas) to a random part of Rotterdam. More by luck that good management, we navigated by the EuroMast, and occasional glimpses of the Erasmusbrug, where the race was starting. By the time we arrived, my race, the 5K, was already getting lined up, and I had just enough time to use the facilities and to find myself a spot at the back of the pack.

The official starting point of the race was near the middle of the Erasmusbrug. A good reason, it turned out, to make sure you were near the front, as those of us near the back had to start with the hard slog uphill, before we even crossed the starting line. After that of course, we did at least have the pleasure of running downhill before a flat stretch to the Willemsbrug. Despite the bridges, the first 3K were fairly easy running, and I even found myself overtaking people. There were various water stops along the way, which proved annoying as I kept getting stuck behind people who slowed down, or even stopped, to take a drink.

During the fourth kilometer I could feel myself tiring, and my pace slowed a little. This section was through a residential area with paved streets – less comfortable for running than the main road. Soon enough though, I reached the 4K marker and knew that the end was in sight. Approaching the finish line, the noise level increased as the sound of clapping and cheering, competed with the music system. Sprinting over the finish line, I managed to press the stop button on my Forerunner, and was elated to see that I’d done the race in 32:42, over a minute faster than Leiden.

After a quick post-race conflab with Emmy, it was time for her to run in the 10K. Like me, she ended up at the back of the pack, and had a bit of a slow start before the back of the race were able to start running. After the start, I went back to the Cruise Terminal to collect my medal and goodie bag, and then went back to see if I could spot her. The 10K route was simple – two laps of the 5K route, meaning that the runners had to cross the Erasmusbrug at the 5K point. I found myself a good spot on a block at the side of the road, and waited for her to come through. Spotting her, one pink t-shirt amongst many, was a bit of a problem, but I did see her, although I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo.

I waited until the rest of the runners came through, cheering along those at the end, with whom I had a lot of sympathy, and then went to find a spot on the finish line. Being small, it’s always a challenge to be able to see in a crowd, so I quickly gave up on the idea of taking photos, and just watched as the first runners streamed through. After cheering Emmy through the finish line, I fought my way back out of the crowd, and went to meet her. We collected her medal, and then posed for a finisher’s photo. Unfortunately, we took the photo under the shadow of the cruise terminal, and then in all the excitement, dropped the camera before we had the chance to take a better photo… this one will just have to do!

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