Utrecht Science Park Marathon 2018

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The city of Utrecht in The Netherlands was declared by CNN as “the new Amsterdam” and by BBC as “one of the happiest places to live”. There are lots of things to do in the city that appeals to its student population too, the largest in the country. We were here for the Utrecht Science Park Marathon 2018 on March 18, 2018.

Richard and I took the intercity train from Jurbise to Brussels to Rotterdam to Utrecht in the afternoon of Saturday, March 17, 2018. It was rainy and cold when we left Belgium. It was this and more when we arrived in Utrecht; it was very windy! I knew then this would be a challenging race, but I’m up for it.

We went straight to Hotel NH Utrecht Jaarbeursplein in front of the train station upon arrival. It was too late in the afternoon to pick up the bib at Sportscentrum Olympos; we decided to just pick it up before the race started on Sunday.

We met up with an old friend and her daughter at the train station before we strolled around the new mall. Dinner was excellent at Wagamama! We fell in love with the food the first time my sister took us to this restaurant chain in England last year.

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An early night is a must before the race.

There were lots of choices to be had for breakfast. Lots of excited runners too, coming from all parts of Europe.

We took the U-OV bus 28 to the Sportscentrum to pick up the bib and walked to the start line in Cambridgelaan. The 5K started at 9:45 AM and the 10K at 10:45 AM. We hung around the area before the marathon started at 12:30 PM.

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The Dutch runners must have the genetic and homecourt advantage with this race. Look!

The race required two loops, with the second loop starting no less than two hours and 45 minutes after the gun start. I finished the first loop in 2:25:40 and completed the race in 5:24:18. Richard took a photo of the frozen river and the buildings by the start line.

There were only 353 runners in this category, probably due to the cold and wind. The race had a 5:30 time limit which made it more challenging. Finishers who did not make the cutoff time were not included in the official ranking. I took the bus to the train station afterwards; it was free for runners on Sunday. Richard waited for me at the train station with our luggage and we hopped on the next available train to start our journey home.

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