Decided to this one as it is listed in the top 10 world marathons. Got to Amsterdam at 06:30 on Saturday morning after spending the night on a cramped coach which left Loughbrough at 16:30 - I don't recommend this! Went and picked up my race no at the expo where nearly everyone seemed to be either from the UK or USA.
On Sunday the conditions were perfect. Little wind and around 10 degrees and partially cloudy. The start in the Olympic stadium was very efficient. I had put down a predicted time of 2:59 which had me in the first pen. All the pens were well marshalled and very spacious - I lined up at the back of the pen, not wanting to go out too fast. The plan was to try and run an even split, so I tagged along with a couple of runners who were pacing very accurately as we went though the first 20k's in around 4:10 to 4:17 pace. I hit halfway in 1:29:04, so all going well. The first half of the course starts in the city for a small loop but then goes out down along a canal for about 10k each way. Although pankake flat, this part of the course was very sparsly supported. After that it was back into the city, where there were bands and some support but certainly not large crowds. I started having trouble at around 25k when my legs started to seize up. I was also gasping for a drink. The aid stations were only every 5k and drinks were served in cups so to get enough fluid you had to stop and grab a few cups. The remaining km were the hardest I have run in a marathon. With my time aim gone, I found it hard to push myself. I started to walk at 32k but the people at the side of the road eventually encouraged mt to pick up the pace. Remaining km's were done at 6 min pace to bring me home in 3:20.
Course is definately a PB course. Flat and enough runners to have company but no congestion. The only bad thing was the aid stations, I would be interested to see if anyone else also thought there just were not enough of them.
My girlfriend did the 10k. Apparently she and a number of the other runners went completely off course as this was not marshalled at all! The winners came home in 20mins, as they took the wrong route!
What did everyone else think?