Tips on Running an International Marathon

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Marathons are hard.  Traveling can be exhausting.  Combine the two could potentially be a recipe for disaster.  But it doesn’t have to be. My favorite races have been those in places completely unfamiliar.  There’s no better way to explore a city than on foot, running shoulder to shoulder with thousands of locals.  You can learn a lot about a culture during 26.2 miles.  Here are a few tips if you plan to run a race in a different country or even a different state.  Click on the link below to read my column, then pack your bags and choose your own adventure.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865666575/Running-races-internationally.html?clear_cache=1

The Amsterdam Marathon

 

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Click on this link below for a short video of the Amsterdam Marathon finish line

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Time is a funny thing.  It feels like I’ve been gone forever, and yet never left.  For 8 glorious days, I had the good fortune to wander around the Netherlands.  I ate many waffles, Dutch pancakes, Belgium chocolate, and poffertjes (look it up- they’re heavenly), but it was all good because I ran off every last carb during the Amsterdam Marathon.

Poffertjes with strawberries and ice cream. This is dinner.
Poffertjes with strawberries and ice cream. This is dinner.

The beauty of this course can’t be exaggerated.  The friendliness of the volunteers, fellow runners, and race organizers can’t be overemphasized.  This was a larger race with 16,000 marathoners and 18,000 half marathoners.  There was also an 8K the same day with around 3,000.  As large as it was, it felt like a small town race with all the small town feels.  In short, I loved it.  The course was flat which meant my legs weren’t beat up and I was able to walk the city for the rest of the week with little pain and discomfort.

A view of the Amsterdam Marathon course at Mile 20
A view of the Amsterdam Marathon course at Mile 20
The Amstel River. Mile 10 of the Amsterdam Marathon.
The Amstel River. Mile 10 of the Amsterdam Marathon.

 

This is good because there were many chocolate shops to visit along the way.  No time goals for this race.  I took video and pictures and soaked in the atmosphere.  Click on the link below to read about this latest running adventure.  (Fair warning- I wrote this with a jet-lag hangover, so it’s not my best work).

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865665476/The-Amsterdam-Marathon.html

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All You Need is Friends, Shoes and Chocolate

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Sometimes this is the ONLY reason I run. Those pastries are all filled with chocolate FYI

In three days I’ll be on a plane with my two friends, Shelly and Tonya, on our way to Amsterdam where we will meet more friends, devour waffles and chocolate, and run a few miles around a new city.  Two years ago Shelly, who works for Delta Airlines, let me know that Delta now has a direct flight from Salt Lake to Amsterdam.  What I heard in my head was, “Quick!  Look to see what marathons happen in Amsterdam and start planning a trip ASAP!”  And here we are with bags half-packed, text messages about what to wear and what to eat pinging back and forth, and a head full of plans.

Rick, Kim and Elfi at the finish line of the Berlin Marathon
Rick, Kim and Elfi at the finish line of the Berlin Marathon

We’ve traveled to New York, Berlin, and Boston.  These dear friends don’t mind that I pee three times a night.  They understand and support my need for all delicious European pastries.  They take me seriously when I throw out ideas for crazy adventures.  Most importantly, they are on board with them.

Kim, Shelly, and Tonya in the middle of our first century bike ride.  So innocent.
Kim, Shelly, and Tonya in the middle of our first century bike ride. So innocent.

I don’t believe in luck, but how else do I explain how these people came into my life?  These women are the sisters I never had.  Rick and Elfi, the other friends we’re meeting, entered my world by a hair’s breath.  I just happened to be subbing a cycle class at a gym I almost never attend.  Our paths crossed, and we’ve been close ever since.

I chose a good husband.  A man who wants me to be happy and is thrilled when I am smiling.  He doesn’t LET me go on these trips.  He encourages it and cheers me on from our living room while he and the kids eat donuts on the couch for breakfast (‘cuz when Mom’s away, I don’t ask questions.).  I always experience intense homesickness when I embark on these trips.  There’s nothing harder than saying goodbye at the airport.  I love these people and one day we’ll be rich enough that I can take them all with me.  On the other hand, taking a break from our routine (and, let’s face it, them having a break from me and my insistence on brushing and flossing) is good for everyone.

My family greeting me at the airport after the Berlin Marathon
My family greeting me at the airport after the Berlin Marathon

So, things will be quiet on the site for the next two weeks.  I’m going to enjoy experiencing a new country with old friends and soaking in every minute of it.  I’ll be Instagraming the life out of this trip, so you can follow our running adventure at kiminthegym1 on Instagram.