Aruba was our first race in South America. We were excited to see the island country but geared up for the long travel ahead. The most convenient route to Aruba was via Amsterdam. We hopped on the intercity train to Amsterdam Schiphol station after work on May 31, 2019. We stayed overnight at the Citizen M Airport Hotel and was up early to prepare for our KLM flight to Oranjestad at 12:25 PM.
The nine-hour trip to the Carribean island was uneventful. We arrived on the same day, Saturday, at 4:25 PM. Airport taxis have the fixed rate of US$30 to any high-rise hotel. The 15-minute cab ride took us directly to our hotel and race site, Hilton Aruba Carribean Resort and Casino. The scenery on the way to our hotel reminded me so much about Guam.
Bib pickup was at the hotel ballroom but it ended at 4:00 PM. Good thing I was able to arrange with the concierge to pick up our race packs. I pre-registered online and paid US$100 for the entry fee $70, finisher shirt $25, and school donation $5.
We checked in and picked up our race packs from the concierge desk.
We walked a little bit along the road. The hotel itself was located in the tourist area, much like Guam’s Tamuning area. We decided on an early dinner at one of the seafood restaurants.
We tried to sleep as soon as we could. The start time for the marathon was at 3:30 AM at the hotel’s parking lot. We took off as soon as the starting gun went off. The main roads were well lighted but there were areas on the race course that was pitch black.
Aid stations had plenty of water and some fruits. Marathoners had to do two loops of the 21K course. The race had a generous cut-off time of seven hours.
Richard did the 10K race at 6:30 AM and achieved a personal best time of 1:36. Yahoo!
I crossed the finish line dizzy and exhausted. The jet lag, the heat, and the humidity got to me. We went back to the hotel room to get cleaned up and do the breakfast buffet which was only until 11:00 AM.
We had a one hour extension of our noon checkout. We came back and rested a bit. In no time at all, it was time to check out. We walked the hotel grounds for a while and got a priceless photo op with the colorful birds.
We asked the taxi driver to bring us to Oranjestad so we can look around. It was a Sunday so everything was closed. Bummer! It was a quick walk around the quiet city center.
We had no choice but to head to the airport for our flight at 5:15 PM. Took some photos along the way.
Our plane made a brief stop in Bonaire to drop off and pick up passengers to Amsterdam. We arrived in Amsterdam on Monday, June 3rd at 10:30 AM. We took the intercity train to Brussels Midi station and switched trains to get off at Jurbise.
The race was lovely but the travel time is very long. We’d need to have at least a day on each side of the race day in order to rest, run, and recover.