Running the marathon is a celebration of well-being. This year, on the 25th of April, I participated in a 14 kilometer run in honour of Johan Cruyff and you, Ajax player Abdelhak Nouri, gave me my medal afterward. When I asked you why you weren’t running, you smiled at me and said: “I’m not a fitboy like you”.
Those words have stuck in my mind since your terrible accident on the 8th of July.
I used to prefer cycling. From my 17th until my 20th, I was a semi-professional racer, but after a period of serious overtraining, I decided to take studying more seriously. I got my BSc and MSc, and then, in 2009, my uncle asked me to join him in the Dam tot Damloop. It took me a couple of years, but I now consider myself a runner. The TCS Amsterdam Marathon of 2016 was my first marathon. After that, I completed the Paris Marathon this year, so the coming TCS Amsterdam Marathon will be my third. I’m hoping to set my new PB’s by running the TCS Amsterdam Marathon within 2.59.00 after I just ran a PB at this year’s Dam tot Damloop (59:30). But most of all, Abdelhak Nouri, I will run that marathon for you. For you, for your family and for the AFC Ajax.