On Thursday 25th May 2017, I ran 5km in the Golden Tenloop Delft.  This was my first ever running event and a beautiful location to start in the beautiful city of Delft and surrounding countryside.  I started vlogging in October 2016 about my personal challenge to go from “couch to 5km” and it was a great feeling to be able to complete the course in a reasonable time.

This event was the 30th edition and is held annually on the Hemelvaartdag public holiday.  The 5km circuit followed a pretty route, leaving from the centre of Delft and heading into the Delftse Hout. This is close to where I live, so I was familiar with the area, but have never run it with so many people before!  I believe there were about 5000 participants overall, but this includes the children’s 1km and 2.5km, as well as the 5km and 10km.

I registered online some time in advance, which is usually necessary as start numbers sell out.  It was only 10 euros to take part in the 5km, which included the t-shirt as well. I picked up my start number at the beautiful Delft city hall before the race.

It was a really festive atmosphere in the Delft city centre, and considering the number of participants and supporters, was busy but still well organised.

Here I am smiling before the start in the Delft Markt.  The race started and finished at the Beestemarkt and when I was nearing this at the end, I sped up with my last burst of energy.  What I didn’t realise though is that instead of heading straight there, the course took us on a last loop through the Markt.  So I needed to find an extra bit of energy to finish!  It was a lovely location though to complete my first ever 5km race though.

Here’s a photo my husband took en route, you can just make me out in about the middle of this photo.

I didn’t get to see this bike in the photo below during the race, it was way up front I imagine!  The fastest time for my 5km race was just over 15 minutes.  Amazing!  Took me more than twice that, though I managed my best ever time for 5km in 34.33 minutes.  I was pretty proud of this, especially considering I had a stitch from the first 100m (but which I managed to shake about 1.5km in), and the evening before had such a sore ankle I thought I wouldn’t be able to run (but was ok once strapped).  It was also a very warm day by Dutch standards at about 22 degrees.  I was so thirsty by about 1.5km I could barely swallow, but there was some water at 3.5km.  I had to remind myself to not gulp it so I could finish the last 1.5km.

At the end, I had actually thought we may get all get a medal, but that was apparently for kids only!  The CPC in The Hague does a medal for all participants, I’ll have to do that next year.  But we did get a lovely t-shirt, designed by a talented graphic artist in my neighbourhood: https://www.studiozomereik.nl 

It was a really well organised event and I’m glad I took part.  The only negative experience for me was something I already struggle with in NL regularly – inhaling 2nd hand smoke.  Not only do I simply not like it, I suffer from asthma and am intensely sensitive to it, even from metres away.  I find it near impossible to avoid in daily life in the Netherlands anywhere there are crowds and outdoor events – even at children’s theme parks and zoos.  There were spectators smoking right near the starting gates and at other locations along the sidelines, it’s never pleasant to have an unexpected lungful of smoke, and certainly not when you’re running a race.

Was great to have my husband and daughter cheering me along the way.  They’d jump on their bike and cycle ahead so I saw them at a few points along the way.

There are a number of running races each year in the Netherlands, including some fun ones like the Bubble Race and Colour Run.  Even if you’re far from the fastest, it’s a great experience to challenge yourself, and I think I’ll get my girls involved in the future.

The 2018 Golden Tenloop Delft is on 10 May 2017 and you can sign up here:

http://www.goldentenloop.nl