My Marathon Journey in the TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2023
by: Charli Briggs
Last weekend, I ran the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, an event that had been on my bucket list since 2020 when I initially signed up, only to have it cancelled due to the pandemic. Amsterdam itself was beautiful, offering not only a marathon experience but also a chance to explore a new city. We managed to squeeze in a canal tour and indulged in a variety of culinary delights from Indonesian to Italian, adding an extra layer of adventure to the marathon.
My marathon preparation involved many months of training with four days dedicated to running and three days to strength training. The mental fortitude needed for race day can’t be entirely prepared for, but a consistent training plan gave me the confidence to do my best. The race itself was filled with memorable moments, but nothing compared to running into the Olympic Stadium, the very place where the marathon began and concluded. The energy in the stadium was electric, and doing a half lap of the track was an experience like no other. The start of the race had its challenges, including an unexpected hailstorm, some congestion in the early stages and a number of challenging miles but if marathons were easy, everyone would do them, right?
My primary goal this year was to achieve a marathon time of sub 4 hour 30 minutes. In London, I finished with a time of 4 hours, 33 minutes, and 47 seconds, falling just short of my target. However, Amsterdam was a different story. I completed the marathon in 4 hours, 24 minutes, and 54 seconds, and as a volunteer put the medal around my neck, I cried happy tears!
The support along the course was fantastic, though it couldn’t quite compare to the bustling streets of London. The long stretch along the Amstel River was a bit less supported, but overall, the encouragement from fellow runners and spectators kept me going. Whilst I mainly trained solo, the support and encouragement of my running club friends at Dragons played a crucial role throughout my training journey. The sense of camaraderie and shared enthusiasm for running made the experience even more rewarding.
This marathon journey has reinforced the importance of consistent training. In 2020, I could only dream of achieving a sub 4 hour 30-minute time, and now, I’ve done it. My ultimate goal is to break the 4-hour barrier, and I’m determined to keep working towards it. The TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2023 was an unforgettable adventure that combined my passion for running with exploring a new city. The marathon not only tested my physical limits but also provided me with a deep sense of accomplishment and a desire for more challenges. Amsterdam, with its picturesque beauty and enthusiastic support, will forever hold a special place in my heart as the city where I achieved one of my proudest milestones as a marathon runner.