Life as an expatriot living and running in the beautiful town of Zwolle, the Netherlands.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Had a really great/interesting Half Marathon in Terschelling, a small island of the northern coast of the Netherlands. The story of the race will be in a couple of posts... there's so much to report. Because unlike regular races where you just show up, run, and go home, this was a race that most of my team made a trip out of.

I left from Zwolle on the Friday following my Halloween Blowout. Gert, Alice, my Australian friend Michelle and I had our 1st Halloween party at the house. It was also the first Halloween for all the Dutchies. And of course, we totally went overboard... but that's another story. Anyway, I think all the work it took caused me to be under the weather come Friday. I was like 'Oh Shit...' as I felt the telltale signs of a cold beginning to manifest in my throat.

I traveled Friday to the island with 2 teammates and their wives... the beginning of an entire 4 days of total Dutch immersion. Two train rides, a boat trip, and a bus ride later, we arrived at our vacation place, otherwise known as a Slaap Boerderij or "Sleep Farm". It felt a little like being at camp. Most of my teammates and spouses were there, with a few to arrive the following day. Also staying there were some other teams and their spouses from other parts of Holland. I was wishing Gert were there, but he could not come due to childcare. We ate dinner together and had a small walk, and I realized I had to get to sleep for fear of my cold becoming worse. I was the first in bed. Not much socializing for me.

The next day my teammates went for a morning run while I sat stewing in more sickness. I was getting worried about it because the race was the next day. After breakfast and after getting a rental bike, I went for a long bike ride with 2 others around the sand dunes, to the harbor and back. Later that afternoon, all of us went to the Cranberry Place. Weirdly, cranberries grow really well on this island. In the 1800's a barrel of them floated from the States to Terschelling and were inadvertently scattered by an islander who thought they were crappy tasting but wanted the barrel they were in. And now there is a little industry of cranberries: wine, mustard, gin, spirits, candles, jellies and all sorts of things.

After that little bit of fun, I came back and took a nap. Then ate a pasta dinner and went back to sleep at 8:00. I lay in my sleeping bag, listening to the fun and frivolity in the main room. They were doing some game with pots on their heads and the banging of the pots on the heads with wooden spoons. Something good and Dutch and fun. And me? Laying in my sleeping bag, hoping, praying I would feel good to run in the morning.

Next Post: The Race


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