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Wild Rumpus Sports

Dam tot Dam 2017

I raced my third Dam tot Damloop today. Last year I wrote a lot about trying to figure out where to drop off my bag; as an elite athlete I had a special secret place to drop off my bag – so secret I couldn’t find it. This year I made sure to get an accurate translation: my bag was to be dropped off at the Post NL van on the canal side of the start. Or, as it turned out, in the EuropCar van on the opposite side. Whatever. I found it.
I was actually a full elite races this year, rather than semi-elite as last year. This gave me more time to warm up and also a better start position. So I had a very relaxed start. By 500 meters I was cruising comfortably down the biggest hill of the course (the descent into the IJtunnel). During this time I was caught and briefly passed for the only time during the race. I worked with the guy who caught me as we climbed the biggest hill (to get out of the IJtunnel). For the next two kilometers we battled, and then I dropped him. At this point I was 25 seconds behind the group in front of me, but I went through 5 km in 16:04, about as planned. During the next 5 km I caught one straggler and cruised through 10 km in 32:09. I caught one more runner in the next 5 km, despite running slower – I went through 15 km in about 48:40. Maybe it was the isolation or the wind, or maybe I am just not quite as fit as last year. I crossed the line in 52:13, better than my PR was 25 months ago, but 16 seconds slower than last year (18 seconds slower on chip time).
Of course, WMA tables suggest that I should have lost 24 seconds.
I am not sure whether to feel good that I am beating expectations but only losing 16 seconds, or bad that slowing down this much is nearly inevitable.
Still, given that I couldn’t even run 10 miles for more than a month last spring, it feels good to have this result under my belt.