The Amsterdam 8km race was great. Getting there was a little too exciting. The bus connection skipped the stop at the marathon expo center due to the marathon and took us up and around so we had to literally run 15 minutes back to the start area. one of my colleagues thankfully was able to pick up our start numbers from the expo and bring them to us, so we could start on time.
I planned a pace I thought my new running buddy C could handle (under 7 min/km) with a one minute walk break every 1/2 km (so every 3 1/2 minutes, more or less, like we practiced). She did beautifully, though the last couple km saw her stop talking and refuse to tell me any jokes. I was trying to keep her talking so as to make the distance fly by faster. She told me afterwards she was thinking evil thoughts when I was trying to keep her from falling behind too far between walk breaks. We finished together in 55 minutes, which was so fantastic for her first time. She said in the beginning of the race she was self-conscious, and didn't feel at all like she had any business out there on the course. She was particularly nervous about all the spectators. She got a big charge from spectators calling out encouragement to her by name (names were on our bibs). By the end, Christel had such an adrenaline rush, finishing in Olympic stadium, making half a lap to cheering crowds. She earned her finish medal!
The temperature was perfect - a bit on the chilly side but clear blue sky and sunny. A new women's course record was set. We stayed in the stadium to watch the men's and women's winners finish. I felt so inspired watching these talented runners.