In the summer of 2015, I was looking for a sport that I could combine with my demanding, full-time job. Starting up running, I quickly noticed the changes it brought. It made me stronger and also helped clear my head. I learned to be tough mentally and physically, contributing to my overall well-being.
The following October, I ran my first race – the TCS Amsterdam Marathon 8 km run. In terms of evolving my fitness journey, this was a watershed moment.
I never looked back! After finishing the half marathon at the 2016 TCS Amsterdam Marathon, I set up new goals for myself. This included participating in the Olympic distance triathlon. In preparation for this event, I took swimming lessons and started cycling again.
Every week now, I run thrice and swim twice in preparation for my next challenge – running the full marathon in Amsterdam this year. I’ve become a clear-cut sports junkie, in a state of mind akin to being hooked onto sports.
Looking back at what I’ve achieved, finishing the 8 km run in 2015 stands out the most. I was part of the Randstad Running Team and we raised 10.000 Euros for the VUmc Cancer Center at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon this year.
A few months earlier, my dad was diagnosed with cancer which made the race much more emotional. I entered the Olympic Stadium teary eyed thinking about my dad. That day, I ran for him. He was so proud that I managed to finish and could do my bit for the Cancer Center (especially since it was my very first race). I’m so thankful that he is doing well.
Looking forward to the next marathon, I can tell you that it will be the result of long periods of training, discipline and sacrifice. This is why I encourage all the participants to enjoy themselves. Not just enjoy crossing the finish line, but appreciate the entire marathon experience.
Everything about the marathon can be savoured, including the cheering crowds, incredible atmosphere, superhero race day volunteers and positive enthusiasm of fellow runners. Whatever you come across, you will overcome and finish! This is what makes the running experience so unforgettably beautiful.