Barry Orr's Rotterdam Marathon – Sunday 15th April

Rotterdam Marathon review:
Off then to the Netherlands. I got some interesting comments from workmates as to whether I was really going for running purposes, or whether signing up to the Rotterdam Marathon was really a colourful reason to go and indulge in some Netherlands “special brand of chemical fun” 🙂  Suffice to say that that I didn’t indulge in any of that to any great degree, given I had a race to attend to. I won’t say whether friends or acquaintances I was with did though. What goes on tour, stays on tour…!
So, to the race. Rotterdam, alongside the World Marathon Majors, is among the most prominent marathons in the world. Not least because of the amount of world records set there (6 times the men’s world marathon record has fallen there in recent years, the most recent in 2010). So I was hoping, from a generally fast flat course, to do a decent time, maybe even a PB. 
Conditions on day were a little cold, with some moderate winds at times, but generally not bad. I felt though for the Elite Athletes: some of whom were obviously coming to Rotterdam in hopes of breaking the world record, and couldn’t quite achieve it because of the wind. That having said, well done to the ladies: fastest time in the world this year so far set by. 
For my race: comfortable and speedy (for me at least). Great and supportive Rotterdam public lining most of the route: thank you Rotterdam! The odd Dutch cry of “go Vegan Runners!” was always appreciated 🙂 This course lived up comfortably to its reputation: well marshalled, with lots of refreshments and fun on the way (the nice number of bands and music being played on the course along the way I found makes a really nice difference: not really had that on a race before. Bring on the Rock and Roll Marathons shortly!). 
Near to the end, and found I still had energy in the legs. So, I found myself doing a full out sprint finish, for the first time on a road marathon. I’ve done one sprint before, at the Brentwood Marathon in Essex, but that was a trail marathon, with large periods run on grass and shrubbery. My friends Nathan, Ben and Elodie (the latter two Netherlands resident, and you couldn’t ask for better mates along for support: thanks guys!), caught my happy face here, on finding I’d reduced my PB by almost 20 minutes:
So: thanks have to go to the Dutch. Think I’ll be back to Netherlands for running purposes definitely (likely for the Amsterdam Marathon, to take in some more Dutch hospitality). Also, I was well impressed with the race stats that Rotterdam sent by e-mail that night about my race. Stats like this should be part of every marathon everywhere. For posterity, here are mine (whither has the 10km time gone though? I am intrigued)…
Bib number 2754
Name Barry Orr
City Haverfordwest
Distance ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam
Category MSR
Overall place 2355 / 7530 
Category place 526 / 1337
Speed 11,717 Km/Hour
Gross time 3:40:00
Net time 3:36:04
Net split times (difference)
5 Kilometer 25:33 (25:33)
10 Kilometer
15 Kilometer 1:15:31
20 Kilometer 1:39:45 (24:14)
Half marathon 1:45:16
25 Kilometer 2:04:59 (25:14)
30 Kilometer 2:30:08 (25:09)
35 Kilometer 2:56:15 (26:07)
40 Kilometer 3:24:00 (27:45)

Cracking bar graph especially 🙂 
Off to Manchester then next week for more. Congrats to all the other Vegan Runners as well who were going flat out for the vegan cause on the 15th, in Brighton, and in Llanelli: we did great! Hope to see you all soon.